Academic Profile Emma Cohen

What do you want to be when you grow up? Everyone has been asked that question as a child. The journey to becoming what you dream of, comes with different seasons, challenges, and levels of academic progression. Academic performance is related to how well you do in school. However, I believe a person’s academic self is defined differently depending on their upbringing. The person I interviewed is an example of how different upbringings reflect your academic self. We conducted our interview through emails, where we shared educational value, and hobbies, and career goals.  

Emma Cohen is a current student at Lakeside High School. Her favorite subject is English Literature. Her academic self-shows that she is structured, lively, and determined. Influenced by her grandmother who was a Missionary worker. It has always been of value for Emma to help those in need. As a child her parents always laid a firm and strict foundation about her academic performance. Although her parents are divorced now, they both still implement the importance of education. Looking for a new challenge, Emma chose to compete with self. She signed up for the Dual Enrollment program, and this is her second semester at Georgia State University. She told me “I take Dual Enrollment to challenge myself, and I love the independence it gives”.

Emma has been a gymnast since childhood. Having a strict coach and strict parents has increased her structural skills. She is very competitive and disciplined. Emma’s biggest struggle is Mathematics, and her fear is taking standardized test. Since Math is a struggle for Emma, she creates study projects to increase her memorization. A study schedule, with color coded tabs, helps her study for tests three days in advance. It also allows her to participate in extra tutoring, and personal activities. Addicted to be becoming a master of all trades, she and her sister competes with GPS average and who brings home the most A’s.  

In conclusion, at this moment in Emma stated her academic journey she has no frustrations. Ms. Cohen is enjoying the liberation of College life. Her major is Political Science, and she plans to become a (defense) lawyer. She has not decided if she wants to practice corporate, or entertainment law. Her academic self has been molded by a foundation of structure, determination, and discipline. Emma’s determination to organize and pursue such crafts, at a young age is inspiring! She shared different ways I can study and utilize my time more effectively.

Ajoi’s Academic self Draft

Ajoi is eighteen years old and a freshman here, she described her college process as confusing. Ajoi explained how she struggled deciding if she even wanted to attend college in the first place. However, she said that school is the only thing she succeed well in and was determined to get an education. She settled on going to school for Human Resources and is majoring in Business Administration, which she says is a lot harder than she expected it to be. She is also considering sonography and keeping an open mind on anything because she has not found her passion or ‘dream job’ yet. She felt pressure to come up with an answer to ‘what are you doing after high school’ so she decided to pick one that satisfied those around her even though she was not quite sure.

Sheila Dixon’s Academic Self

        This essay contains information from an interview transcript with Sheila Dixon about her academic self. We called each other on the phone and shared our academic histories, frustrations, and goals. Sheila is 45 years old and is from Buffalo New York. She attended grades k-12 there, but she did not go to college immediately after high school. When I asked her if there was a specific reason as to why she did not go immediately, she said, “I ended up getting pregnant and I wanted to be the one to raise my daughter. I did not want anyone to do that for me.” She first went to college in 1997 where she attended Erie Community College. Later in 2014 she moved to Georgia and started at Georgia State University in the Spring of 2019. She is majoring in Nursing, and her overall career goal is to start her own traveling nurse business. Her favorite subject is psychology which she believes is important in nursing because you should know how the mind works.

        When asked how she would describe her academic self she said that she is a hard worker. She is often very busy during the day but still manages to make time for her schoolwork. She is quite intuitive and tries to find ways that make college work the best for her. An example would be that she is going right for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree instead of just becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and then going back to school. She even said, “I did not want to leave to become an LPN and then come back to school later because I know once I leave school I will not come back.”

        During the interview Sheila told me that I should get to know my professors. She said that even though I am online I should email them, so they will know who I am as a student. She believes that you are likely to do better in a class if you develop some kind of a relationship with the teacher. What she said here is linked to the Vimeo video about the differences between in person and online courses. When you are taking an online class, you are not able to talk to classmates, or ask about due dates right then and there. This means that when you are taking an online class notifying your professor during their office hours through email, text, call, etc. is extremely important. If you have a question about your work, you should ask the professor. This way you can be sure that you are going to get the grade that you want in the class. Sheila’s advice that she gave me goes along with the information given in this video.

