NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

End of semester blues

By Eduardo Souza

To students, the end of the semester can feel like a mixed blessing.

On one side, it’s almost over. Students are almost done and winter break is coming. However, there’s still so much to do. There are papers to write. There are final exams to study for. There’s a multitude of work still to be done and it seems like it all falls on the same week.

Every student has their own reasons for pursuing an education at NECC, and at times like these it’s important to remember what those are and keep focused on your primary objective.

NECC has a diverse student population. Some of the students here have recently graduated high school; some haven’t stepped inside a classroom in years and have decided to give it try. It can be a daunting experience coming back to the classroom. It takes courage to step out of one’s comfort zone and give something new a chance.

“I came to NECC because it provides a good education at a low cost compared to other colleges and universities,” said Jensy Veras, a sophomore majoring in human services. Veras plans to transfer to Merrimack College after getting his associate’s at NECC.

“My goal is to get involved with human services,” said Veras. “In this area, there are many paths I can take. I can work with kids. I can work with at-risk youths. I’d like to do something where I’m helping to better the community.”

Melanie Fortin, a student at NECC majoring in radiology, said she’s happy with the school and is impressed at all the different programs the school offers. Fortin said to succeed at NECC, a student needs to try hard and be engaged.

“You have be really motivated and engaged here,” said Fortin. “You can’t just go home and do nothing. You have to try.”

As with Veras, Fortin said her education’s not ending here. “I’ll probably continue to a four-year program,” she said. “I’m thinking of going to the University of New Hampshire.” Fortin plans on pursuing a career in radiology and NECC provides the first step into that path.

Some students have spent decades outside of the classroom and have just come back to pursue a different career path. Duane Sherman, a freshman majoring in liberal arts: writing, has spent the last thirty years working in radio broadcasting. After leaving radio behind, Sherman decided it was time to go back to school.

“This is the first time I’m back in the classroom in thirty years,” said Sherman. “I’m happy and I’m proud that I’m doing well.”

Taking that first step to go back to school after so many years can be a difficult decision.

“I was skeptical going in on some regards,” said Sherman. But Sherman gave it a try and is now looking forward to his future. “I would like to be a writer of books,” said Sherman. “I’d like to write a memoir. Write some fiction and non-fiction… My goal is to make a living off my own words.”