I came to Cal State University East Bay's (CSUEB) Hayward campus on a College Tour through the Asian and Pacific Student Success Program (APASS) from Laney College in Oakland. In this visit, I met a few nursing students who introduced me to the Student Service Operation for Success (SSOS), a sister program of APASS. Both programs aim to enhance student's learning experience through counseling and mentoring, among many other services. The students I met were approachable, and they willfully shared their experience to help prepare me for transfer. Seeing how passionate and eager they were to guide others, I wanted to become a part of this supportive community and was convinced that CSUEB was the right fit for me. A year later, I matriculated at CSUEB as a Health Sciences major. Transitioning into a new environment was no easy task. As a part of the matriculation experience, I received a welcome packet that included information about on-campus resources that were new to me. I felt overwhelmed and simply did not know where to begin.
First, the College of Science Student Service Center (CSCI SSC) approached me and appointed my advisor, Bethany. In the initial meeting, she showed me the Major Check Sheet and Education Plan. With her knowledge on the Annual Class Schedule, she also helped me developed an Education Plan. It shows that I could finish with my major requirements in 5 quarters. I was pleased by this possibility. Following her recommendation, I went on MyCSUEB to enroll in classes.I was eager to continue my academic endeavor in the new environment, but I felt intimidated by my classmates who seemed to have everything figured out. I struggled to keep up with the reading and writing assignments, which are critical in most of my major course. As a non-native English speaker, I also had to overcome the language barrier. In times like this, I knew that I needed additional help and devote more hours to studying. I reached out to my professors and the SSOS program.
In the majority of the Health Sciences classes, I learned to collaborate with my classmates and used my professors’ feedback as a tool for improvement. In addition to going to classes, I regularly attended office hours and worked with the writing tutors at SCAA. In the SSOS program, the appointed advisor and peer mentor treated me holistically. They worked with me to improve my study habits by implementing an effective time management strategy that incorporated school work and personal life. With the constructive support and my commitment to follow the plans set by the advisors, I saw my efforts became fruitful which I am on the Dean's List. I am also the student representative of the Health Sciences Department and attend faculty meetings once a month.
When I needed advice about graduate school and career planning, I turned to the Faculty Advisors from the Health Sciences Department. On Blackboard, I could find their contact information to schedule a 15-minute meeting. It sounds very brief, yet it tends to be the most productive meeting. From the Faculty Advisors, I learned about field specializations, internships and research opportunities, course substitutions, and class offerings. As I get close to graduating, I sought their advice to become a competitive candidate for graduate school. In my experience, Faculty Advisors are eager to learn about my career aspirations and willfully recommend the suitable major option that best prepared me for graduate school in Public Health.
Life can be overwhelming at times when we, as students, have to manage the class assignments, working in teams, and dealing with personal hurdles. When I felt like too much was on my plate, I found guidance from the Counselors at the Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) can be helpful. They are trained professionals who actively listened to the challenges that I was facing and offered helpful suggestions. If there is one thing that sums up my dynamic experience at CSUEB, I could not express it better than the human rights activist Yuri Kochiyama, “Life is the input of everyone who touched your life and every experience that entered it.”Special thanks to my mentor and confidant, Denise who is the coordinator for the CSCI SSC. Even in her busiest days, Denise takes the time to assist me with navigating the offices in the College of Science and the Department of Nursing and Health Sciences. She has been there for me nearly every step of the way since I began at CSUEB. She guided me through the Orientation and in the quarterly Academic Advising. Her relentless support has inspired me to be a student leader on campus.
I turned 17 years old the day that I started as a freshman at California State University, East Bay (CSUEB). For most students, the first day of college is filled with excitement and at the same time anxiety and stress. I was anxious and nervous as well, however, I was also confident. This confidence stems from my involvement with the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and Summer Bridge. While the summer before college usually means taking trips, vacations, and having celebrations, I was in the Summer Bridge Program, along with 49 other students. The Summer Bridge Program is for first-time freshmen who are the first generation college students of their families. We studied classes that were geared towards us achieving and placing in college level Math and English. There, we were assigned counselors whose roles were to help guide us not only in our first year but all throughout our college careers. My counselor, Denise Wong, was a great resource to me during my college career. She helped me so much whether it be about financial aid, signing up for classes, applying for jobs such as work study, how to get more involved on campus, and so much more. I am grateful that to this day, we still remain in touch and are very good friends.
The first year of college was a lot of fun, we were assigned to “Clusters” which are a group of classes that you take your first year and are designed to fulfill your General Education Requirements. I was lucky enough to take my cluster classes with a lot of my friends from Summer Bridge. Nursing was something that I knew I had a great interest in. However, it was not going to be easy getting into the nursing program. CSUEB Nursing receives at least 900 applications every year and of those applicants, only 120 are selected based on their grades. I knew I had to work hard to be able to call myself a CSUEB Nursing student. Denise helped me by telling exactly what I needed to do. She told me I had to aim for mostly A’s and B’s in the prerequisites for the Nursing Program. She helped me focus and simplify on how to get into the Nursing Program.
I applied to several nursing schools throughout the Bay Area. I was so happy to have gotten into CSUEB’s Nursing Program in 2008, it was my first choice. Nursing School was challenging because the exams are very detail-oriented. I realized that I study best with groups, I was able to learn from others and have others learn from me as well. The nursing program took 2.5 years and in March 2011, I graduated with my Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. In May 2011, I became a Registered Nurse when I took and passed my NCLEX-RN. During the time, there was an overproduction of New Graduate RNs and not enough RN jobs in California. After applying to jobs every day for 9 months straight and not receiving an actual job offer, I decided to move to Texas. There, I trained in a hospital that was both an academic facility and a trauma center. I worked in the Emergency Department as a New Graduate RN in their New Graduate RN Program. I learned so much during my first year as an RN in the Emergency Department. I became confident in taking care of patients with a wide variety of conditions such as traumas, cardiac issues, respiratory issues, and more. Although I enjoyed working in Texas very much and have made life-long friends there, I knew that I had to go home and be with my family in California which is why after 2 years, I came back home.
I accepted a position in a Sacramento hospital. I was so glad to be back in California and be working as an RN in one of the top hospitals in the entire state. I worked in a very busy hospital which was Level I Trauma Center for both adults and pediatrics. After working in this hospital for over a year, I decided to move closer to home in the Bay Area where my family is at. Now, I am currently working as an RN in the emergency department in a hospital in Fremont. At this point, I really enjoy working close to home and working in the Emergency Department. It is sometimes hard to believe that I have only been a nurse for five years. I sometimes work with nursing students and new graduate nurses in the Emergency Department. It is something I find enjoyable because I remember what it was like to be a student. In the future, I plan to go back to school and pursue my Master’s in Nursing in hopes of working with nursing students so that I can help make a difference and shape the future of nursing just like how my counselors, teachers, and professors have helped me.