Four Students Reflect On Their Time At RCTC

Campus is often lively and busy. From nursing students sitting on the floor or any piece of furniture they can find to cram some medical terms into their brains, to artists taking advantage of a studio space, there’s a lot going on. These four students are just a sample of RCTC’s student body, what they’re studying, and why they’re here.

Naa’il Mahdi 

Mahdi came to RCTC to pursue an associate’s degree and to play basketball, with the hopes of playing at a four-year school when he’s done here.

“Last year was a really good season although we came up short,” the sophomore said. “It was very successful. For first year, coming out of prep school, for me, the whole college experience was new. But I felt like the coaching staff and the trainers did a really good job of helping the players, me specifically, of readjusting to college.”

Being a student-athlete is a lot of work. The students are busy with class, training, and games.

“It’s tough. Being a student-athlete is really tough. Balancing that time management. As long as you have your time management very organized, it’s very manageable to do. But again, it’s tough.”

Mahdi is from Cincinnati, Ohio, and he went to a prep school in Iowa before attending RCTC.

“Education here is really good,” he said. “The teachers really do a lot for you to help. At the library they assist you with a lot of things, the learning center especially, they always help you.”

Millie Gotelaere

At first glance, you might think Gotelaere was an art student. She was in the ceramics lab, full of clay, working away at a pot on a lazy afternoon.

“It’s really good,” she said of her time here so far.

A first-year student from Rochester, Gotelaere chose to attend RCTC because it was close, she could live with her parents, and the cost will help immensely as she embarks on a journey to work as a dentist.

“That’s eight years of college, so staying in town is a lot cheaper than, like, going to the Cities,” she said. “I wanted to do something health care related,” she explained. “Dentistry just kind of came to me.”

She has enjoyed RCTC so far. She needed an art credit, but it is clear she’s enjoying getting her hands dirty.

“I took two semesters in high school, I wanted to continue,” she said.

Once she is done here, she plans on transferring to Winona State University.

Ilhan Raage

A PSEO student (a high school student taking college courses) from Rochester Century High School, Raage has been attending RCTC since last year as a high school junior.

“I feel like there’s many advantages for me in being able to complete so many of my credits at RCTC,” Raage said about being a PSEO student. “It would have been more difficult for me in order to pay for it if I headed to college straight away. Doing PSEO and having this opportunity has been really beneficial.”                           Raage said she thinks RCTC is a good school, that she liked beginning college here, and meeting new people. Getting to know the difference between college and high school instructors has been helpful too.

Raage is also the Editor-in-Chief of The Echo student newspaper. We actually found her on a Friday afternoon in the newspaper office chipping away at a new story for the newspaper.

“I’ve really liked working on the Echo,” she said. “I enjoy it very much.”

She was a writer last year, moving on to the leadership position where she assigns and edits stories.

Raage will be moving on to a four-year school after getting her associates in liberal arts and sciences.

“I’m still in the process of figuring out what colleges I really want to go to,” she said. “I want to see if I can double major with English and something else.”

Tereza Krogseng

Krogseng graduated high school in 2015 and came to RCTC for a spell before taking some time off and coming back.

She is getting her associate degree so she can continue to Winona State University for either psychology or English.

Her time here has been enjoyable, and she likes the workload.

“I feel community colleges are getting a bad rap because [some people might think] people who go there are just dumb… no it’s financial, and that’s what I’ve run into here.”

Krogseng is taking three courses this semester and finds the workload to be a good fit for her.

“Unless you’re taking Dr. [Kristin] Buck’s class,” she said jokingly. “I mean, that woman is brilliant, and she assigned great material… but I spent an hour or two each night on a class. This is me being whiny and privileged; I’m fully aware.”

Outside of class, Krogseng attended the Black Student Union, and found it to be an active club talking about real problems.

“At first I came for the good pizza, but then I started coming for the good conversation.”

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