Devisha Bryan will tell you, before deciding on a college it’s a good idea to hear directly from some of its students. So we decided to ask Devisha to share her own experience here at Westchester Community College—and she agreed. Devisha is currently enrolled in our Human Services Program. Here’s what she had to say.
Coming out of high school, what vision did you have for your future?
When I graduated high school I just knew that I wanted to have a career helping people, because I was always helping people growing up. I started with wanting to be a nurse and then I shifted to wanting to be a social worker. It’s still helping people, just…in a different way.
How do you find college life, in general? Was it what you expected? How is it different from high school?
College life IS different. In high school you are given homework that needs to be turned in just about every day. In college you’re given so much more time to do assignments. Sometimes that can be hard because… I know if I have an assignment due in three months I won’t start right away. I might wait until like three weeks before it’s due. You know? So it’s different from high school where everything feels more rushed. In college you’re given time to get everything together and make it perfect.
Was there anything that surprised you about Westchester Community College?
How helpful the teachers are! People say that when you leave high school you won’t be helped as much—because now you’re in the “real world.” But I find that, here, the teachers are still very helpful. They still give you the one-on-one time and if you don’t understand something they’ll go over it more than once. You know what I mean? So there’s just a lot of help.
How did you end up at Westchester Community College?
In high school I didn’t really know where I wanted to go—but I knew that finances were going to be an issue. I had this teacher who suggested that Westchester would be a great start. So I talked to other people who either took courses or got their associate degree here. I decided I would give it a shot. It’s local, so I could still work part-time to help my mom. Yeah, it was a perfect fit for me.
You mentioned that the college is “local.” Local to where?
I live in Mount Vernon.
Have you taken any classes at the Mount Vernon Extension Center?
Yes. I’ve taken classes at the Mount Vernon site, the Yonkers site, and the main campus.
You’ve taken a number of courses since you started here in 2011. What has been your favorite course so far?
Hmm… I would say Composition and Literature. I liked that class, and I really liked my professor, Velma Mitchell. I took her for Comp & Lit 1 and 2. I always liked other types of reading, but these classes introduced me to poetry and short stories. Now I like them, too.
Do you take multiple classes in one day?
I know that some people prefer taking 3 or 4 classes a day—to knock them all out and have the rest of the week to relax. I take one class a day. I’m used to going to school every day anyway, so this works out perfect for me. I have class in the morning and then work an evening shift.
What do you do for work?
Right now I’m at a retail store and at an amusement park. Both incomes amount like, one reasonable income. But it’s okay for now.
What had you heard about the college before you became a student here? What were you expecting?
I got a lot of great feedback from the students. Some of my [high school] classmates seemed a little hung up on wanting to “go away” to school. But you don’t have to go away and spend, you know, forty- or fifty-thousand dollars to get a great education. I’m getting a great education here. And it’s local and it’s affordable. So….
So your experience has been a good one, then?
I’ve had a great experience so far. I don’t really want to STOP going to WCC. I’ll keep going, and take as many courses as I can before I transfer to a four-year program.
Oh yeah? Any idea where you want to go?
Not yet. I have to start looking soon.
There are a lot of academic support services available to students—tutors, the Writing Center. Have you looked into any of those?
Oh my gosh! The Academic Support Center is the BEST. At the Yonkers location, in Mount Vernon, and here on the main campus—if you need help with your homework they always have a tutor ready and waiting for you. And the tutors—they’re there for you until late at night. Even if you have to go into work and then come back, they’re there. Sometimes they’re even there on weekends.
What would you say is the best thing about Westchester Community College?
The best thing about this school is how willing the staff is to help students. A lot of times you go places and, you know, the staff—they’re not so helpful or friendly. Here, they treat you how you should be treated— how you would want to be treated. And it’s been consistent. So I would say that’s the best thing.
Well thanks for your time today, Devisha. Is there any advice you’d like to give to high school students out there who are starting to apply to colleges?
Be sure to talk to the students before making a decision about whether or not to attend any particular college. You’ll be surprised by what you hear.
Yeah, they should come here. You won’t feel like you’re all on your own in a new experience. Everyone’s here to help and there’s going to be someone to help you every step of the way—like they helped me.