        College can be fun, but many people face challenges throughout their college experience. Sheila mentioned a few challenges that she is facing right now. The first one is that since she is 45, she has a harder time with some subjects since she is not right out of high school like other college students. The second challenge for her is that she finds it annoying that she must take prerequisite classes that have nothing to do with her major. The final challenge she deals with is test anxiety. She tends to get nervous while taking tests and often second guesses herself. She said that these challenges make it hard for her however, she mentioned that she found something that has helped her. Sheila said she really liked Dr. Steven Chew’s videos on study strategies and metacognitive behavior that help students become successful. In the videos he gives good studying strategies to follow and mentions what not to do when studying. Sheila took note of what he said and has been trying new studying tactics.


        The conclusion of the interview with Sheila is that no matter how old someone is, or what challenges they face in life, they can still go to college and reach their goals. Sheila was a young mom, but she did not put too much pressure on herself about going to school. She waited until the time was right for her. She really thought about what she wanted to do and chose the right degree program for her lifestyle. Even though she may not be like the typical college student she has found ways to be successful, and she encourages others to do the same.



Chew, Stephen. “How to Study.” How to Get the Most Out of Studying,

Dixon, Sheila. “Academic Self.” 29 Jan. 2021.


Mounica Katragadda: Academic Self

Mounica is an 18-year-old dual enrollment student and describes her academic self as visual, self-motivated, and engaging. She discovered the importance of her first academic self-word, visual, in elementary school. At her first school Crabapple Elementary, she realized she learned best with visual displays of information such as charts and graphs in front of her. Being able to see what she was learning while learning it, was something that helped her understand and retain information. She carried this learning style with her throughout her years in school.

In K-6th grade, Mounica was surrounded with familiar faces and friends until she moved to Piney Grove Middle School in 7th grade. She left behind her old friends and learned how to function in a new and unfamiliar environment. In her 5th-grade science class, she discovered her love for evolution. Although she did not quite understand it, she was eager to learn more, further sparking her interest in the sciences.

Mounica carried her love for science with her to high school and developed a passion for technology, specifically coding. She noticed a lot of girls at her school who were discouraged from taking computer science and coding classes at her school because they were male-dominated. Mounica became dedicated to making a safe space where they could enjoy the fascinating world of coding. She founded the Girls Who Code club at her school and became the president. She was the vice president of community service of the Red Cross organization and a member of FBLA and HOSA where she competed in regional and state events and honed her public speaking skills.

Mounica does not consider herself to be an extraordinary writer but she believes that with hard work and time she can be. That is why she decided to challenge herself by taking dual enrollment English this year through GSU. Mounica’s situation reminded me of the reading, “Some People Are Just Born Good Writers” by Jill Parrott. Where the author says, “Good writers are not born. They are learned.”

Growing up, Mounica’s biggest influence was her dad. When she moved to Denmark High School she was overwhelmed. It was a very competitive school, and all the students were taking AP’s and rigorous courses to bulk up their GPA. All though there was so much pressure to fall in with the crowd and take these classes Mounica remembered her fathers’ advice and it kept her grounded. Her father instilled in her at a young age that excelling academically was important, but she should also do things at her own pace and do things she enjoys. She spent her time in high school taking courses she enjoyed, including her favorite subject, biology.

Like many others, Mounica plans to go to college after high school. It is expected in her family and required for the career path she wants to pursue. Mounica plans to continue studying her interests by becoming a biochemistry major at her dream school, The University of Michigan. There she hopes to go the pre-med route or even go into medical law.

Through our interviews, I noticed how hardworking and self-motivated Mounica is. She is a student who puts lots of effort into learning about topics that interest her and even goes a step further to make something creative of them. I hope to stay connected with her in the future and wish her the best in continuing her academic journey.


