Jasmine Ramirez | Special to Viewpoints
May 29, 2014
Come fall semester at RCC many students endure the process of applying to colleges that can be long and complicated.
Even after applications are completed, students still deal with the anxiety of waiting to hear about their acceptance from various colleges. But around the end of spring semester decisions have been made and letters have been opened.
“When I found out, I was at work,” Jesse Borja said. “It was a huge surprise to me and I wasn’t expecting it at all.”
Borja applied and was accepted to six colleges including: UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine, UCLA and UC Riverside. He applied to all as a psychology major with exception of UC Berkley, which he applied for with a sociology major.
As a student at Riverside City College, Borja was one of many who applied to the schools of his choice during the college search season. While he wasn’t the best student in high school, he found community college as a way to revive is education.
“Community college in general helps you out a lot,” Borja said. “Especially if you didn’t do great in high school.”
Although his first year he was undecided about his major, he had a plan from the beginning to put in effort.
“The first year… I knew I wanted to do well in my classes,” he said. “Every class I would take I would make sure to do all the assignments and manage my time as best as I could.”
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do so I was kind of taking random classes,” Borja said. “I think that’s what gets a lot of students at RCC in trouble, because they don’t really know what they’re going to major in.”
After his first year Borja decided on psychology as a major.
“I had an uncle who suffered a severe mental disorder,” Borja said. “It occurred out of nowhere. So that definitely drove my curiosity and pushed me toward psychology… (Also) I think people are interesting and in all honesty I just think the human mind is fascinating.”
Borja didn’t want to be a student who gets stuck at a community college.
“(Students) take all these classes, which is good and bad, because you get to figure out what you want to do, but then you end up getting stuck here longer,” he said.
Borja mentions that when students are planning to transfer they should check prerequisite for their major, which differentiate from universities. Also to begin the application as soon as possible.
“I started looking at the prerequisite for schools I wanted to go to, and two years later I started doing the transfer process,” he said.
He credits his parents as being his inspiration and influence, providing him with the love and support to get him through school. Working with his father fixing computers has helped him a great deal because of the flexible hours.
“If I ever had a big final coming up he would let me leave early,” he said.
A typical college student may juggle work, bills, coursework and occasionally children. The pressures of balancing these factors can be overwhelming. Borja said flexible work hours contributed to his achieving the grades he has.
“It’s hard juggling a job and school,” Borja said. “People who do that…I definitely give them props.”
Borja’s ultimate goal is to eventually attend law school.
“I see some similarities between psychology and law because in-law you’re dealing with people and their motives,” he said.
This is advice he gives for students beginning community college: “Study and have set goals… that’s a formula that’s worked for me.”