Author Archives: Joanna

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A Day in the Life of an Online College Student: Elissa

ElissaColich2written by Elissa Colich, a fall student blogger

You can wind your clock to my daily routine. You can likely know where I will be on any given day (Monday through Friday) after following me for 24 hours. Sounds boring, I know. Trust me, not a day goes by that I don’t sit and daydream about my days of hanging in a comfy coffee house chair and getting lost in a good book, or even literally getting lost in the woods.

Life moves quickly, just as every student knows well. Before you know it, you are already having to sign up for next semester’s classes and you feel like you just got the hang of the ones you are in.

During those 24 hours, you can find me at my job (Starbucks), both working and studying. I have worked for the same company for 13 years, and it has taught me many things about being successful in school that school never could.

1. Know your stuff

Customers don’t care whether you are new, having a bad day or were trained the wrong way. They want their drinks or food quickly, with a smile and perfect…every single time. You have to be prepared at all times, armed with knowledge and a positive attitude. And when those fail, we fake it until we make it!

Every night before I relax for a little pre-bed TV time, I gather all of the school stuff I will need for the next day as well as make a list of the order I want to (attempt) to accomplish it in. I will also flip through my most pressing assignment before bed because they say that if you sleep after studying, you retain the information better.

2. Have a routine

I wake up every morning at 4 a.m. No dilly-dallying or snooze buttons. I may walk a little slower out of the bedroom on certain days, but time waits for no barista.

Once I get to work around 5 a.m., I get started on my opening routine. If there are any former or current baristas out there, you will know what I mean. We have the exact same routine every day, whether it is opening or closing the store, doing dishes or even making a latte. If you do it the same way every time, your body begins to do it without you.

3. Pick your poison

I have to force myself to choose a priority. My job pays the bills, but great grades pay for school. I use my two breaks (40 minutes total) to study. I have to be careful not to let the Internet distract me, so I try to only take the schoolwork where I won’t need the Internet.

4. Stick with the routine

I work eight hours every day and can be very tired and grumpy at the end, but it’s not the end of my day by any means. I have to force myself to stay at the store and finish at least one task on my list before I get to go home and eat lunch. Oh yeah, I don’t eat meals at work because it makes me tired.

Around 2-ish, I head home (luckily only a five-minute drive), feed the (wild) birds and squirrels (we have two named Amy and Gravy Boat), and set up my “station” with whatever project I need to work on.

After I eat a quick bite, I will spend the next four hours studying. If my deadlines are super close, no television on in the background.

5. Breathe deep

Aside from the set routine, the most important thing work has taught me about school is to take deep breaths. One of my favorite sayings in the coffee business when I find myself or my peers getting a little too upset over the small stuff is “it’s just beans and water.”

In the grand scheme of things, life isn’t just short, it’s tough. It can be downright cruel and punishable. I do my best to always take as much time to breath and relax as possible.

I stop working when my boyfriend gets home. That is our time to shut it all off and laugh to some good sitcoms or scream at some bad football.

On the weekends I rarely do schoolwork. That is when I take road trips or find a way to enjoy nature.

My hopes are that my currently “boring” days bring enriching and fun-filled days in the future.

***Read all of our student blogger posts. Are you interested in being a student blogger? Send us an email at

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8 Top Mobile Apps for College Students

appblogThere’s an app for nearly everything, including lots of apps for things you need to do as a college student — like study, budget, take notes and lots more.

We’ve found these the most helpful for getting organized and making your life easier, but we want to hear from you, too. Tell us about your favorite apps in the comments.

Here are our top eight apps for college students:

  1. Evernote. Evernote is available on your phone, tablet and computer, so you can write, edit and read your notes anywhere. It lets you organize your notes into folders and search your notes for specific keywords. You can also upload pictures, so if you take notes the traditional pen-and-paper way one day, you can still take a picture of your notes and file your paper notes with your digital notes.
  2. Wunderlist/2 Do. These are two of the most powerful list-building apps out there. You can add items to and remove items from to-do lists on your phone, tablet or computer and organize items by type or subject. These apps will help you get and stay organized.
  3. DCCCD. We can’t build a list of the top apps without including our freshly updated DCCCD app. Get instant access to eCampus, eConnect, campus maps, courses, emergency contact info and lots more.
  4. Mint. Mint helps you get a handle on your finances, create a budget and stick to it.
  5. Pandora/Spotify. Fun, free options for listening to music between classes.
  6. Google Drive. Store your assignments on Google Drive and access them from any smartphone, tablet or computer. You can edit your documents anywhere and they’ll update everywhere. So, if you need to print an assignment at school, just drop it into Google Drive on your home computer, then access Google Drive from the browser on a college computer and print the assignment there.
  7. iHomework. iHomework lets you quickly and easily enter homework assignments, create task lists, see your class schedule and keep track of grades.
  8. Studious. A list manager and calendar app built specifically for students, Studious keeps you on track and on schedule.

