By CELINA MORENO
Being a good student can be fairly easy.
However, the stress of classes, working and making sure you can survive can be very stressful. Dakota Pollard, 22, juggles all three with pretty much no issue.
Pollard is a person with many skills. From time management to workload management, he also is skilled in retouching and color correction, presentation and animation design, screenwriting, musical instruments and landscaping.
According to his resume, his hobbies include film, animation, playing the drums and spending free time hanging out with his friends and family.
Pollard is about to graduate in December from Pima Community College with an associate degree in Digital Film and Animation.
Of course, it surely isn’t just drawing and coloring; there’s coding, 2D animation and currently he is learning 3D animation before graduation.
Pollard was born in Phoenix but moved to Tucson when he was just a year old.
Because he was an only child growing up in Tucson, he became very close with his parents, especially his father.
His parents recently moved from Tucson to Portland. They realized there is a real demand of jobs for what he is currently majoring in.
Pollard said he felt as if he was never good at school. He realized in his junior and senior years in high school how important school actually is.
“I’d say I’m a good student,” he said. “ I don’t really miss too many classes. You know I keep up with homework because falling behind sucks. I’d say I’m a hardworking student who cares about his degree.”
Pollard said he was a procrastinator during most of his educational career up until recently.
It all began in high school, really. Pollard took his freshman year seriously because he went to a charter school named Academy of Tucson. The deal was, if Pollard could get good grades while at that school, his father would take him out and put him in a public school.
Pollard “worked his ass off” and succeeded in getting those A’s.
For his sophomore year, Pollard attended Sahuaro High School, where he admitted all he did was party.
His junior year, though, wasn’t very eventful. Pollard attended Sabino where he says he did much better than sophomore year and his senior year was even easier.
While being in high school, Pollard took time to learn musical instruments. Aside from saying he knows the percussion, he also learned how to play the drums.
“I took lessons,” he said, “I was playing rock band a lot and believe it or not that actually teaches you a little bit because you have to learn to move your arms and legs independently and learn to stay on beat.”
Pollard began attending Pima Community College in August 2016 and kept up good grades and finished his work on time.
“As long as you care about it, which is cool about college, you get to learn what you want to learn,” Pollard said.
He said he enjoys school.
“Yeah, it keeps me busy,” he said. “I enjoy learning.”
Although Pollard was wanting to get into a university right away, he decided to go to Pima because it is the less expensive option. His father also persuaded Pollard to “try it out.” He said at least if Pollard didn’t like it, he wouldn’t be in a tremendous amount of debt.
“I plan on graduating this semester and even though I’m gonna be done with my degree,” Pollard said. “I’m probably gonna go back and take some more classes with the 3D stuff because where my parents live right now, in the upper West Coast, there’s a lot of stuff up there in that field up there.”
After graduation, Pollard plans to move to Oregon with his parents and land a job out there.
The reason he decided to major in Digital Film and Animation was because he realized at a young age he is an artsy person.
“I’ve always liked art,” he said. “I’ve always been an artistic person. Ever since I was a kid, I was always drawing and I figured, you know, I could turn that into something. Like a career.”
“I think this semester and last semester, it really just hit me, like ‘I do like this and I do want to do this.’ ”
Pollard said his biggest obstacle being a student was himself.
“For me, a lot of it came down to what was in my own head, like I just got caught up in a lot of things,” he said, “I procrastinated a lot and the night before a giant essay, I’d be freaking out like, ‘I’m never gonna do this. I might as well just fail,’ but I still did it and I passed.”
Pollard also said he recently picked up a part-time job since he’s almost graduated. He was hired at a Subway in August and said he has no issues trying to finish his last classes and working.
“I work with my schedule. My boss is really cool about that sort of thing. I always put school ahead of work. I make sure my homework gets done because procrastinating is the worst, so I always try to stay ahead,” Pollard said.
One of his coworkers is Cassandra Yandell, 20.
“Dakota is a dependable worker that is willing to learn,” Yandell said. “He seems to take his job very serious; he is always asking questions. He has covered shifts on multiple occasions which tells me he’s a reliable person.”
“It seems like Dakota will have a very bright future,” she continued. “He is always talking about school and what he wants to do. Dakota seems to be a good person, but also seems to be a little reserved.”
Jonathan Duenas, Pollard’s manager, said he hired Pollard because he could tell right away Pollard was a hard worker and puts his all into whatever he is doing.
“I would say Dakota is a very committed person,” Duenas said. “Not only is he always talking about his classes, he has proved to me on multiple occasions I can rely on him. And that’s what matters.”
Pollard is interested in taking his education further.
“I might take it even further, but we’ll see,” he said. “Future is up for anything.”