Being completely honest, school has not always been easy for me, but not in the typical way you would think. I remain very conscious of my grades; always have, always will. When I graduated from my county college, I earned my Associate’s degree with a 3.2 GPA. Since enrolling at Berkeley, I am proud to have made the President’s List twice.


Where I struggled the most with school was my interactions with my peers. Between county college and a couple of other universities which I attended, I never felt comfortable. I always felt like the small fish in a big pond. I walked around in a world of a great unknown, not really having any relationships with my peers, while trying to figure out what I was going to do for the rest of my life. College can be scary sometimes!

As many of you read this, I am sure a number of you can relate to what I am about to say. Whether it be with professors or advisors, do you ever feel like you been treated more like a number than a person? I know I have, and that gives me such a great sense of anxiety.

Those feelings disappeared the instant I walked into the lobby of our Berkeley Woodbridge campus last fall. Due to the feelings that I described and my employment situation at the time, I contemplated the idea of ever finishing my degree as I asked myself “Is college right for me?” I met with some of the campus advisors in October, and by January I was enrolled. Looking back, I feel it is pretty clear that I made the right choice to enroll and finish what I started in earning my Bachelor’s degree.

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Everyone at Berkeley treats you like a person. From advisors, to professors, to the COO, and everyone else between, I am privileged to have so built so many relationships on a first-name basis in such a short amount of time. Everyone is extremely supportive and the faculty make it well-known that they care about your success as a student. This also translates to other students and we all motivate each other like one big family. It is an incredible feeling.

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When I am not on campus learning and building relationships, Berkeley offers extreme flexibility with their online program. Balancing being a race car driver, a full-time employee, an (ok) boyfriend, and a student is a lot to handle! Enrolling into the online program for some classes really takes a burden off my shoulders, knowing I can learn on my own time, at my own pace. Although I feel nothing will ever compare to being in the classroom and learning in-person, the online program Berkeley offers is a phenomenal substitute for someone like me who is always “on-the-go.”

With the finish line in reach, I am greatly anticipating my tentative graduation date this summer. I am so excited to finally finish my education and start the next chapter in my life, whatever that may hold. In the meantime, I look forward to cherishing such a special time in my life and continuing to build memories with my Berkeley College family.

Read more about Kyle’s success on and off the track!


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About Berkeley College

Berkeley College, established in 1931, is a regionally accredited college providing excellence in teaching and learning through a student-focused approach to career education. Berkeley College offers Bachelor's and Associate's degrees, Certificate programs, and non-degree professional courses at campuses in New Jersey, New York, and through Berkeley College Online. A Master of Business Administration degree is offered in Woodland Park, NJ, and online. The college enrolls over 7,100 students (more than 440 international students, representing nearly 75 countries).


BerkeleyCollege, Kyle Taraska, Student Life


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