Day-to-day fray

Lauren Spencer

To work 20 hours a week, carry 12 units and be a single parent of a 4-year-old child is enough to keep anyone busy. This is how Melissa Alvarado lives on a day-to-day basis. Alvarado, 26, a possible business or accounting major, is an active mother whose days never seem to end. She works all day on campus every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the Financial Aid building from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and she takes classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. Her daily routine is completely planned out. She wakes up, gets dressed and wakes up her son Chaz at the last minute, to make sure he gets his full rest in. She drops him off at the Child Development Center at 8:30 a.m. where he gets to eat breakfast.Because Alvarado’s job is on campus, she is able to spend some time with him at the Center to see what he is doing and what activities he will be doing during the day. Depending on the day, she either goes straight to work or begins her non-stop grind of back-to-back classes. Once her day is done, she picks Chaz up at around 4 p.m. and heads home.By the time they arrive home, Chaz is knocked out asleep, which Alvarado says is beneficial for her because, “During his nap is when I get some study time in or do chores.”Quiet time doesn’t last too long because once her son is awake again, it is play time. She spends time with Chaz while he plays with his toys before eating dinner. After his bath, Chaz goes to sleep at around 10 p.m. This is just the beginning of her late-night study and homework sessions.Many students have just as hectic a schedule as Alvarado, but may not know exactly how to manage their busy lives.”Stick to your schedule,” Alvarado recommended. “Stay organized and write everything down in a planner and use it for anything.” Gizette Segura, an 18-year-old broadcast journalism major, struggles with time just like many other students.”It’s hard to find time to study,” Segura said. “There are many distractions and trying to find a sense of balance is hard.”Dr. Isidore Goodman, chair of the chemistry department and Joy McCaslin, vice president of student services, are part of the Student Success Committee with which they have designed a plan to help students achieve their desired academic success.The plan is to help students, as well as professors with their teaching skills. “The plan helps with anything from teaching in the classroom to financial aid to study skills,” said Goodman.There are specific aspects to college development that the committee has decided to focus on, utilizing initiative work groups to reach these goals. A couple examples include a group called Developmental Education, whose goal is to provide skills and background information needed for college, and Student Engagement, to get students to be more involved with school and activities.”My schedule lines up for me – it balances itself,” said Sean Kelso, 18, radiology major.It is not always as easy for other students, but the plan devised by the Student Success Committee may help students achieve a successful future.