Shirley’s First Quarter at South Seattle College

By Shirley, Treehouse Graduate, Class of 2016

Hi, my name is Shirley and I am currently attending South Seattle College. College has always been extremely important to me. It was my purpose for moving to this country a few years ago.

Treehouse student Shirley has big plans for the future    south-seattle

When I graduated from high school in 2016, my goal was to get as much information related to college as possible. I accomplished this goal and am now pursuing a degree with the hopes of helping others and pursuing my passion for design. I am currently exploring my options to study either social justice or interior design.

So far this year, I have been experiencing what a college lifestyle looks and feels like as a freshman. For me, personally, I like that my classes are interactive. I have met new people, worked in a different environment, used different equipment, and have even started to develop new skills. For example, I have been realizing the importance of organization. Having all my assignments and homework all organized in separate binders helps me to follow due dates.

One of the obstacles I faced this year was related to financial aid.  For some reason my funding did not cover books for this semester so I had to buy the books with my own money which I hadn’t expected or planned for. It was a struggle! Some examples of my personal obstacles have been: poor planning, listening to the doubters and naysayers, lack of discipline, and self- control. My solutions to these barriers are optimism, believing in myself, and keeping track of my own work. I am also glad that I have had Lia, my Treehouse Education Specialist, as part of my journey to overcome these types of obstacles. Lia was there to support me, answer my questions, and help me with scholarships applications.

I believe that success is defined by our own personal goals. In order to accomplish a goal, I will constantly face many barriers to make success happen. My goal for this quarter is to attend classes every single day. I have always been one of those students that have perfect attendance. During high school, I attended because I was required to be there every day. In college I just need to have the desire to be there. I have a part time job, which makes balancing my school work a little difficult since my work schedule changes often. Time management is one of the major differences between high school and college. In high school I constantly had schedules, with very few breaks. Now, in college my classes are fewer, they start later in the day, with free time between each class. I recognize the importance of optimizing the use of my unstructured time.

College so far, has made a big impact in my life. I like being in small classes, surrounded by diverse people in my age group who are all working toward their goals for the future.

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About the Author

Shirley is one of the 600+ youth in the Treehouse Graduation Success program. She successfully graduated on time with the Class of 2016 and is currently attending South Seattle College to pursue a career in social justice or interior design.

Comment (1)


November 11, 2016

Shirley, you sound like you have many qualities needed to succeed in college–discipline, intelligence, and persistence. I’m rooting for you!


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