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BRE AK AWAY ISSUE 2 | 10.17.13

ue 2 2013

Growing Pains

Midterms: Time to get real, get right


October 17, 2013

k U e F R Ao T

Identify stress agents then conquer them!

Matthew McCallister


ollege students stress about finances, time management, personal image, social status, and substance abuse. However, once they are able to identify what stresses them out, they can begin to eliminate these stressies. Manny Urrego, a 24-year-old sophomore from Canaan, Vt., said finances cause him stress. “For me, my biggest stress in college besides school and work is paying my bills and paying for school, and doing all that at one time,” Urrego said. Many GCCC students find themselves in similar situations having to pay for both college, housing, and other bills, which, in turn, teaches them responsibility. “I believe lot of kids go through bad money habits,” Urrego said. Urrego said he believes the problem is that the students form bad spending habits because they still have yet to grasp what it means to be a full-time student on top of maintaining a full-time job. “The thing that stresses me out the most about finances is the daunting fact that this is the cheapest my education is going to be,” Urrego said. Student debt is a crisis millions struggle with and should never be looked at lightly. Like many students across the nation are finding out, college isn’t cheap, and for students like Urrego, it will only get worse. In addition to balancing their checkbooks, students

also struggle to balance what they want to do with what they need to do. Brevan Woydziak, a 25-year-old Garden City sophomore and SGA president, said time management is what stresses him most. “What I have to be very careful with is this: I am a perfectionist so when I take on a task, I have to do it perfectly. I have to be careful with what I pick up when it comes to my schedule,” Woydziak said. The problem is that most students tend to take on more than they can handle out of unrealistic expectations for themselves. “If all you look at is the rewards and not the road to get to the rewards, then you’re in trouble,” Woydziak said. Finishing college requires a process. Schedules can get overloaded, requiring students to carefully examine the choices they make regarding time management. “These students who have no wisdom at all. They’re making all these mistakes, and they’re being hit constantly with these consequences of these mistakes which causes enormous amounts of stress,” Woydziak said. Most students are required to balance college, work, social lives, and a variety of activities students deem a necessity in their daily life. The problem many run into is that they can’t find time to do what they used to do to relax or have fun. This leaves many developing unhealthy self images. “For me, I have to dress a certain way or look professional and also get a good grades so that stresses me

out,” Yetzubelli Rangel, a Garden City freshman, said. For students like Rangel, it is hard to find time to take their image seriously causing even more stress. “If you don’t have time for yourself, then you are going to feel like you’re not good enough for everybody else,” Rangel said. Satisfying our desire to belong, as well as cultivating friendships and networks, involves joining organizations. “I feel like I have to join clubs to meet new people, but I don’t have time for that. It’s kind of hard to make friends. Not all my friends came to the same college,” said Rangel. With socializing comes the desire to be accepted, and sometimes that leads to experimenting. The “college life” stereotypically involves parties filled with alcohol and sometimes even drugs. So often, though it starts with the idea that “all the cool kids” are doing it, but since when do other’s decisions affect our own decisions so directly? “Some people, instead of dealing with their issues, they turn to drugs and alcohol,” said Rangle. Some college students new to this amount of stress tend to look for ways out, and following the crowd’s example, finding themselves doing things they normally wouldn’t. “I’m not too well versed in what goes on because I don’t party, but I hear people talk about it, and I do think there are specific crowds here that I wonder why they’re here. It’s all about getting wasted or getting high to them, but you’re here for a purpose and a lot of them have lost that,” Urrego said.