Parrott, Jill “Some People Are Just Born Good Writers”

Katragadda, Mounica Interview (2021)

Parisa Talukder’s Academic Profile

It has been a pleasure being paired with Parisa Talukder and getting to know more about her for this Academic Self Project. As incredibly busy students juggling both school and work, we decided it was best to communicate through text. Our swift exchange of information made me realize how incredible of a person she was. Parisa’s academic story, filled with mental and emotional struggles, not to mention her road to recovery, is one many would admire.

Though originally from New York, Parisa attended her k-12 years in Georgia at the following schools: Suwanee Elementary, North Gwinnett Middle School, and North Gwinnett High School. Afterward, she started college at GSU in the Fall of 2016, interested in math and technology. Parisa’s transition from high school to college did not come easily; she experienced inner turmoil regarding what she wanted to do and who she wanted to be. It led to her decision to take a two-year break to focus on herself before returning with the determination to complete her computer science degree. Parisa plans on continuing her associate degree at GSU’s perimeter college and eventually earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the future.

As I got to know Parisa more, I noticed there were certain aspects of her academic self I could undeniably relate to. She described her past self as irresponsible, confused, and uncaring due to her battle to find a balance between school, work, and personal health. Constant distractions and procrastination harmed her productivity, something I feel most students go through. Parisa also struggled with mental health illnesses, some including ADHD, depression, and anxiety, which affected how she perceived her academic self. To her, it was like fighting a losing battle until she was able to get proper help. Not only did she deal with mental health issues, but she also encountered problems with stalking, relationship mess, and academics. Parisa revealed she “had a severe problem with giving up,” and luckily, she wanted to change that aspect about herself.


Upon realizing the dangerous path she was on, Parisa took time off to reevaluate her goals and improve her mindset. She spoke to specialists who encouraged her to work on personal development skills and taking ownership of her actions. During her break, Parisa managed to find a major to pursue, become a top employee at her retail store, and be a reliable background extra for the tv show “Legacies”. She even gained the confidence to return to school again with the intent to dedicate herself to her studies. Parisa received immense support from her family and most importantly, her boyfriend. Her improvements over time allowed her to describe her current academic self as organized and confident.

While some college courses may be dull, Parisa has found taking Dr. Becky’s courses rather fun and helpful. She finds the content interesting and even has a favorite article from the previous semester with Dr. Becky. The “Face-to-Face Courses are Superior to Online Classes” was the one Parisa like the most as it helped her change her mind about online classes. She initially struggled with online platforms but with effort, it was something she could overcome. Parisa also had to find a way to continue her diligence towards her academics with classes being mainly online. She found that “communicating with the instructors or peers increased my work ethic” and encouraged her to manage her limited time wisely.

I feel extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn about Parisa’s academic self. I realized that all students have their own stories and struggles that have played a role in developing who they are academically and as a person. Parisa exemplifies this as someone who was able to turn her struggles into determination for success. If she could do it, so can you. It is possible to turn your life around if you are truly willing to change yourself for the better.


Esohe Uhuangho: Academic Profile

Esohe Uhuangho is a 17 year old who is a senior at Alpharetta High School. She is taking this class as a dual enrollment student at GSU. The three words that describe her academic self are fast-learner, confident, and resourceful. 

From a young age, Esohe became fascinated with space. She loved dreaming about the world where stars and galaxies lived. This was the beginning of her curiosity. Wanting to learn more about space, she became resourceful with her supplies at home and created her own mini telescope to look through. As a student at Suwanee Elementary, Esohe’s curiosity began to grow outside of just space. In school, she became interested in math. As doing math formulas and step-by-step problems, she finds it fun as doing a puzzle. Being a fast-learner who is confident in her skills, she enjoyed her time in school. Additionally, she had a safe space at school with her childhood friends whom she knew she could always count on. However, like most people, Esohe was pushed out of her comfort zone when she moved to New Prospect Elementary School in fifth grade. Here she had to establish new friends in a new city. At first it was difficult since it took her some time to get used to her new surroundings, but eventually, using her confidence and resourcefulness, she found her new core group of friends.

