Reflective Essay

My Way From and To Southern Maine Community College


          How did I start? As a Maine resident, I had two options to finish my education in Maine, especially in the city of Portland. My first option was to go directly to a university, and study for four years as a full time student or longer if I wanted to be a part-time student. The second option was to go to a community college for two years and another two years in a university to in order to receive a bachelor degree. I chose to go to a university as a part-time student and take some classes in the summer too, so I can get my degree in four years. Unfortunately, the reality was not easy as I planned to. I was not happy at the university for many reasons, so I decided to change the plan and go to plan B, which was to take some classes at a community college. I did that to see whether the problem was with me or with the university system. Luckily, I really enjoyed the fact of being a student at Southern Maine Community College due to the great faculty, the affordable cost and the amazing location.

          Before I even started at SMCC, I had to meet with one of the advisors to decide what I wanted to do and how I had to it. After the meeting, I decided to do computer science and I registered for some classes. My first semester at SMCC was a nightmare because I could not feel that was what I wanted to do. I was thinking whether I had to continue at SMCC with a computer science major or I should transfer to a new college again. Therefore, I decided to finish the semester with as less damage as I could before I take my final decision. During the summer, I decided to take two classes since I was a part time student on the previous semester. I went to talk with my advisor, but she was not there so they transferred me to another lady. I talked with her about my problem and she advised me on what I should do. Since that meeting, my live changed a lot. I still remember when she told me “Do you want to stay in the room with the elephant or leave the room?” in this sentence, I cannot explain how I changed since then. My classes were with two different instructors who have became my superheroes because they created the strong foundation to be the person I am right now. I could not imagine the big different between the university faculty and the college faculty, which has made from a student with no hope to a super student as I feel right now. 

          My second reason to choose to attend SMCC was the reasonable cost of the tuition. As many of us know, the university costs more than the community college and sometimes twice the cost. This was my one problem form many with the university system because I had to work more so I can cover the university expenses. Whereas at SMCC, I did not have to do that because my tuition was covered mostly by scholarships and grants.

          The third reason why I liked SMCC was the great location. SMCC location counts as one of the best college locations in the state. The location itself on the ocean makes you smile without even thinking and helps your mind to be more productive and concentrated.

          Sadly, nothing in this life is perfect. As a student at Southern Maine Community College, I went through a few problems and I wish that these problems get noticed in this reflective essay. The first problem, which I believe about 99.99% of SMCC students face, is the parking. The parking is a huge problem in the college especially at the beginning of the semester; it is a nightmare. You have to come before the class starts one-hour earlier. Otherwise, good luck. My suggestion is that SMCC should have a parking garage since there are not enough parking lots. Problem number two, since the first semester I got work-study aid and I wanted to work as an IT in the campus IT department, so I can study and get experience in the same field. I decided to work at the IT department in the campus so I can hit two birds in one stone, but I had very rough time with the person who’s responsible about the hiring process. He was not helpful at all and after sending him too many emails with no reply, I went to the department and I talked with the person and this is what he said “You are overqualified for the position.” I would like to leave it at that. Thank you IT department for the loyalty communication.

          The third problem and the most important one, when a student go to the higher level faculty member, means there is no longer communication between the teacher and the student. A higher faculty member should not think that the teacher is always on the right side because it does not always go that way. In my case, I was in the right side with all the paper proof, but the higher faculty member supported the teacher even when he knew that the teacher was not right. I would like to leave it at that too.

          Finally, I am grateful to this college for everything it gave me from parking skills to advising staff. Honestly, I did not want to write this reflective essay when Mr. Burpee told us in the Capstone class, but then I was thinking why not? I should write everything from experiences and what I like and dislike about the Southern Maine Community College and here we go, I did it and I finished the essay with everything I wanted to say. Here is the three reasons why I like Southern Maine Community College, faculty, cost and location and here is the three reasons why I dislike Southern Maine Community College, parking, work-study (especially IT department) and higher-level faculty member.


          RaZzaQ Alansari a member of the Information Technology Senior Seminar course and is planning on a career in IT Field to help people understanding the technology and make it useful to them.