Reshma’s Story: GCC to Queens College
Expectations vs. Experiences
At a glance, Guttman gave me the impression that I wasn’t going to have the most wonderful college experience. I thought that I would spend two miserable years and then move on to whatever the next chapter held – granted, this did not include a senior college or graduate school as I initially thought that college wasn’t for me. The idea of me going to college was laughable because I’m not educationally inclined.
However, it was the small worthwhile experiences that negated my perceptions. I came upon the realization that I was different and instead of being ashamed of my differences, I embraced them. And while I didn’t create lifelong friendships, I met people across different cultural backgrounds where we learned how to celebrate the differences that we all have instead if tearing each other down.
I walked into Guttman with such negativity, I didn’t know that I was choosing a path to
self-discovery. This is where I found my lifelong mentor and my passion for Higher Education.
I continue to return to Guttman because it’s not the place, it’s the people that make it what it is – a warm and encouraging environment that promote the development of every student.
After graduating from Guttman, I attended Queens College where I earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Sociology with a minor in Urban Studies. Throughout my time at Queens College, I was involved with numerous clubs such as the Guyanese Student Association – a social/cultural club, The Knight News – the student-run newspaper and Circle K International – a service club organization. In addition to going to school and being involved, I also worked at Queens Botanical Garden, Queens College and later at Guttman. Sleep came second to my classes and grades as I wanted to get the most of my college experience. I am most gracious that I didn’t develop a caffeine addiction, however I did become addicted tea which is a different type of addiction all on its own.
I had the opportunity to experience highlights of Queens College such as the quad, the 24-hour library where I slept in during finals week and the fall and spring fest that brought zip-line and ice-cream. I was fortunate to take classes that geared towards my interest and from professors that were experts in their field. However, I was even more exposed to students that were from drastically different backgrounds and where differences are seen as a threat.
I was exposed to many opportunities that offered a diversity of experiences, however none came close to my final spring fest. This is where I dislocated a bone in my right foot and was unable to walk for six weeks. During this time, I caught up on the sleepless nights that was missed which was well needed.
Queens College offers an array of majors, events, professors – from student life to academics, you can have it all, but my experience at Queens College is nothing compared to my college experience at Guttman. Because sometimes, in the grand scheme of things, less is more.
Reshma Jaigobin is a first-generation college student whose knowledge of higher education was minimal. She began her academic journey at Guttman Community College where she found her passion for student affairs through the Student Government Association. She transferred to Queens College where she majored in Sociology as the social structure of power and oppression intrigued her. She is now pursuing her master’s degree in Higher Education Administration at Baruch with the goal of one day working in a Liberal Arts college within the division of Student Affairs. She is a strong advocate of social justice is all realms – from gender identity to race relations to dreamers.
Reshma foodie hops in her free time and has an obsession for tea, particularly black tea.