Marquice Page is mastering the art of balance. A sophomore at Bemidji State University, he juggles his studies and social life with growing ease as he forges his path through college.
“I like the independence I have,” Marquice said. “I don’t really have my parents hovering over me.” He paused. “That’s a good and a bad thing.”
A graduate of KIPP Minnesota and Robbinsdale Cooper High School, Marquice opted to focus on accounting after an aptitude test showed his talent for it.
“We’re studying partnerships, and the importance of inventory and depreciation as well,” Marquice said of his accounting classes. “It’s not ridiculously hard — but it’s not easy, either.”
To get a taste for other fields (and fulfill BSU’s credit requirements) Marquice has sampled other classes along the way. So far, the best and toughest courses have been his two computer science courses.
“The professor was really funny,” Marquice said. “I liked a lot of his jokes, and he was really smart, too. My second computer science class was very difficult. I went to the professor’s office hours practically every day and he helped me out.”
When not in class, Marquice can be found at the campus rock climbing wall, studying at his work-study jobs, or hanging out in his dormitory’s basement lounge.
“That’s where I play ping pong a lot. There aren’t a lot of people who hang out down there, but on weekends it can get pretty crowded,” Marquice said.
Living in a building with hundreds of other students was an adjustment, Marquice said.
“It was weird at first: to go take a shower, you’d have to go to a different room and walk past a few random people who just got out of the shower,” he said. “But you get used to it. Last year I was in a big building, but this one is smaller and I live in a suite. Basically I have my own room, and I share a living area with two other people who were on my floor during my freshman year.”
When you live among hundreds of your classmates, a study break is just a quick text away. On any given evening, Marquice and his friends can be found relaxing in a campus lounge or dorm room, playing cards or watching a movie. But the abundance of social opportunities can be a double-edged sword.
“The most challenging part to me is the self-discipline portion of it,” Marquice said. “Sometimes I’ll be playing video games and when I finally get into study mode, my friends will come in and be like ‘Do you want to play cards?’ And I’ll say oh, sure! And then I had to stay up until two o’clock in the morning studying yesterday.”
Marquice’s advice for current KIPPsters is based on his own academic experience.
“Don’t just study, but to learn how to study better,” he advised. “If you study the wrong way, you’re going to learn it the wrong way. It’s kind of like practicing the wrong move in basketball: it may produce some temporary results, but when it comes to the grand scheme of things, it might be wrong.”