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lcohol or drugs may seem as though they are stress reducers for the people who start using them to deal with stressors such as an approaching midterm, and, according to Psychology Instructor Greg Thomas, Ph.D, they actually are. “Initially, it’s reducing your stress,” Thomas said. “That is why people develop addictions because for a little while it’s working. Unfortunately, it normally leads to a bunch of other problems.” Many people – students, teachers, and administrators alike – find themselves in this sort of predicament. Thomas sets up this situation: “Let’s say that you wanted to go to medical school. And you need a 4.0 but you’re not sure you’re going to make an A in Calculus or you’re not sure you’re going to make an A in one of your chemistry classes. So, you start drinking. Well, for the first week or so you’ll find yourself thinking ‘Wow, this is really working because now I’m not nervous anymore.’ But you find yourself falling farther and farther behind and it’s not just in studies but in work; and your relationships aren’t going as well. So, the stress is increased and you’ve actually reduced your chance of getting into medical school.” Unfortunately, this type of substance abuse can lead to an addiction. “Addiction is where you start to center your life around something,” Thomas said. “If you’re addicted to alcohol, or you’re addicted to some other drug, you wake up in the morning and, instead of thinking about your family or thinking about your job, you’re thinking about where can I get the next drink or where can I get the next line of cocaine or something of that nature. So, it becomes the focus of your life.” Thomas said once you are addicted, it takes something catastrophic to get you to stop. People feel the need to stop when they feel a loss of control in their life – things like the loss of a goal or standard of living. This is a problem that even “social” drinkers soon come to experience. “Generally you don’t have the motivation to stop before that happens – you hit some sort of rock bottom,” Thomas said. “Again, you can’t motivate someone to stop. It’s up to them. Often the sad part is that it’s irreparable. I mean you’ve actually seen an opportunity in your life go away.” Students at Garden City Community College can turn to counselors who work full time at the college and who are eager to help. “We can help you resolve some of those problems and start some positive changes in your life and emphasize wellness,” Counselor JoAnn Garrier said If students think they may have an issue, they can visit the GCCC website, select “Counseling and Advising” under the Students tab. On the Counseling and Advising page, the student can select a link to screening and then, using the keyword GCCCwellness, can assess their issue online. According to Counselor Brian Weber, students who visit him for substance abuse could get a referral to Area Mental Health Center, an Alcoholics Anonymous group, Celebrate Recovery in Ulysses, Kan., Catholic Social Services, or St. Catherine’s Hospital depending on their condition’s severity. Both Weber and Garrier urge students having troubles to seek help. “We can help you resolve some of those problems and start some positive changes in your life and emphasize wellness,” Garrier said.


Might be fun now, but it’ll cost you

Brett Cady


October 17, 2013

Manage your time before it manipulates you Andres Rivas

Whether students attend a four-year institution, two-year, or a technical school, one of the biggest challenges they face is time management. It is a challenge that will continue to plague them throughout life. However, by adopting a few helpful management techniques, students can learn to manage their time rather than allowing it to manipulate them. College can be, and in most cases is, a stressful environment. With some good tips, and some careful planning you can make your experience a lot easier, and in the process have a lot of fun. Time management is important and once you get the hang of it, it’ll be very beneficial to your experience at college.

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Calendars allow students to plan and to know when assignments or obligations are due. Whether it’s on your phone or a spiral-bound agenda, a calendar allows you to view what you need to get done instead of running the risk of forgetting due dates stored in your head. Having important dates planned out makes seeing daily, weekly and monthly progress possible, which in turn provides a sense of accomplishment. GCCC alumni and now Math Instructor Christopher Juarez says that staying organized was key to his success as a student. “I had to keep a very detailed schedule,” Juarez said. “I had everything I could think of on it--classes, work, homework, meals. I even had to schedule Super Circuit, otherwise I wouldn’t go.”


Having flexibility in your schedule will allow for you to not be overwhelmed when things suddenly come up, as they undoubtedly will. Being flexible allows you to have room for the unexpected, and to handle it appropriately. Most colleges will work with you on this and provide services to help you out. “We now offer out-of-class testing and have no classes on Fridays. This is a great benefit to students who can make Fridays available for these,” Juarez said.


