Oakton Community College student Sheetal Singh has been named a 2017 New Century Scholar.
Q: What are your biggest accomplishments so far and what is next on your educational or career path?
A: My biggest accomplishments so far are that of being selected as a Phi Theta Kappa 2017 All-USA Academic Team Scholar among the top 20 community college students in the nation and 2017 Coca-Cola New Century Scholar for being one of the top students in the state of Illinois. I want to leave behind a legacy of my own that would be a source of inspiration and aid for future generations. My future educational goals include graduating with a degree in computer science engineering, with the goal of serving our nation by being specialized in cybersecurity.
Q: We hear that you are very involved in extracurricular activities at OCC. What leadership skills have you learned from your experiences?
Q: How do you get motivated in succeeding in your school work and with your active schedule? What advice do you have for others who want the same success in their daily lives?
A: This is a really good question. I like to describe my community college experience as a roller coaster. There are moments in subjects/topics in which everything clicks, and that will give me exhilaration. But then there are moments where I find a topic challenging to wrap my head around.
Honestly, I have been able to succeed because of all those who have supported me and kept me going. Without them, I wouldn't be able to be here. For those who want the same success, my advice is don't give up on yourself, have faith, and persevere. If you have problems, seek resources that can help you — whether it be a tutor, a professor or a trusted friend.
Focusing on academics is important, but so is your physical and mental health. I feel that students especially in higher education tend to forget about this. We are humans, not robots. We will have our good days, and we will have our bad days. As scholars, we should grow our learning community to make it where everyone can be successful.
Q: With your active school and volunteer schedule, what do you do for fun, any hobbies?
A: Even with my active school and volunteer schedule, I still enjoy playing the piano, singing, and dancing. All of my stress and tension focused on schoolwork just vanishes away. It's not only that the music is soothing for me, but it's also the experience of playing the piano, singing a song, and coming up with a dance routine for a song I have stuck in my head. Instead of pressing keys on a computer keyboard, I'm pressing keys on a piano keyboard. It's really such a stress reliever for me. I enjoy reading book and films, and trying to figure out the deeper meaning or message behind what I've watched or read. Especially with friends and family, I get to express my impressions and ideas regarding what the author/film director was trying to expose to the reader/audience.
Karen Medina is a freelance reporter for Pioneer Press.