At Webridge Middle School, Esohe set her own expectations in life such as to always keep As and stay active in her extracurriculars. This ideology was reinforced by her parents and friends, leading her to have a positive support network throughout her academic life. At Alpharetta High School, Esohe began to focus more on her social network. She became more outgoing and made new friends while staying in touch with her old ones. This social aspect led her to engaging in many after-school clubs such as BETA Club and Women in STEM. Inspired by the book The Hate U Give, Esohe even started a new club at school: Black Student Union. As the Vice President and a social activist, Esohe encouraged discussions in this club about current events in pop culture and modern day racism experienced in school. Throughout middle and high school, Esohe continued to reiterate her academic self words: fast-learner, confident, and resourceful. 

Since she was young, the biggest influence on her life has been her parents. Her parents instilled in her that education was important and pushed her to always try her best. Both her parents graduated college in Nigeria, therefore Esohe is new to the college application process in America. Similar to the main character’s dilemma in “Taking My Parents to College”, Esohe, who is a senior applying to college, found the process a little overwhelming. While her parents supported her endeavors and helped her strive for the best, they couldn’t help her with the process. Fortunately with the help of her friends, Esohe was able to successfully apply to her dream schools, including the University of Georgia.

Esohe is a hard-working individual who has undertaken many fun and inspirational projects throughout her life. As we talked throughout this interview, I saw her easy going nature and how dedicated she was to her future aspirations, whether that be a lab technician or PA. In the future, I hope to stay connected with her and see her journey progress.



Taking My Parents to College by Jennine Capó Crucet

Julia Tipper’s Academic Self



Julia Tipper: Academic Profile 


Julia Tipper is an intelligent and well-rounded teenage girl. She is currently still in high school and is enrolled in a dual enrollment course that allows her to take college courses while still in high school. While talking with Julia, I learned that she is basically a grown adult that is still in high school. Julia works, is enrolled in dual enrollment, wakes up early to go to the gym, and she is preparing herself for her future. Julia’s dual enrollment was my first clue of just how intelligent she is. During my interview with Julia, she told me about her time in gymnastics and how that shaped her in being a professional in time management. I learned that Julia wants to be a Physician’s Assistant at the end of her academic career, and she is taking every possible step to get it finished as fast as possible. After a few days of Julia and I emailing, I was able to finally paint a picture of her academic self in the proper form. 

When I think of a teenage girl, I think of a girl watching YouTube make up tutorials, making TikTok videos, and gossiping about boys. This is not Julia Tipper or at least it isn’t her academic self. Julia is a full-time high school student who is enrolled in dual enrollment. Dual enrollment is a program that allows for smart and successful high school students to take college classes so that they are ahead of the game. I asked Julia “What made you choose dual enrollment and how did you know which class to pick?” This is when I learned that Julia has always been smart and that she decided to use her intelligence to its full potential. This was evident when she responded to me with “I’ve always been a year ahead in literature as it’s also been my easiest/best subject and so I decided to do dual enrollment this year to get some college classes done.” (J.Tipper January 2021) I have no doubt that Julia is going to be successful in her academic pursuits.  

My goal in getting to know Julia’s academic self was coming up with a story of who she was as a younger girl and get the story for life experiences that have shaped her into being who she is today. Julia’s biggest story is the one of her competitive gymnast years. When telling me about her three academic self words, Julia took the time to add in one more, time management. “This wasn’t one of my words, but I wanted to add it to tell you a little more about me. Another word is time management.” (J, Tipper, January 2021) Competitive gymnastics was so time consuming for Julia that she had to take online courses in order to stay on top of her schoolwork. She was able to not only compete in her sport, but also was able to keep her grades up which is not easy for such a young person.  “Not only was the sport physically demanding, but also mentally. I did the sport for so long that I found my identity in it.” (J. Tipper January 2021) During her time as a gymnast, Julia learned how to use her time effectively and to its full power.  