It may be Aug. 1, and you find out you have a huge research project due Oct. 3, however, you don’t want to overlook the math homework due Aug. 4. Knowing which assignments make-up the largest percentage of your grade is important. “Be aware of the workload that you sign up for,” Juarez cautioned. “Make those all-nighters as rare as possible. You should always get a good night’s rest. Be able to say ‘no’ and make your education a priority. You will get so much more done if you put your cell phone away, close Facebook and just work.”


You’re a human being, not a machine. Do the work you need to get done when it’s due, but schedule some downtime. Take a 20 minute nap, or go grab a bite to eat with friends. Make time to relax, even if it’s only small bites throughout the day. Freshman Brian Inglis, Garden City, said he believes that rest and relaxation is a benefit to students. “I believe students should make time out of their schedules to get the rest they need. Students will benefit by setting a specific times that work for them to rest up and recover from a long day of studying,” Inglis said.


You’ve (rarely) pulled all-nighters, you’ve taken days off, but the most important part is no matter how you accomplished it, you got your work done. Now is the time to treat yourself to a night out. Celebrate to show yourself that all these steps you’ve used have helped you accomplish your task. “Students should take time to celebrate after finishing a tough week or exam,” said Inglis, although he cautioned, “as long as the time the student takes off will not hinder their studies”.




s college brings new experiences, classes, and environments, it also brings a new social standard to meet. Many students who used to worry about being accepted during high school, no longer worry about what others have to think about them. “Honestly, for me, I really don’t care if people accept me, ”Moses Rodriguez, Garden City said. “I do think some other students care about being accepted,” Rodriguez said. “A lot of other students do care, they try to fit in too much,” Another part of social life students have to readjust to would be social media. With campus clubs trying to increase their publicity, they are constantly asking students to like their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter. Some students can find this pressure from clubs asking them to join them on social media sites to be something that would define them on campus, and this might stress them out. Instructors at GCCC have also utilized the power of social media by having their students add them on Facebook or having them follow their Twitter account. Instructors are able to post a Facebook status or send out a tweet to inform students about classes being cancelled, or reminding them about an assignment that is due. Students will be more likely to receive this message by it showing up on their social media website, which they are on constantly, rather than being reminded day-by-day to check their student email. Some students agree it’s helpful for many, but not helpful for those who don’t use social media sites. “I don’t have either a Facebook or a Twitter,” Jake Walter, Garden City, said. “I guess it’d be helpful for those who have it because they’d always be on that stuff and checking it, but it’s not very helpful to reach only a certain amount of students.” Another problem that arises with instructors using social media to get class information to students would be those who don’t have access to social media away from campus. “I hate that, I hate it.” Rodriguez said about not having access away from campus. “I don’t have internet at my house, I don’t have a computer, so it’s pretty hard to get things like my assignments done away from campus, or to get online and see if I have an email or things like that which makes its harder” For some students, they don’t have time to for social media “The students don’t have enough time to use on Facebook or Twitter,” Farhan Abdi, Nyamitica, Uganda, said about the social media use. “If I could give the students some advice on using Facebook or Twitter, I’d say to use it on the weekend, but I believe it’s a waste of time.”

virtual socializing

Internet expands college’s reach

Jose Garcia


October 17, 2013

$$ T TT U U Starving college student D D not far-fetched concept EE N N TT D D EE BB TT

here is no excuse for GCCC students to graduate with student debt. There is currently about $3 trillion in student loans in the United States. Stress for students is on the rise as midterm approaches, and student debt is the last thing anyone wants to think about. Finances are a great cause of stress, and the phrase “starving college student” isn’t too far from the truth. Paying for school, attending classes full time, and providing for oneself and for family all at the same time is very difficult, which is why students often take out loans to ease the financial stress while taking classes. Typical college student do not know what they’re getting into when they sign up for student loans. More than half of students still have debt to pay off when they graduate