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Filed under Studying, Why DCCCD?

Win Tickets to Three Concert Events in November & December


Enter now and you could win tickets to three upcoming concert events in Dallas!

Jingle Ball

Nov. 30, 2014

  • Two tickets
  • Two meet and greets with an artist
  • One parking pass
  • Read the details.

Enter to win Jingle Ball tickets!


How the Edge Stole Christmas

Dec. 3, 2014

  • Two tickets
  • Two meet and greets with an artist
  • One parking pass
  • Read the details.

Enter to win How the Edge Stole Christmas tickets!


Lights All Night

Dec. 26-27, 2014

  • Two VIP two-day passes
  • Eight general admission two-day passes
  • Read the details.

Enter to win Lights All Night tickets!


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Filed under Community, Events, Why DCCCD?

Meet Whitney Hendrickson, Interior Design Student of the Week

WhitneyHendrickson160x200As a nurse, Whitney Hendrickson could easily spot the problems and missteps in the design and layout of the hospitals and clinics she worked in.

Now, as an interior designer specializing in health-care interiors, she gets the chance to combine her passion for pediatric nursing and interest in health-care planning and design into a blended career.

“As a nurse, I could see the effects of the built environment on the patients and staff,” she says, “and I wanted to be able to translate the specific needs of the users to the architectural team. Depending on the hospital leadership, decisions on how spaces are used can be made unilaterally without asking the right people who work on the inside, and I want to help change that.”

Whitney earned an advanced technical certificate in Interior Design from El Centro College.

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Filed under Careers, Credit, Programs, Student Success Story, Why DCCCD?

Enter to Win Dallas Jingle Ball Tickets & More

JingleBall_1061KISS_DallasEnter now for your chance to win:

  • 2 tickets to Jingle Ball in Dallas on Nov. 30, 2014
  • 2 meet and greets with one of the Jingle Ball artists (artist to be determined)
  • 1 parking pass

Enter now to win!

Want More Info?

Find out all about the Jingle Ball, and view the full lineup.

Rules and Details

You must be 18 or older to enter or win. This contest is a partnership between the Dallas County Community College District and iHeartMedia, and we hope you love it!

The contest ends Nov. 24, 2014.


Have questions about the entry form or the contest in general? Email us at

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Spring 2015 Schedules Are Up

springregThe Spring 2015 schedules are online, so get started on planning your next semester now!

Remember that we have Wintermester and Flex Term classes, too, so you can start classes anytime.

Spring/Winter priority registration (for continuing students) starts Nov. 18, and regular registration (for everyone) starts Nov. 24.

Need help? View our registration checklist to get ready to register.

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Apply Now for NASA National Community College Aerospace Scholars Program

nasaWould you like to spend time at NASA Johnson Space Center and meet NASA engineers? Do you want to learn more about career opportunities that involve science, technology, engineering and math? Then apply now for the NASA National Community College Aerospace Scholars Program!

The deadline to apply is Dec. 15, 2014, at 5 p.m. DCCCD will cover the $30 registration fee, and NCAS will cover the cost of travel, lodging and food. Students will be asked to complete a set of online assignments. For more details about the assignments, students can attend a one-hour online information session about NCAS. Student help sessions will also be held in the spring for students with questions about the assignments.

If you’re selected, you’ll participate in an on-site experience at NASA Johnson Space Center, where you’ll take part in a team project directed by NASA engineers, attend astronaut briefings and take a tour of NASA facilities. The three-day visit will take place in spring 2015.

Many students who participate in the program have a strong background in computers and/or science and engineering, but other students are welcome to apply, too. Part-time and full-time credit students can apply.

Apply now!

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Filed under Services, Special Programs, Why DCCCD?