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Hoffschneider, Nicole

Nicole Hoffschneider
Acalanes Class of 2005
Marketing Coordinator and Arabic Dancer

During her years at Acalanes, Nicole felt extreme pressure from her peers and community to attend one of the “best colleges.” During her senior year, she became so stressed about her academics and numerous extracurricular activities that she suffered from extreme anxiety. In the past ten years, she has come to realize that we all have our own paths in life and must be true to ourselves and find our own way. 

After high school, Nicole attended her first choice college, the University of Washington, majoring in economics - a choice she now realizes reflected the community’s and her parents’ expectations rather than her own interests. At UW, the huge class sizes and lack of personalized attention did not work for her. She attended class less and less, losing interest. She did not complete her freshman year at what had been her “dream school” and returned home, where she began to attend DVC. 

With the smaller class sizes and the bond she found with her professors, Nicole “fell in love” school. She says she will never forget the great professors she had at DVC and how much more passionate and interesting they were to her than those who lectured over a microphone to crowds of hundreds in the lecture halls of UW. She transferred to San Francisco State, despite having been accepted at UC Davis and other more “selective” schools. Continuing to love her studies, she earned a degree in Anthropology and World Music, making many friends in the process. 

Since finishing school, Nicole’s path has taken another turn. For the past five years, she has been working in the design and architecture industry as a marketing coordinator for an architectural firm that works with non-profit clients building low-income housing. This satisfies her passion for human rights and serving her community. She has also found a whole community to fulfill her interest in world music and dance, performing and teaching Arabic dance throughout the Bay Area. This has become her passion.  

When she thinks of “best” now, she thinks of what is best for her.