Ms. Tipper’s amazing story doesn’t just end at gymnastics and dual enrollment. Julia has bigger plans for herself which comes as no surprise since she is already extremely successful academically at such a young age (17). A career as a Physican’s Assistant is what Julia has begun preparing herself for. “. I decided to do dual enrollment courses to try and get my freshman year classes completed in high school that way my bachelor’s degree would only take three years to complete. My school has a healthcare program that’s three years long and I’m currently taking my last year of it.” (J. Tipper January 2021) As amazed as I was, I asked Julia how she was able to juggle all this schooling with being enrolled in two schools and working full-time. I asked her if there were any videos she watched from our class assignments that helped her at all. “The video about the organizational strategies just because sometimes it’s hard for me to stay organized with my classes. From the video, I learned that I can utilize my icollege calendar to help me keep track of upcoming assignments.” (J. Tipper January 2021)  

Julia Tipper’s academic profile is simple. She is determined, reliable, courageous, and exhibits impeccable time management. Julia’s academic self was shaped at an early age due to her love for competitive gymnastics. Gymnastics taught her the invaluable lesson of time management as well as determination. After losing her passion for gymnastics, Julia still held onto the lessons learned and dedicated herself to her academic success. She is an incredibly smart and determined young woman who is enrolled in college courses while still in high school. The pay off and end goal for Julia is becoming a Physician’s Assistant. Everything she is doing today is to prepare her for the day that she gets to bare the title Julia Tipper, PA.  

It’s said that life events shape us to be who we are today. For Julia, her younger self shaped her for academic success. What has shaped YOU for your academic success? 


Jaclyn: Academic Profile



        Jaclyn and I had an email interview where we learned about each other’s lives and academic goals. Jaclyn is 33 and grew up in Fayette County, but graduated from Roswell High School in 2006. She is a single mother working a full-time job as well as juggling college classes. College was never her passion, but her mother raised her to think she would be a “nobody loser” if she did not receive a college education. Her mother initially enrolled her in Perimeter College following high school. After being thrown out of the house, Jaclyn no longer felt a need to pursue living her life the way her mother wanted her toIt is now Jaclyn’s second semester at GSU, and she is majoring in Health Science. She currently works as the lead esthetician at a medical spa but hopes to become a nurse practitioner.  

        Jaclyn expresses her academic self as being both determined and persistent. Raising a child alone is significant duty, but on top of that, add a full-time job AND college. Only someone with much grit and determination would be able to juggle such a hefty schedule. She states, “I MAKE time,” because although she does not have much free timeshe is determined to make time when there is none and is assiduous towards her academic goals. Determination goes along with persistence, and when she doesn’t immediately grasp the understanding of something, she works hard until she does. Jaclyn also described herself as obsessive with her work. Being a perfectionist may seem to be helpful academically because perfectionists strive for good quality work but being obsessive about grades can become very stressful. 

        Throughout our time conversing, we discussed some challenges we faced when beginning to use iCollege. Jaclyn mentioned that she didn’t understand how all professors used iCollege because “each instructor has a different method.” She found herself logging in several times a day to ensure she did not miss anything. I can 100% relate to this, and I bet many of you can as well. We agreed that our favorite video watched in class so far would be the video on organizational strategies. The video discusses how to utilize the calendar provided in iCollege to help students keep track of upcoming assignments and stay organized. I found it intriguing how although Jaclyn and I are at different points in our lives and are busy in different ways, we still struggled with similar things and found the same video helpful. 

        Jaclyn shifted from never having a desire for college to now on the path to becoming a nurse practitionerShe is taking her classes now, rather than right after high school, because she had a baby and needed to take care of her. “My biggest motivator is my daughter,” says Jaclyn. She says that her daughter, Scarletthas saved her life and encourages her to do better. Jaclyn described herself as having a “fixed mindset” on her academic abilities and what she could accomplish. Recently she habeen receiving superior grades, adding that she has never made “…those kinds of grades,” in her life. “I grew up from a closed mindset to an open mindset…” voices Jaclyn. She never believed herself to be smart enough to go to school, but she is finally recognizing her academic skills. 

