Volume 48, Number 1 - August 16, 2010

About the Reporter

Alexandra de Armas
Alexandra de Armas
North Campus Bureau Chief

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Opinion Opinion

Take advantage of life’s opportunities

By Alexandra de Armas

Illustration of Alex de armas
Alexandra de Armas will will serve as the managing editor of The Falcon Times for the 2010-11 school year. ILLUSTRATION BY LAZARO GAMIO / FALCON TIMES STAFF

After a year of juggling school work, writing for the student newspaper, managing family and a social life, I feel competent to share advice with the incoming freshman class at Miami Dade College.

Breathe in and soak in the moment as you first step on campus because before you know it, your first year of college will be over.

Really, it flies by.

Next, I suggest you invest in an agenda. Keeping yourself organized is integral to having a successful year. With an agenda— for guys, whatever the man equivalent to an agenda is—you will be able to keep track of your homework and class assignments. You can also jot down your classmates’ numbers in the agenda, which I highly recommend.

Make friends, because you never know when an emergency might arise that will force you to miss class. Your classmates can fill you in on the work you missed. I am not suggesting you miss class—on the contrary—because I have learned that attending class is important to getting good grades.

Also, speak to your adviser to avoid taking classes that are not needed. This will save you time and money.

If you plan on transferring, find out what courses are required for your institution of interest.

Another thing to remember is that your professors are here to help you.

The first day of class they hand you a syllabus, it has their office number, office hours and e-mail address. Use them. I can’t tell you how many times I have found myself in a professor’s office asking questions. To spare yourself from some distress, check out your teachers before you sign up for classes. Ratemyprofessors.com will help you do just that.

Using the site, you type a prospective professor’s name and you are able to see other students’ evaluations of them. From experience, the student assessments are pretty accurate.

Your time here at Miami Dade College will be what you make of it. Get involved. There are plenty of clubs and organizations for you to be a part of. Go to Student Life— Room 4208—and find out what clubs might interest you. You can also attend Club Rush on Sept. 15 in building four, where all clubs set up booths with information about their clubs and organizations. Chances are you’ll find something for you.

Keep making friends. I came to this campus not knowing a single person and right now I have more friends than I can count. Talk to people, laugh with them. You might be shy, but give it a shot.

You might be surprised to find that you have an outgoing personality. Who knows, maybe you can find a new best friend or a new boyfriend or girlfriend.

Something you must be warned about — before it’s too late— are the vending machines. Just in case you don’t know, eating too much junk food can lead to the dreaded “freshmen 15.” You don’t want that, because then walking up the three flights of stairs in building one will be torturous.

Learn your campus. Walk around and see what you have to use around here, such as the library, the computer courtyard, the cafeteria, the math and writing labs and the benches by the lake.

Read the student newspaper, The Falcon Times. It will keep you informed about what is going on around campus.

If I had to choose one word to sum up my first year at Miami Dade College, it would be “opportunities.”

When you are given one, take it. You never know when one thing can lead you to the next and then bring you to the end of a wonderful journey.


Alexandra de Armas, 19, is a broadcast journalism and mass communications major at the North Campus. She will serve as the managing editor of The Falcon Times for the 2010-11 school year. De Armas has interned at NBC6 and Univision 23. She is a 2009 graduate of Our Lady of Lourdes Academy in Pinecrest, and is attending the North Campus Honors College.

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