Once you choose hope, anything is possible.
~Christopher Reeves

College transition lifestyle has elements connected in a loop by arrows: Envisioning oneself as a college-goer; Believing in the ability to succeed; Aiming for goals that matter; planning, organizing, and self-regulating; assembling academic and soft skills.

Which comes first, hope or goals? A strong argument can be made for both sides. Believing you can set goals is the first step in setting goals. Transitioning to college involves a series of events that constantly interact. It is a cycle from term to term and year to year. As college student you will always be revising and planning, envisioning goals and making plans. Obstacles will cross your path and the support systems you have in place will be crucial to your success.

Discounted Dreams

The documentary Discounted Dreams is about students who attend community colleges in various parts of the US. The documentary focuses on four students. As you watch the video, identify the obstacles each student must overcome in order to be successful in college. Based on your observations, what is each student doing that will facilitate his or her success? Also note ways in which you think the student could improve his or her chances of being successful in college.

Student’s Name & Major Obstacles Faced Success Behaviors Suggested Improvements


















 After watching Discounted Dreams, answer the following questions:

  1. Which student mentioned in the video did you relate to the most and why?
  2. Describe the strengths and weakness each of the 4 individuals featured in the documentary.
  3. What advice would you offer each person that could help them be more successful in school?
  4. Why does Jose finally get the “break” he needs to continue school?
  5. Why didn’t Jose stop going to school when he already had a good job as a result of his partial education?
  6. What obstacles do you face as you transition onto college?
  7. What information have you gained through reading A Different Road To College and watching this documentary that will help you succeed in college?
  8. What was your reaction to watching this documentary?


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A Different Road To College Copyright © 2016 by Alise Lamoreaux is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.