"I wasn't sure about what I did like, but I was entirely sure about what I didn't like."
This quote from the novel The Stranger mostly sums up the reasons why freshman Devan Allen chose NCC from the list of potential colleges he could have attended. Students, says Allen, should figure themselves out before they attempt to figure out what type of career they should pursue. A community college is a great starting point, where anyone can build on their interests and decide how to expand upon them going into the future.
In Allen's case, however, being entirely sure about what he likes may mean working hard to narrow down his choices over the next two years. A degree in communications could lead to a potential career in a number of fields – TV, radio, journalism, advertising, public relations and marketing among them. In speaking with Allen, it's clear that he's just about as equally interested in each one of those fields, mainly because interacting with others plays such a large part in all of them.
"To have the skill to talk to people in any field and to understand where everyone else is coming from is the most important thing. Every single person is so much different than you actually think they are," Allen points out.
Allen is one of NCC's current Presidential Ambassadors, a group of students who interview with a committee and, once selected, spend their semesters assisting with a number of campus events and community efforts. Allen immediately recognized the potential not just to get to know influential members of the community, but also that he would have the ability to give back while getting to know about the experiences of those around him.
"It's a privilege without feeling privileged. To understand where everyone else is coming from is the most important thing. I genuinely want to help people," says Allen. After the first day [of the semester], I opened my eyes and saw all of the differences here, and that attracted me to being here so much more, because ultimately everyone here is trying to make themselves better."
While Allen is still adjusting to the college lifestyle, being here only a short time has instantly made him recognize the potential that he has if he takes advantage of all that's offered on campus. Knowing that he has to go to people, and that people won't just find him, is something that he hopes will help motivate him into ultimately deciding what he wants to do with his future.
"It's all about what you make of it. I think that's the most intriguing part," says Allen, who is hopeful that he'll attend a four-year school in either Philadelphia or Boston after he graduates from NCC. "You can do whatever you want, or you can do nothing. It's harder to get left behind than it is to go somewhere."
Name: Devan Allen
Major: Communication Studies
Projected Graduation Date: 2015