Godinez Alumna Shares her Experience at Santa Ana College


Photo Courtesy of Ashley Isidoro

Vianney Virgen-Cuenca stands in front of the Santa Ana College sign feeling good about a new start at a new school.

Gabriel Salinas, Staff Writer

Godinez alumni, Vianney Virgen-Cuenca, a freshman attending Santa Ana College (SAC), plans to pursue elementary education without accumulating a mountain of student loan debt. By choosing SAC, Virgen-Cuenca can focus on her goals and not debt.

Below are questions and responses about her experience attending SAC.

What exact major or career opportunity brought you to SAC?

It was a great option for me financially, considering the first year is tuition free for all SAUSD student graduates. And it was a short traveling distance from my home which saves money as well.

How do you feel about going to community college? 

It is a great preparation for university. There are so many staff, counselors, and programs available at our disposal. Also, if you are unsure of your major, which is completely normal, you can declare as undecided until you find what you truly are passionate about.

How do you benefit from going to SAC?

By saving money on transportation since the college is nearby in the city, not to mention that the first year is tuition free for all SAUSD graduates if enrolled in the SAC Promise Program. I benefit from gaining help from staff and programs on things related to my major, financial aid, or just advice in general about anything.

Do you plan on transferring to a 4-year college after community college?

Yes, I plan on transferring to a 4-year college after finishing my studies at SAC, preferably go to UCI or Cal State University Fullerton.

Would you say that Godinez prepared you for college and/or the real-world?

Godinez did prepare me for college and the outside by teaching basic skills needed in the real world such as: communication, teamwork, organization, and time management.

Have the habits you have since high school stay with you as you attend community college?

The habits that I have had since high school have stayed with me as I attend community college such as being organized and  ready the night before class, as well as being on time and putting my best effort in my assignments or in any endeavors I pursue.

Would you say you’ve gotten close to any professor? Do you think that is a worthy opportunity to be a part of?

A professor I have grown very fond of and hold dear to my heart is my education professor, Prof. Trudy Namen. She is very empathetic and passionate about her students and their success in life as well as their future. She has taught me so much in  a span of a semester, and has taught me to always be positive and have a growth mindset in everything I do. I am so grateful to have met her and be a part of her classroom.

What does an ordinary day look like for you? 

Going to the gym, then attending my classes (depending if they are online or in person), having a little time for myself to study, then going out with friends or just going out. At night, I prepare myself for the next day or finish some homework that is due later in the week as well.

What is the major difference between high school and college?

There is a lot more independence that is given to you, especially as an adult. This can be beneficial if you can manage your time wisely with your endeavors and are responsible or it can be negative if you procrastinate and are irresponsible with tasks such as not completing assignments, signing up for classes too late or not passing your classes. Being organized, not procrastinating, and planning ahead can help avoid that problem.

Any advice on how to make your schedule?

Create your schedule, sign up for classes the moment they open the site to do so, because if you wait till the last minute, many classes and spots will be filled up, and you will be left with the class and time you do not want. Then you are left on the waitlist.

Virgen-Cuenca’s final advice to incoming college freshman, “always try your best and never be afraid to try new things.”