Jackie’s Blog: Allow Me to Introduce Myself

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My name is Jaquelin Estrada.  Currently, I am a second year student at Bakersfield College.  I’m a student who attends college not because I want to be safe financially in the future, although that is something I wish for, but because I love to learn.  I love to be educated and I enjoy educating others along the way through what I have learned. To me, education is not a necessity– it is mandatory. Every single subject that we learn in school continues to evolve day after day, and I truly believe that it is my duty to be informed of everything that happens around me not just for my sake, but for others.  If I want to make a difference, I have to do everything I can in order to accomplish it.  To me, learning is the key that opens the door for you to reach those opportunities and goals.

My pleasure for learning ties in with other things I love to do.  For example, I love music.  I love Classical and Rock music more than any other genres.  However, I don’t only love listening to music, but I enjoy composing and playing music as well.  I am a songwriter, violinist, vocalist, and a choir director for children.  Music is a subject that I love to learn, compose, and to teach to inspiring musicians, as well as learning its impacting history.  It is a big part of my everyday life and is something that connects me to others everywhere I go.

Another subject that I can connect with my passion for learning is politics.  I enjoy learning about the functions of U.S. politics, but what really catches my attention in politics is international relations, mostly regarding to foreign policy and diplomacy.  Every day, I encounter people who don’t understand the situations that are happening worldwide and are also confused if our nation is doing a good or bad job to help solve it.  When I meet someone like this, I always take the time to explain the situation to them and help them understand what they really need to know.  The majority of them ask me, “How can I learn to understand this as much as you have being this young?”  My answer to them always is, “How about you take a political science class at Bakersfield College?  It’s never to late to learn.”

So, as you can see, I really love to learn more than anything else.  Everything I do in everyday life involves learning.  When I think about my decision in late 2012 of where I chose to be my home of learning, I have to say that I couldn’t have chosen a better place to finish my general education and associate’s degrees than Bakersfield College.  My story of choosing Bakersfield College wasn’t a very common one during my graduating class year, but I see it becoming more and more common every semester that passes by.

I began college at a CSU in Northern Cali.  I was quite comfortable with my decision of attending college there, but when I checked my loan statements for financial aid I had seen that for my first semester, a $6,750 unsubsidized loan had been given to me, with a 6.8% rate of interest.  I was shocked when I learned about this!  After going to the financial aid office at the university to verify with them if my statement was correct, they said it was, and that the same amount would be paid by loan each semester since the cost of tuition and rooms was very high and was to increase the next year.  After that, I was very dissatisfied with the financial situation.  If I would spend 4 or more years studying there, there was no way that I was going to be able to pay my debt and not to mention, all that interest! I asked for advice from the financial aid office, my professors, and senior students, and I actually almost got a unanimous answer from all of them.  They advised me to leave the university finishing my first semester if I wasn’t willing to take the risk of debt as a freshman, especially if getting in debt bothered me more than studying there.  In reality, getting in debt bothered me more and wasn’t allowing me to enjoy all the expenses, therefore I decided to transfer to a less expensive college after my first semester.

After making that decision, I had no idea where to go.  At that period of time, I still had the chance to transfer to CSUB for the spring trimester.  However, there in the middle of it all, laid the chance of attending a community college instead and paying even less for my general education.  Right there, BC came to mind.

During high school, I had never thought even once of attending Bakersfield College.  My goal was always to attend a university right from the start.  Not to mention, all my life I had heard negative comments about BC that quickly made me turn my back to any idea that I could ever attend there.  In that critical life decision making moment however, I had to lay down all my options on the table and figure out which was the best of them all.  That same afternoon, I decided to call the counseling office at BC and ask them to give me all information possible about the college and if it was a good choice for me.  After speaking to a counselor there, I got such unexpected good information that made me that same day to take a leap of faith and attend Bakersfield College instead.

I’ve attended Bakersfield College for a year and a half now.  Without a doubt I can honestly say that when I chose to attend this college, I had no idea that I had made the best choice for my education and love for learning.  Here at Bakersfield College I have discovered my favorite subjects, my major, my academic strengths and weaknesses, and what career I want for my future.

As a student who is studying Communication Studies and Journalism, who also has a passion for learning and spreading knowledge to others, I want to blog for the college in order to be that student that can represent those hundreds of BC Renegades who have a similar story to mine or a unique story of their own to share to incoming and current students at Bakersfield College.  I also want everyone to know that discovering our goals and our future is possible here at Bakersfield College.  I want all our students to believe that they are in the right place and will achieve their goals with hard work and everything this amazing college has to offer.  All we need to do is to get to know the college better.  That’s what I have done and I have come a long way.  I truly believe all students can do the same.