My Cypress Story: Mickaylah Prewitt

Every person has a story to tell, and Cypress College is excited to share the inspirational, motivational, and aspirational stories from our many students of all walks of life. No matter the path, we accompany each and every one of our students on their educational journeys. Take a walk down the west-side hall of the Humanities Building to explore some of the people who make us a unique community.

We call this project “My Cypress Story.”

Hi, my name is Mickaylah Prewitt.

Please tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? What are your interests? What is your story?

I grew up in Long Beach with my grandmother, mother, and sister. Growing up, my mother made me try many sports and activities to find potential interests and outlets for after school. I ended up in ballet and was passionate about it from third grade all the way through tenth grade. In high school, I lacked discipline with my time and grades, so I quit spending so many hours at the ballet studio.

While at Millikan High School, I continued to dance on the school dance team, which was more fun and laid back than the more structured atmosphere of ballet. In high school, I lacked motivation and my only goal was to get out. I did the bare minimum, but pulled decent/average grades.

Why did you choose Cypress College and how is being a student here helping you achieve your goals?

I chose Cypress College because my sister and many of her friends told me stories of their struggles at a nearby community college and their difficulties seeking and receiving help with aspects of their education.

A friend who had graduated before me and stayed local told me about the success she had in finding help and guidance with her education, which helped me with making my decision regarding where I wanted to get my general education done. I did research on some of the city colleges around me and visited a few schools. Cypress was the most appealing to me.

Ultimately, Cypress College has been a great experience for me with starting my higher education path. I was successful at Cypress College because I was made aware of the resources, and I actually used them.

What do you like most about being a Cypress College student?

Every day I come to campus, I am reminded of how much it has served me. I am lucky enough to be a part of such a positive, inclusive community of intellects.

What have you been involved in at Cypress College? How has your path unfolded and who are the faculty and staff who have helped you along that path?

Using resources is a simple concept, but sometimes getting started with getting directional help is difficult. While beginning at Cypress, I promised myself that I was not going to walk around campus and not know anyone, so I joined Associated Students and the Legacy Program in my first year. With these two communities as my support/social/school groups, using on-campus resources became routine and is what helped guide me to graduating in spring 2018.

The Legacy Program helped me build skills and led me to take on more leadership roles within the program once I completed it. I became a tutor and peer mentor for incoming students.

Faculty that have played key roles in my educational path include, but are not limited to: Regina Rhymes, Daniel Lind, Abraham Hardway, Dr. Deidre Porter, and Leilani Matanguihan.

What has been the most difficult part of being a college student? How have you dealt with that?

One of the hardest things I dealt with as a college student was getting started. This means starting an assignment, starting an application, starting to sign up for things, just starting the process to be productive. Getting started it still hard for me, but once I start, I am determined to finish.

I also struggled heavily with trying to do absolutely everything. By this, I mean I needed to do all of my schoolwork, work to pay for school, and be an active member in multiple groups on and off campus.

Having accountability for my actions when they were both bad and good was a very difficult part of transitioning into college and adulthood. I constantly had to remind myself that the things I do now are sacrifices for my future. One thing I constantly reminded myself was that being tired is temporary, but your GPA is forever! This mindset led me to overwork myself and neglect important aspects of my life, including my mental health.

What are your long-term goals? What do you aspire to?

It sounds corny, but my long-term goals and aspirations only include being happy. I am not too concerned with my future so long as I finish school with my bachelor’s degree in communications.

Ultimately, I would like to slowly work toward my master’s degree after my bachelor’s degree.

My career path is unclear, but I am spending my minimum wage years trying out different jobs and positions so I can find things that spark an interest in me, just as I tried many activities and sports as a kid.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my ability to push through and remember my priorities even when I am having a hard time outside of the classroom.

I am proud that I have been able to do so well as a student at Cypress College. When I started college, I feared disappointing myself, so I set low expectations at first. I soon found out that I am capable of great things if I just get started on them.

What one bit of advice would you give to current and future Cypress College students?

Make sure you absolutely take advantage of resources that are provided to you. The faculty and staff genuinely care and want you to do well at Cypress and beyond. Having an education plan is very important, but don’t make it a race. Finishing school is the goal, but doing well and being mindful of your limits is even more important in the long run.