I was Never Good at Math

When I was a senior in high school, I knew that I was going to college. I had no idea where, but I knew that I was going. I thought that I was going to college for mechanical engineering. I took Calculus that year and I passed, not with flying colors, but I passed. I thought I could handle engineering. I really did.

I had gotten into my number one school, the University of New Haven, and knew they had a great engineering program. I don’t even remember what my back up schools were. That was the fall of 2007. Over the summer I took the placement tests and did horrible in math. The first week of freshman orientation I found out that I was already two semesters behind or rather another $45k in the hole. I had gotten some grant and scholarship money, but I had to pay $35k out of pocket.My parents and I weren’t pleased when we found that out.

My second semester at UNH, I took all general education classes that I knew would transfer. I had had a long talk with my mom and dad about coming back home and going to Manchester Community College. For less than $1,500 I could go to school, work and figure out what I really wanted to do. I took two history classes, a Spanish class, an English class and a politics class that last semester. It wasn’t too bad, but my main concern was what I was going to major in next. It was weird going back home for good, but I knew it was the best thing for me.

Thinking about the summer before I started at MCC, I can’t think of why I chose journalism. Maybe it wasn’t one specific event, but rather the fact that I loved talking and trying to tell stories. (Side note: Even today I have the hardest time actually describing something whilst talking, but when I write it down that same story it’s much calmer and easier to understand.) MCC has an associate’s degree in communications with a concentration in journalism, so I chose that.

I immediately joined the paper at MCC, The Live Wire, and thought I was going to write sports. That’s what I did. I, Jon Stankiewicz, wrote sports for a solid three to four months. Granted, we only published every other month, but my stories were okay. I wouldn’t publish those pieces now, though. I can’t believe I am going to say this, but I was young then and didn’t know what I know today. I wrote sports for a bit and since we had a limited number of writers I decided to cover news more and more. l I was writing four and five stories every issue, along with an editorial for each issue. If you don’t believe me you can double check at the archives. We had an insanely small staff and I had no problem covering everything. I started to get the news bug then. I drifted more and more away from sports when I could. I wanted to talk to people and find things out on the news side. Sports is great, but not for me. I can definitely cover it if I have to, but my main thing is news.

This was the Fall of 2008 to the Fall of 2009 and the budget crisis problems were coming to a head. MCC had huge budget problems and I was the talking to MCC President Gena Glickman on almost a weekly basis for updates. Besides all of that, I was talking to all the big time administration people all the time. I loved it. I wasn’t breaking any crazy news stories or investigating anything, but I was getting real information about MCC to the students. As Nick would tell me today, it was boring stuff. Budget implications and retiring vice presidents isn’t something that captures students attention. Boring or not, I was hooked. This was my new major. And it didn’t hurt that I spent the summer before I transferred at the Journal Inquirer as an intern. That experience is another post in itself. To sum it up, my time there was nothing short of a great opportunity that I’m glad I took advantage of.

I was at CCSU from Spring 2010 to the Fall of this year, 2o11. I enjoyed my time at CCSU. I honed my skills and learned about myself. I was able to take classes outside of my comfort zone like magazine and opinion writing. I came out of my “writing shell” and I think I did pretty well. I’ll be the first to tell you I’m not the best writer.

Besides the classes, working at The Recorder on campus was something that really transformed everything about me. School was important, but this past semester, my focus was on writing and spreading myself out to different things. I wrote columns, helped with an editorial, and wrote news each week. The staff and I worked our asses off to make The Recorder something we could be proud of. We did that. I just wish I could have started working at the paper earlier.

Now, I’m done. I get to start my first reporting job next week.I won’t go into detail about that here, but if you want to know more read this and this.

Long story short. It’s okay to transfer, but it’s a pain in the ass. In the end, you just have to figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life. No pressure.



7 Responses to I was Never Good at Math

  1. Good for you! I am a transfer student myself, and you know, it wasn’t that big of a deal. You just do what you gotta do. Congrats on the new gig!


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