        After learning about Jaclyn’s life, I have learned that diligence and determination are vital when aiming to reach your goals. Even with a busy schedule, Jaclyn puts in the hard work and is successful. Due to her troubled past, she didn’t finish her first semester of college because it wasn’t her choice or her passion at the time. Now that she is at a different point in her life, she is working towards new goals, with her daughter being her prime motivation. She is now thriving in her classes and continues to shock herself by how smart she truly is. In the early stages of this project, I never anticipated learning any “lessons” … I just assumed I’d learn a little bit about my partner’s life. My perspective has changed, and because of Jaclyn’s profile, I was able to learn a valuable life lesson. I learned that if you put your mind to something, you might just be surprised by what you can truly accomplish.  

Young Ahn:Academic Self

          First off, Ms.Ahn describes her academic self as consistent, persistent, and effective. She connected to the assigned reading, “Effective Learning strategy” by Dr.Chew. In the text, it states,” The most effective practice is to work a short time on each class every day. The total amount of time spent studying will be the same (or less) than one or two marathon library sessions, but you will learn the information more deeply and retain much more for the long term—which will help get you an A on the final.” It helped her come to the realization that she not only gets distracted easily, but it gave her strategies for even one who lacks time and patience. This information helped reconstruct her schedule into one that put all her focus onto each class for a short time every day. This is very helpful as Young is a full-time student and worker who lack time and sleep. This could explain why her academic self is easily distracted because some days she would lack sleep and be physically and mentally exhausted. This generally leads her to be stay long nights not only due to only the work due, but also her lack of concentration. With this being said, she becomes easily frustrated with the amount of time it takes to study for all her classes which I can easily relate with as I am the same way.

            Young is a night owl because of her experience in high school. In high school, Young was under plenty of pressure from her parents to learn how to get along with society structure. After graduation, she did not go directly to college because she simply was unsure of what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. She had to halt and think deeply about what her interests were, passion, goals, and aspirations in life. Through her self-discovery, Young first attend to GGC because of their great nursing program. However due to close distance, Young is attending GSU for a year and a half with a Computer Science major. She is still currently taking prerequisites. Young was drawn to this major because she believes that computers play a vital role in everyday life. Her biggest influence is her mother especially through her self-discovery because she was understanding, caring, and devoted to supporting Young in whatever path she chooses. Young used this as motivation to figure out what her path is. This reiterates her academic self as she describes it…persistent and consistent which explains her leadership and hard work qualities. Not only is she a full-time student, she also works 10-hour shifts leaving with little to no time to even relax. By the time she gets home, its dark and she is drained from her day, but she must stay up to complete her work and study. If this doesn’t prove her restlessness and persistence to succeed, then I do not know what does. She is very hot tempered and indecisive, but one thing she is not is a quitter. No matter how hard it is for her to deal with her daily endeavor or what comes her way, she will not quit she persevere and that is one the most important qualities of her academic self. For example, Young struggles with composition probably because her writing style is geared in creative writing. She likes to create a story or narrative that does not exist and use her endless imagination. She finds it weird how she able to only create stories but make deep connections, narratives, and relationships. I call it a unique gift as some individuals struggle to master creative writing as it requires a sense of imagination. This relentlessness helps drive for higher success or broaden the horizon.

       Furthermore, Young Ahn’s academic self is far more extensive than being persistent, consistent, and effective. She is over achiever, master of imagination, hot tempered, impatient, indecisive, restless, and hard working. She may not be perfect, but her goal is clear which is to be the best she can be and never give up on what she believes in. So in conclusion, her academic self can not be defined in merely three words. Her academic self is complex with positive and negative characteristics. Young is working on improving her academic self as she gets more and more exposure especially in education.