Grad Reflects on Journey Towards Pediatric Nursing

portrait of woman
Courtesy of Athaliah Villarreal

Athaliah Villarreal-Castillo of Conway graduated with an Associate of Arts in General Education. After graduation, she plans to continue towards her bachelor’s degree to become a pediatric nurse.

Why did you choose to attend UACCM?

I’m the oldest in my family and the first to make the choice to go to college. I didn’t really have any one to give me advice and I looked into UACCM. I loved the fact that the class sizes were good to where you could still have that one-on-one teacher experience. I also loved that it was economical.

How is UACCM preparing you for your career or your four-year university?

UACCM has prepared me by providing all the prerequisites that I needed in order to complete my degree.

What have been your favorite memories of attending UACCM?

One of my greatest memories is meeting new friends. The school is so diverse and you get to meet so many different people and have a friendship with them. Another memory is getting to attend some of the festivals and there so many fun activities to do with my friends. It was nice to have some fun.

How do you plan to use your degree?

I plan on using it to further my education and to succeed to be able to live my career.

What is your ultimate career goal?

My ultimate career goal is to be a pediatric nurse. I’ve always loved kids and helping people and what better way than to work doing both things.

What advice would you give to future students?

Self-discipline and dedication is something that you definitely need. One of the biggest differences from high school is that you don’t have someone constantly reminding you about work. You have to do or someone to make you study. You have to dedicate time to learn material. But most of all enjoy the college experience. Try to meet as many people as you can everyone has something to offer and you never know how many great friendships you can make.

Is there anything else that you’d like to add?

UACCM is definitely a perfect school for people who don’t know what to expect from going to college. The size is great and they have some amazing instructors that want to help you and are willing to help in whatever you need. If I had to choose a school again it would definitely be UACCM.

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