Irvington Alumni’s Pathways to Success: Shanay Randeria

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Shivangi Gupta, Staff Writer

“During high school, I wanted to do law. I liked speaking and I liked talking. I thought that pursuing law was one of the best options for me. As a result, I ended up joining the debate club. I also joined Mock Trial which was also pretty interesting. At least for an interest in law, Mock Trial helped because it gave me a feel of the field. I thought about doing law in the end of ninth grade, and I stuck with it through the end of high school. 

Looking back at what I did in high school, I actually don’t have any regrets for the career choices I made. However, one challenge that I faced at Irvington was a lot of competition between all of us, as well as a lot of pressure. I really tried my best to not let it get to me, but on occasion, it took resilience to be confident. Personally, it was easy for me to overcome it because I don’t look at other people to compare myself with, which made it easy to be positive and stay happy with my own decisions. A lot of high school culture revolves around being the best in everything you do, and it’s the environment you’re just put into. I can’t blame people because it’s only natural for teenagers to take part in things like gossip, but while doing so, we made it inherently worse. 

On the flip side, I really am thankful for Irvington. The friends that I made in all of my classes in senior year were probably the best part of it. I participated in We the People and even during Quest, “Ecumenical hunger program” helped me understand the people around me. I got to build relationships that I still have today. The only thing I’d do different if I could go back in time was probably try a bit harder throughout all four years. I’d tell myself to care more about the things I was doing and how they were impacting people around me. I feel like if I worked smarter in high school, I probably would’ve accomplished more things.

Regardless of that though, I think it’s important to realize that everyone has different career options cut out for them, and that I am content with my decision to go to a community college. I wanted to see where I could go in the later future and expand my opportunities. I didn’t want to just settle. I think the transfer option a lot of community colleges offer seemed nice to me. In regards to the stigma most people have about going to a community college, I think a lot of it comes from the “bay area environment” we’re put init. I think that if someone knows what they want to do in the future, going to a community college shouldn’t be an issue. In my case, most people are generally supportive of my decision because they think it’s a good idea both financially and long-term, and I appreciate that. 

If anyone was choosing between a community college or a different option, I would tell them that while all colleges, private or UCs, offer different things in terms of skill-building, community colleges also have their own, unique set of criteria for learning. Taking everything into account, I’d emphasize that things like costs, proximity, and the quality of education itself, ultimately play a factor in what you choose to do. Just be content with the decision you make because you don’t want to have regrets later on.

Currently, I’m pursuing business and economics, which provide me with the technical background needed for law school. My end goal even today is law school, but I’m just riding the wave and getting a better feel of the law community. At Ohlone, I’m taking all the classes necessary so I can transfer this year to a UC, hopefully Berkeley or UC San Diego. Throughout my college journey, I’ve learned a lot about patience. You have to be able to process information that all professors are giving you. The way of learning is similar to high school, but you have a lot more liberty. You can choose to go to class or not do you work, but ultimately it’s up to you. I’ve been handling all of these things by myself which I think has made me more independent. As a community college student, I’ve gotten to branch my skills, and I know that in the future, transferring will help me solidify and build a career that I’d be happy with pursuing.”