Anderson Lindblom |

college. Fortunately this does not have to be the case for students at GCCC. Melinda Harrington, assistant director of student financial aid, said, “Our cost of attendance is fairly low here at GCCC, or really any community college. If they’re able to come to a 2 year, they will definitely save money just because of the cost.” She also said, “If students are unsure of where they want to go, or if it’s a pretty general degree, then definitely a community college can help them with avoiding that student loan debt.” Some students will inevitably opt for a student loan because of how easy and immediate the funds become. There is over 85 billion dollars of loans that are overdue in the U.S. This statistic reveals just how dangerous student loans can be. When talking about the dangers of late payments on student loans, Harrington said, “Not only could it hurt their credit, they could maybe not get a license or a certificate, they could get garnished, the government could take any kind of tax refund they have. So even though it’s so easy to get the student loan, paying it back is very important.” GCCC also provides information and guidance to ensure that if students choose to take out a loan, they will have the best chance of successfully paying it off. Harrington said, “They also have to go through some government required counseling before they can borrow a loan. They have to do what’s called an entrance counseling, and that’s online at It’s really a good program, or application, where students have to take a little quiz before they can borrow a loan. It’s good information for them.” The financial aid staff also provides charts that will show the monthly rate for any given loan amount and provides a good payment plan. “We always try to tell them to always go for the free money; the grants, the scholarships. If you need a loan, it’s there, but we do some pretty heavy counseling with student loan,” Harrington said. “We don’t limit borrowing by any means, we just heavily council on what you should borrow. Only borrow what you absolutely need. That’s a

big thing. Eventually we always tell the students you have to pay it back.” The best way to avoid problems with student debt is mathematically proven to work 100 percent of the time. When this method is used, students graduate college free of any student loan debt. The method is simple; don’t take out a student loan. This method may sound infantile or over-simplified to the point of being inane, but it does work every time. This might mean attending a cheaper college than initially desired. That is why many people attend GCCC, which is a great place to avoid student debt. If even a cheap college is too expensive, then instead of borrowing money and hoping to pay it off later, take a semester off and work to build up income. The amount of grief that will be saved in the future is well worth the extra semester it will take to complete college. “Some students take a year off to work and save money to pay for their tuition; that’s wonderful and a great concept. Some students like to go to college and not sit out because they’re afraid they may never come back. They might like the working money and never come back, so it’s kind of a personal thing. But yeah, anytime you can work and pay for college, you’re going to be so much better off than borrowing student loans; definitely.” For low-income families and individuals, there are great opportunities for government financial aid in the form of grants. There are also many scholarships out there that can be found to help pay for college tuition and fees. There seems to be a scholarship for just about everything these days, so being diligent to find these scholarships will be very beneficial. “Scholarships is always one thing we really work with our students to encourage them to apply… we just had a large amount of students receive a 1000 dollars each and it’s a very simple application process.” The work-study program is also a good option for many students. “We have a federal work study program and an institutional work study program and it’s very nice. Our funds, our allotments, are very high for a community college,” Harrington said. GCCC does a great job at handing out scholarships on top of an already fairly low tuition compared to other colleges; there really is no excuse for graduating with student debt.

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Kick the

‘Freshman 15’

Valerie Lindskog


ou don’t have to go on a crash diet or run with the cross country team every day to avoid the “freshmen 15”. “Just get out and walk,” Janice Nunn, R.N. and college health nurse said. “Exercise will make you feel better. Exercise is just a natural endorphin.” GCCC students have the opportunity to exercise at Super Circuit, located in the DPAC. Students enrolled in this one credit hour class have access to an array of cardio machines and weight stations. Greg Greathouse, director of Super Circuit, also allows athletes and students involved in campus organizations to utilize the facility under the instruction of an advisor, instructor or coach. “We are looking into making Super Circuit available to all students even if they aren’t enrolled in the classes,” Greathouse said. If students would rather have gym membership off campus, places such as the YMCA and Garden City Recreation Center offer memberships for a monthly fee. Workout programs and classes are commonly offered at these facilities.

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