1 year down, 3 to go

DOWNEY - Finding the perfect local college may be hard to come by for some students, but when a school is just 15 minutes from home, is bigger than Disneyland and close to the beach, it's hard to deny its appeal.Add a spectacular reputation and you begin to understand why students like Downey High School class of 2009 graduate Alex Dantic call Cal State Long Beach their school. "After not getting into the UCs that I wanted to, a state school like CSULB was my second choice. I chose to go to CSULB because overall, it's a really, really good school, local, and overall convenient for me," said Dantic. Convenience is key for students like Alex, who are not only juggling a minimum of 12 units per semester, but also have part-time jobs. While many students have to travel off campus to their jobs, Dantic doesn't have to travel very far at all. Working on your college campus comes with many major perks, in addition to receiving a regular paycheck. Working around your class schedule is not just important to the employees, but to the employers as well. "I obtained the job [at the school's bookstore] by just being bored on a Saturday night and randomly browsing the school's website. One link led to another and somehow I ended up on the Human Resources page & notice there was an opening and just applied. My work schedule is so flexible and works well with my class schedule," said Dantic. Now that Alex has his freshman year at CSULB completed, he is looking forward to the fall semester, where he plans to concentrate on classes towards his newly declared major. After being admitted into Long Beach undeclared, he spent his first year making the difficult decision on where he wanted to focus his studies on and now has some catching up to do. "[Being admitted undeclared] is not totally different than what other declared students have to experience because we all have to take GE courses sooner or later. I wouldn't say it was easier or harder, but being undeclared my first year prevented me from taking general classes required by my major that I now will have to take in my second year," said Dantic. "My advice for incoming freshman is not to take college for granted. School shouldn't be a thing to hate, even though it gets stressful, because there are many people in the world that would give anything to go to college and get a degree but can't."

********** Published: July 15, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 13