McKinzey Manes

‘Get the full experience’

Don’t just go to class and then go home. That’s a boring way to attend college, according to McKinzey Manes. 

Manes, who began taking classes at JCCC the summer before her junior year at Blue Valley West High School, said she enjoys JCCC’s challenges and freedoms. 

“I started by taking a speech class,” she said. “It was a lot of fun. I met a lot of really interesting people.” 

Rather than head back home, she “hung out on campus and in the library.” Sure, she did some research for her speeches, but she also found time to watch a few YouTube videos and just relax. 

“A lot of the time, I was just walking around campus, talking to people,” Manes said. “That probably was the best part.” 

During the school year, Manes participates in the College Now program where she receives college credit for courses offered at her high school. 

She said she really enjoys her College Now courses, but she thrives on the atmosphere of on-campus classes because – well, you’re on campus. And there are so many things to do with your time. 

“I love going to the Math Resource Center to study,” she said. “There’s something about that place that makes you say, ‘Okay, I have to do some math now.’” 

She stopped by the Campus Center (COM 319) and signed up for First Impressions, a seminar on proper etiquette and protocol in dining situations. 

“It was really valuable,” Manes said of the seminar, “because they give you tips you never hear or never pick up on. It does teach you good things, and it does increase your confidence.” 

Manes has also been to the Career Development Center multiple times. “I keep taking the strengths assessment, and I get different answers each time. I think that means I’m still changing.” 

The advice was still helpful, she said, because even though she still has not chosen her vocation yet, “it steered to jobs that I think I would enjoy, and steered me away from jobs that would make me miserable.” 

Manes plans on attending the University of Kansas when she graduates high school, but she wants to concurrently enroll at JCCC for at least the first year or so. She said she thinks she’ll need extra help in math and science, and the smaller class sizes at JCCC will help her understand the material better. 

As a bonus, she’ll get to hang out at a campus she’s grown to love. 

“You need to get the full experience,” Manes said. “If you’re just here to take a class, that’s no fun.”