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Sometimes it takes folks a long time before they develop a clear picture in their mind about how they’d like to see their educational career unfold. Gaining an understanding of how the components of education fit together for you as an individual takes time. What’s the right balance between education for personal growth and education as a tool to enter the workforce? Answering this question can be the most exciting and challenging times in college. This is a time to take classes that you might not normally take, to do things that you might not normally do and to meet people who can change your perspective. The decision to get involved rests with each of us as individuals. Reaching out in new directions and stretching ourselves to find our own limits is the opportunity that GRCC offers.

The list of classes that GRCC offers seems endless and the opportunities to get involved on campus through clubs and organizations, student employment, or even movie night on the commons are just as varied. Taking the time to explore these opportunities can dramatically change your direction. Samantha started at GRCC as a music student. She was, by all accounts, a talented musician and a hard worker. In her spare time, Samantha thought that she might take a math class. She had heard from her parents that it was probably a good idea to take some type of math class “just to be well rounded” and so she did. Her experience in algebra was very good. So good, in fact, that she became a math tutor. After tutoring for just one semester, Samantha decided that she wanted to teach math. What a shift from music! While Samantha didn’t give up on music and still plays in a band and takes the occasional music class, her focus changed because she took the time to explore.

Discovering the right path for you as an individual is at the very core of the educational experience. It can be challenging, exciting and even frightening. Changing from music to math was all of those things for Samantha but in the end, uncovering her hidden passion for teaching and for math will serve her well throughout her life. Asking professors, counselors, staff members and peers about their experiences about what they like to do and actively exploring things that you like to do through a club, a campus job, or taking electives that just sound interesting can help you find your hidden passion. The key to find the right path is simple. Reach out. Get involved. Ask questions. Explore the world around you.

Contributor: Raju Hegde, Former Associate Director – Academic Tutorial & Testing Services