Monthly Archives: November 2014

3 Tips to Balance College & Work Life


As a returning college student, I have been struggling with figuring out how exactly to get through the semester with a 4.0 while still maintaining my home and work life.

The hardest part of this balancing act is keeping from drowning and giving up completely. I had a bit of a meltdown recently and that is when I decided to figure something out. The following tips are what I feel are the most helpful tips I have received from family, friends, and my experiences:

  • Organize, organize, organize – In order to keep your life together, it is imperative that you are organized. You should have a planner. Every week, write down all of the assignments, exams, quizzes, projects, etc. that are due that week and look at that planner EVERY day, twice a day. When you are organized with your school work, it is less likely that you will forget to complete something.
  • Make sure you give yourself at least one ENTIRE day off from everything – For me, this day is Saturday. Saturdays are my no-work, no-school, ALL PLAY days! I make sure that anything I have due on Saturday is completed a day in advance so I don’t have to log on, go in, or do anything for school or work. I use my Saturdays for relaxation and family.
  • Remind yourself every day that this is only temporary and it will all be worth it in the end. On the days when I feel like giving up or I am feeling guilty for not giving my daughter the attention she needs, I remind myself that this is only a temporary struggle. I think about the end of the road, when I am walking across the stage at graduation and seeing my daughter’s face smiling at me. I remind myself that I am doing this so she will be proud of me and so she can have everything she deserves in life.

We are all going to experience some sort of struggle in our college careers, but just remember – in order to get to the goal, you have to get through some struggles. That is what life is all about and that is how we become stronger in the end.

By NVC Student Christina Garcia


College Takes Discipline

I am an older student, a student who recently turned 30. Going to college is hard. Going to college and trying to study online is infinitely more difficult than sitting in a classroom. Going to college after having been out of high school for 12 years and working a full-time demanding job seems close to impossible.

What is work-life balance? I wake up every day wondering how I can do it all and still have time to breath, let alone enjoy my life. Friends are nearly non-existent. Free time is something I do when I sleep. I wake up early each morning and put in a full day of work. I come home too tired to think any longer but I have to do my school work. But wait, there’s my girlfriend too. How do I manage to make this all work? Discipline. It take dedication and discipline to succeed.

I would rather be out playing my bass and enjoying my friends, but I know I need to be organized and disciplined. School is only temporary. Some day I will graduate and the pressures of class will fade away but today I need to keep focused on following a schedule and being disciplined in my studies. I need to take time for my girlfriend and time for me, but I must fit school into my daily schedule knowing it will be worth it all in the end.

By NVC Student Chris Horn

Online vs. Traditional Classes

I have enjoyed most of my time at Northwest Vista College, but online classes are not for me.

I understand the need for distance learning for those with a crazy schedule needing to fit classes into their semester. It allows them flexibility in their schedule and maybe more options for their education.

I prefer interaction and feedback. I enjoy being in the class and getting to know the teacher and how the class works. I want to be able to communicate with my professor and get support from my peers.

Today’s technology allows us to stare at a screen for hours for interactions with others, but you still feel isolated.  I know for myself, I do better in a traditional education setting. It might be helpful to have “face to face” webcam sessions and remote desktop control in online classes.

Personally, I seem to get cognitive overload every time I see the list of required readings for the week. I would prefer to hear it from the professor with a class discussion.

I wish NVC could offer more variety in online learning and provide
 more face-to-face classes.

By NVC Student Shawn Borsheim

Record Numbers of NVC Students Volunteer in Community


Listen to NVC President Dr. Ric Baser’s Message:

NVC recently set a single day record for the number of students volunteering to help at three houses for Habitat for Humanity projects. So many students wanted to attend that NVC (and Habitat) had to close registration.

With 59 students participating, 472 hours volunteer service hours were provided in a single day. The NVC community service effort continued with the Helping Others Today or “HOT” week from Oct. 31 through Nov. 6, which encouraged students and employees to log 200 volunteer hours in that time.

“This week, our NVC community logged 291.5 hours of service. We had four events canceled due to the weather,” said Kelly Blanco, a coordinator of NVC Student Leadership & Activities. “If they had gone on as scheduled, we would have had 138 more hours.”

She added that 152 students, staff and faculty signed up to volunteer at organizations such as: Habitat for Humanity, Haven for Hope, San Antonio River Foundation, SA Parks and Recreation, Morgan’s Wonderland, and HRMAC-Veteran & Family Assistance.

To Listen to NVC President Dr. Rick Baser’s message on volunteering, click here.

Almost There – An Associate Degree in Sight!

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4th post in a series of articles. To see previous post, click here

Wow… we are already midway through the Fall 2014 semester! Time flies when you really don’t expect it to. At the end of this semester, I’ll be graduating with an Associate of Arts Degree and moving on to a university.

During the summer, the NVC website posted information about Fall 2014 graduation. The first day to apply for graduation was July 1st. Guess where I was at 8 am? That’s right—I was on my computer using the Get in Line Now link posted on the website. I am so thankful that the school decided to use a virtual queue system. It’s extremely convenient, and it allows me to do other things instead of waiting in Cypress until they call my name.

Meeting an advisor to apply for graduation was short and simple. My advisor made sure all my classes aligned with the degree plan. I was confident that I followed my degree plan thanks to Alamo GPS in ACES which allowed me to keep tabs on my progress. There was one small discrepancy, but the advisor corrected it. Once he did the degree audit, we verified personal information (updated address, phone number, etc.). That’s it! It’s that simple!

If you have 45+ hours, I recommend you meet with an advisor. They will be able to tell you if you are on the right path to completion or if you are eligible to apply for graduation. The advising and application for Spring graduation begins November 15th and ends March 20, 2015. Go ahead… meet with an advisor… get your degree… and I’ll see you at graduation!

By Gerona Nylander
NVC Student and Public Relations Administrative Assistant