COVINGTON, Ga—Time management is the name of the game for Georgia State University Perimeter College student Isabel Prieto. With her eye toward a May 2024 graduation, Prieto, 19, has sped through this summer, taking six courses online—all the while working as a server for an upscale Atlanta restaurant.
Prieto is now among the more than 15,000 Perimeter College students headed back to the physical classroom. Classes began Monday, August 21 for the fall semester. She is attending the Newton Campus and also serving as a new, college-wide, Perimeter Student Ambassador.
Prieto admits her advisor told her not to take so many classes at once, but she is methodical in her organization and says any student can manage the same whether they’re taking six—or just a couple of classes.
“My experience is to stay on the ball. You need to find a quiet space to grind it out and do it. I was so unorganized my first semester. Then I got on Google Calendar, and my husband also got me a physical planner. All the classes have a syllabus and a schedule, so I printed out the schedule. I also have my digital planner on my watch, which will send me notifications. Usually, I look at my schedule a couple of days ahead to plan out my week, and often break that down into hours, so I can include things like working out and my job.”
While she is ably managing her class schedule, Prieto says she was poised to go to the University of Georgia last fall. Then she got married, and her viewpoint changed.
“I knew I was not going to be in a dorm my first year and my advisor at Eastside High School suggested I look at Perimeter College. I was attracted because of the price—it was extremely affordable, especially if you have the HOPE (scholarship) and Pell,” she said.
While the affordable price of a two-year education was a motivator for the Covington resident, she also found that getting involved in clubs that are in line with her interests has been key to her success.
“I took my first economics class in the spring and just fell in love with economics. My professor Dr. (Richard) Kirk suggested I check out this club called Rotaract, and it’s opened all these professional network opportunities for me,” she said.
“At Perimeter, I found my passion and got advice to be involved. That’s when every door flew open. How much effort you’re putting in is what’s going to be coming back to you. That’s what’s going to be the biggest difference.”
Prieto is excited about the fall. She is serving both as the vice president of the Newton Student Government Association and as president of the Rotaract Club. The club is planning a fall film festival called “Newton Reels” which will be open to the community.
Story by Rebecca Rakoczy
Photo provided by Isabel Prieto