New students ready for college experience at TSTC’s Harlingen campus

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TSTC Mechatronics Technology student Julian Miranda (right) reviews his dorm contract on move-in day with Daniel Garza, TSTC’s coordinator of Residence Life and Engagement in Harlingen. (Courtesy: Texas State Technical College/TSTC)

HARLINGEN — While the early morning sun peeked through the glistening trees around Texas State Technical College’s Harlingen campus, new students embraced the first day of the fall semester on Monday, Aug. 28.

Karolina Flores, of McAllen, is pursuing an Associate of Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene. She was ready to begin her education while living on campus.

“It’s an exhilarating feeling to begin the Dental Hygiene program at TSTC,” she said. “It’s one of the top 5 schools for dental hygiene in Texas. What better way to make people feel great than by helping them feel comfortable with their smile?”

Julian Miranda is pursuing an Associate of Applied Science degree in Mechatronics Technology. The Brownsville resident said he was looking forward to meeting his instructors.

“My grandmother first introduced me to the concept of electrical engineering when I was in seventh grade,” he said. “It stayed with me from that point forward. In high school, some recruiters from TSTC came to do a presentation. That’s how I found out about the Mechatronics Technology program.”

As TSTC’s Welcome Week kicked off, the Residence Life and Engagement team prepared several activities to get students excited about college life.

“Research shows that an active student is a successful student,” said Daniel Garza, TSTC’s coordinator of Residence Life and Engagement in Harlingen. “Our purpose is to ensure students have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities. This helps students to succeed inside and outside of their program of study.”

Angela Dunn is a counselor at TSTC’s Harlingen campus.

She said that while starting college is exciting, big life changes can sometimes be challenging.

“The best thing that any new college student can do when they feel overwhelmed is to connect with as many support systems on campus as they can,” she said. “This may be with the Counseling and Mental Health Services office to help manage stress or personal concerns, reaching out to the Advocacy and Resource Center for help with food or learning how to budget, or by talking to a representative with the Access and Learning Accommodations office to find out if they qualify for classroom accommodations.”

Dunn said there are other things that students can do to navigate their first semester of college.

“New students can make a schedule, develop a routine and use a planner to be successful,” she said. “They can also get to know their enrollment coach. Enrollment coaches can help build a healthy schedule for you or refer you to much-needed resources on campus. (Students) can also join student activities, clubs and any organizations that are available on campus.”

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