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Hometown: Vernon Hills, Illinois

Degree or certificate program at CLC: Earned an A.A., with honors, in 2016.

Transfer school: Lake Forest College in fall 2016 to study communications and then go to law school.

Hobbies and interests: Traveling, writing, art and music.

Mary Tsakadze

I’m on the women’s tennis team and I am also a student ambassador. I’m very grateful for these experiences because I love the sense of community I feel by being a part of these activities, especially since I am surrounded by well-rounded, motivated individuals. My tennis coach, Jim Love, has really had an impact on my college career. He is very knowledgeable and is constantly motivating me to become a better tennis player and overall person.

Going to tennis regionals was one of my favorite experiences. It was a three-day tournament so we stayed overnight and had some quality team bonding. We discussed our goals, dreams and the steps we were going to take after tennis season, and I just remember feeling very grateful that I decided to be part of the tennis team.

Being part of a team and being a full-time student has made me create balance in my life. Some nights I would come home from away tennis matches around 10 p.m. and still have a ton of homework to do, so I would end up feeling very overwhelmed. Thankfully after a couple of weeks, I came up with helpful habits that have made me successful on and off the courts.

I knew I would save a lot of money by getting my general education done at a community college. I am very happy with my decision because while I am saving money by attending CLC, I am also making money by working in my free time.

My friends were all headed off to schools that were far away, so I felt like I would just be stuck alone. My viewpoint changed immediately after the first month. I became involved with tennis and really enjoyed my classes and the balance between classes and sports  really worked for me.

My favorite class so far has been environmental biology. I usually don’t like science classes, but this class covers issues that we see and hear about on a daily basis like GMO foods and global warming.