I have learned a lot of lessons since I began my studies at Berkeley College. I arrived here thanks to a scholarship I was awarded in my home country, Spain. I had wanted to study in New York since I was a child, but my family, who were always very supportive, could not afford it. When I won the scholarship, it was a dream come true and I have been thankful for every minute of this experience. The fact that I was able to move to New York and study at Berkeley College was already a notable life lesson learned. I had been working very hard since I was a teenager to get the grades I needed to win the scholarship, and sometimes I thought it would never happen. Then I understood that hard work and effort pays off, no matter what your background is.
Once I moved to New York, even if my tuition was covered by the scholarship, I needed to find a job in order to support myself. The only place I could get it was at school, since I was still under the student visa restrictions. I got an offer to work a few hours a week as a peer tutor at the Academic Support Center of the school, which I was very happy to accept. To be honest, I first accepted that job because I needed the money. Little did I know how much I would learn from it and how much this job would mean to me.
Tutoring has made me value education in a new way. I had students who were struggling with a lot life problems, like financial difficulties, taking care of a family as a single parent or even feeling too old to be at college. I learned how to help them while I also learned a lot from them. It was truly motivating to see how much they were sacrificing in order to be at school and do their best. I learned a lot from seeing how much effort they were making to chase their dreams.
One of the best memories I will keep from my experience at Berkeley College is the day that lady came back to the Academic Support Center to give me a slice of carrot cake and a thank you note for helping her pass her math class with an A. She was over sixty years old, and going back to school was something she had always wanted to do but never felt strong enough for it. I saw her working really hard, staying long hours at school to keep up with her classes. It was very inspiring. Dreams come true if you work hard enough to chase them, no matter what your background is, how old you are or how many people around you tell you that you won’t make it. That’s the most notable life lesson I’ve learned since I began my studies at Berkeley College.
About the Author: Jose Navarro
Campus: New York City, International Student
I grew up in Barcelona, Spain. I moved to New York City to get my BBA in International Business at Berkeley College after studying Advertising and Public Relations in my country and in Tallinn, Estonia. I love traveling; it’s my biggest passion. I like learning about new cultures and traditions. I consider myself to be a very positive and active person.
I am about to start my last quarter at Berkeley, and being close to graduation made me think of the impact that this experience has had in my life. I have learned a lot at Berkeley, and I felt like sharing those positive thoughts and experiences could encourage others to make the best out of Berkeley College and get through the challenging road to graduation.