Students Settle In

Linh Nguyen

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San Jose City College is six weeks into the first semester, and new students have already got a feel for their classes.

“I like all my classes. I like all my instructors,” said Ashley Ramirez, 26, nursing major. Ramirez said she enjoys challenging tasks from her classes. She said her teachers make her think more and do more outside of the box, which she finds important for her studies.

Sharing the same thoughts, Lali Miramon, 18, media arts major, said, “The laboratory part is the best.” Contrary to her expectation that classes would be a mundane and full of theories, she has discovered that there are lots of practices and technical things to do. She said students actually have the opportunity to apply and share what they learn.

Miramon finds the library to be a helpful resource that provides a large number of books and computers, which are almost always available for students.

After spending hours studying, students can enjoy a cup of cappuccino or a hot bowl of noodles at the cafeteria, which is just a short walk from the library. Many agree that the service and food are excellent but “a little bit small,” said Angela Enciso, 27, child development major. Ramirez said it gave her “a kind of home feeling,” though.

Security is another issue that many new students are concerned about. Many freshmen said they are satisfied with the security at SJCC. Miramon said she liked the way the SJCC Police Department texts students to warn of danger. Enciso agreed, saying she feels secure because most campus pathways are lighted.

Despite SJCC’s positive features, there are aspects new students said could be improved.

For instance, Ramirez finds the library intimidating, as there is not much instruction for new students to follow.

Finding a place to park is another challenge for some new students.

“It has been two or three times I couldn’t find a place to park at school,” said Miramon, who had to park her car off-campus several times.

Carol Vasquez, academic advising specialist, said the problem with technology is the most common one, as it is the first time for students to choose their classes, their instructors and their times on the Internet.

Vasquez said some students received help from counselors, while others tried to figure out the problems themselves. In the end, they all became familiar with the process, and they now know what to do for the next semester.

Ramirez said she likes everything about SJCC. She was so happy that she became the brunt of her friends’ joke.

“I was basically walking around with a big smile on my face like a little kid at school,” Ramirez said. “Actually, I’m happy here.”