Home Features If I could turn back time… at Grand Rapids Community College

If I could turn back time… at Grand Rapids Community College


ClaytonCumminsBy Clayton Cummins – Multimedia Editor

“If I could turn back time, If I could find a way”. Those words made famous back in 1989 as “If I Could Turn Back Time” Cher raced to the top of the charts. Although that was just 25 years ago, I still ask myself, What if “I could turn back time?”

As we head back to school this fall, I’ve created a list of things I would change if I could turn back time at GRCC.

1. Make an advising appointment. 

I cannot stress enough how much I wish I would have made an advising appointment sooner than I did. The counselors in the Advising Office know what they’re doing, and are more than willing to help you create a schedule of classes you need to take and will get you through GRCC as efficiently as possible.

Whether you’re a freshman on campus or a returning student, it’s never too late to make an advising appointment.

2. Take summer classes. 

I know exactly what you’re thinking, who wants to go to school in the summer!? I get it. I felt that same exact way! But once I took a summer class, I wished I would have taken more.

Classes in the summer are accelerated. Meaning instead of sitting through 18 weeks of classes, you can complete the same course in nine weeks. I won’t lie, you’re expected to do more work faster, however, the class moved so fast that it kept my attention, especially with classes like biology and history which I struggled with more than other classes.

3. Don’t declare a major right away!

But don’t wait too long either! GRCC is a great place to ‘put your feet in the water’ and figure out what interests you. Starting classes at GRCC without a major is fine, but just don’t wait too long!

The longer you wait, the further in limbo you’ll begin to feel.

4. Get more involved in campus events. 

Contrary to popular belief, there are a lot of cool things that happen on campus!

There are many campus clubs and activities to get involved in. They range from the swing dancing club to mechanical bull riding during welcome week events.

Cummins went undercover as Claytina Collegiate for a campus drag show last fall.  Photo by Jason Babcock.
Cummins went undercover as Claytina Collegiate for a campus drag show last fall. Photo by Jason Babcock.

For a magazine article I wrote about how I transformed myself into a drag queen for a night at StandOut’s Drag show held each year. StandOut is GRCC’s LGBT club on campus. I had the opportunity to meet some amazing people that went to GRCC through getting involved with StandOut and I wish I’d gotten involved sooner!

5. Don’t fall for the GRCC stigma. 

I hear all the time, “It’s just Grand Rapids Community College…It’s not a real school”.

The fact is this is a real school! You’re in the real world and going to college for real. Don’t let the fact you’re at a community college change your attitude or let it alter your experience.

6. Save Your Receipts! 

Be sure to save your receipts for school related purchases, you may be able to claim them on your taxes.

7. You Are Not Alone!

Struggling in a class is not something you should be ashamed of and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions.

Tutors are always available on campus to help you with that math class or read over a paper and offer feedback. For more information on tutors, visit the Academic Learning Center, room 232, in the Student Community Center.

8. Leave Campus!

There is so much more to GRCC than just the campus.

It’s close enough to for you to be able to explore our beautiful downtown while on a break to get something to eat or just relax. There’s plenty to see, especially during ArtPrize.

9. Discounts, Discounts, Discounts!

Your RaiderCard is more powerful than you think, and while you’re exploring Downtown Grand Rapids, you can put it to work.

Dozens of businesses, restaurants, and organizations such as the Grand Rapids Art Museum and the Whitecaps offer discounts for GRCC students. The list is so long, we don’t have space to list them all. For a complete list, head to Student Life’s website at www.grcc.edu/studentlife or visit the Student Life office inside of the Student Center.

I had a great experience while at GRCC, I hope these tips give you a chance to enjoy your time as much as I did. Good luck this semester.