Originally Featured in the September 2013 Newsletter
Antonio Kuilan, 41, a longtime resident of New Jersey and of Puerto Rican descent, attended Union County College where he describes his first semester as a “nightmare” due to lack of study skills. After a long history of self-teaching in IT, computers and network administration, his goal to reach Rutgers was very real. He began to buy “how to study” guides to hone his skills and as studying became painless; Antonio reaped the rewards of good grades by attaining recognition on the dean’s list and being inducted into the prestigious Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honor society.
His dream of pursuing evolutionary anthropology/archaeology and geology came to fruition after being accepted to the Rutgers’ School of Arts & Sciences (SAS) in fall 2012. Antonio admits it wasn’t easy. Having been surrounded by individuals not supporting his dream and worst yet “sitting in a room of network equipment,” Antonio asked himself, “Is this all there is?” Not wanting to regret his life, he admitted, “I stood up, resigned from my job, and headed to the local college.” He hasn’t looked back. Living off of his savings, freelancing and finding part-time work, Antonio describes his experience at Rutgers as “wonderful and inspirational because of Dr. Craig Feibel and his advice, the fluffy study rooms and the library resources allowing me to borrow books from other universities, the professors who use Sakai giving us additional resources, and lastly for the beautiful scenic areas around Rutgers where finding a tree to sit under to read is not hard to do.”
As for advice to his fellow adult students who have academic ambitions just like him, “know yourself and be true to yourself. If you are rough around the edges, sharpen your skills and learn why and how things work…learn Rutgers and all of its websites and resources…interact with your professors and fellow students, especially those sharing your same interests and lastly do not procrastinate! Buying Dr. Neil Fiore’s book The Now Habit changed me to become the architect of my future instead of a prisoner of my past.” Because of the various disciplines offered at Rutgers-New Brunswick, Antonio challenges you to take a course that can be interesting to you and not be afraid to constructively criticize a theory as long as you do your research to provide an informed critique.
“To me, learning doesn't stop at a Bachelors, Masters, or a Ph.D...learning is a lifelong process. My goal is not about money, but the pursuit of attributing something for humanity.” Antonio will be graduating in May 2014 and plans to apply to the evolutionary anthropology Ph.D. program at Rutgers.