NORFOLK—You know that feeling when something is right? When everything ends up falling into place just like it was meant to? That just about sums up Victoria Gaona’s experience here at Northeast Community College.
Gaona is a Communications major at Northeast, she is also currently a secretary officer for the Student Activities Council, as well as a student ambassador.
Gaona has a perfect fit being involved with the Student Activities Council because it allows her to meet with her fellow students. “My overall favorite part about being involved with the Student Activities Council is getting to meet new people with different backgrounds and finding out what their interests are,” she said.
This is what helped lead her to change her major to Communications. “I chose Communications because I like to talk, I think communicating is one of my gifts, I say it is a gift because not a lot of people can go out and talk to other people like I do,” Gaona said.
Gaona explored two other majors Early Childhood Education and Physical Therapy Assistant. They all helped pave her way to her major now which she said she is definitely sticking with.
“With being in Student Activities Council it does majorly help me for my future career in Communications because I can go talk to other people with other backgrounds like we have here at Northeast,” Gaona said. “I will be able to get a real job and I can just pretend it is the Student Activities Council all over again,” she said.
Gaona was involved with the student council in high school. “My first year here at Northeast I just wanted to be focused on grades so I did not do much. I had that big gap in between doing nothing after I had finished homework so I felt like I was missing something. My second year I went out to a lot more things, more activities,” Gaona said.
“One day I went to a soccer tailgate party and it was freezing cold outside, I was sitting with my friends and then Erika Rupprecht, who is one of the co-advisors along with Carissa Kollath, and I were talking and Erika said “oh, we need more people to join the club” so then I was like “I will join!” so my friend and I both joined. And I am glad I did, I really missed being a part of something,” she said.
The Student Activities Council puts on events at least twice a week with Monday night at the movies and Wacky Wednesdays. They also come together for one meeting every week. In addition, at the beginning of the school year, the group also goes out on a retreat for the new members to meet and get to know the old members and the advisors.
With having all of these experiences and making friends comes with a lot of fun memories. Gaona said her favorite memory is, “when we went on a retreat to a place around Central City for a weekend getaway to help bond the group at the beginning of the semester, we did an outside course. I just fell to the ground off a rope, I landed on my back, everyone thought I was hurt, but I was just laughing, it was a good time.”
Gaona has also had the opportunity to go on trips out of state with the Student Activities Council members to award ceremonies. The most recent trip was The Association for the Promotions of Campus Activities (APCA) in Chicago this fall. Gaona was awarded the Midwest Region Student Programmer of the Year at the association’s regional conference. As they now qualify for national honors, they will be heading to Florida this spring semester.
With being a student at Northeast for three years, Gaona has some special advice for future and current students. “For future students, I would say go out and explore what Northeast has, we have a lot of opportunities for being a student, you pretty much get everything free, with so many games and activities we have here on campus. For current students I would say to go out and explore, meet new people and don’t just stick with the roommates you have,” Gaona said.
With being a part of so many things, it is crucial to stay on top of homework as well as keeping track of events and other responsibilities. “I am very organized, my room does not look like I am organized, but it is organized to me,” Gaona said. “I have this big planner and binder with everything for my classes and my work time schedule and what I have to do to get everything done. Writing everything down helps a lot,” she said.