24 Feb

As a student at Berea College, I have gathered so much new insight and interdisciplinary knowledge that I wanted to venture out of the education bubble and make a small impact on the real-world. I have already began this endeavor by creating a personal website, but the focus of the online My Medical Journal is more self-oriented. However, I also wanted to build a community as part of my “venturing out”, so I decided to build a commercial website in the niche of student motivation and student services.

I have realized that, especially in attending a school with high diversity, every student’s backstory before enrolling into college is drastically different from one another’s. For Berea College, whose graduation rate is 66% approximately1, which is slightly above the average undergraduate institution’s graduation rate at 60% about2, I had wanted to make a difference. I understood that, due to everyone’s diverse backgrounds, some student’s may prioritize eduction a little differently—and that’s okay—but circumstances such as affordability, mental health, discouragement, or any other hindrance should never take away from one’s opportunity at higher education. It should also never take away from one’s encouragement, performance, or pursuit of dreams.

Hence, I had decided to found the website Your ColJo—a undergraduate student community platform that promises to deliver personalized services in facilitating the student journey through higher education and onto their future dreams.

Your ColJo, short for “your college journey”, will feature a motivational blog along with other informational/inspirational tips, a forum, a list of services, and much, much more as the site progresses. 

Currently the site runs as an individual project (I haven’t been able to create a founding team yet), but overtime I believe others will join me as they see the site progress. Also, no money has been made; though I won’t expect any passive income until the site is settled and a small community has been attracted to the webpages. Lastly, for now, the site will target the essential “wants and needs” of Berea College students until the website is able to grow a community beyond the single institution.


  1. Berea College Graduation & Retention. College Factual. (2021, July 28). https://www.collegefactual.com/colleges/berea-college/academic-life/graduation-and-retention/ 
  2. Hanson, M. (2021). College graduation statistics [2021]: Total graduates per year. Education Data Initiative. https://educationdata.org/number-of-college-graduates

Here’s how I built my website:

First, I wanted to build a website with a purpose, and not a site that would exist on the internet with no use or attention, so I decided to choose a niche for my webpage. Of course, as explained earlier, that niche would be “student motivation” and “student services”, specifically targeted toward the undergraduate at Berea College.

It is always best to start out with a specified target niche. Then as the site progresses, one may expand their reach as their content and/or services can support more users. (The best example of this is Amazon.com, which started out as an online bookstore, and then progressed into the online dynasty as it exists today).

Next, once I had a niche in mind, I decided to go self-hosted rather than hosted. Hosted websites are sites that are built on website-builders such as Wix, Squarespace, Wordpress.com, Site123, and many more (this website My Medical Journal is hosted at Site123), and self-hosted websites are sites that are built on open software like Wordpress.org along with a website host (more elaborate definitions of the two can be found here).

Afterwards, I chose my website host to be SiteGround. Other website hosts include GoDaddy, BlueHost, Weebly, and others (further definitions of website hosting can be found here).

Setting up an account with SiteGround, which came with a small starting fee, enabled me to securely house all my code, images, videos, documents, and text for my website. I would then choose to build my website using Wordpress.org, which is where the majority of website on the internet are developed with.

Lastly, after everything has been set up, I then learned the language of HTML code and designed some modern webpage features to appease to my potential users. 

To understand more in-depth about how to make a website of your own, I strongly encourage visiting the blog Productive Blogging, which is where I learned how to set-up my own website.

The Envision for my website:

I have had a few envisions for my website and what it can potentially become. Some of those ideas are:

  • A student-run C2C business at Berea College where you are not only trading goods and services for monetary value, but providing advice and insight, passing down textbooks, sharing study tools, etc. This could become a club for business students and anyone interested in learning how to run a small business-like model.
  • An entirely “.edu” based social media-like platform for undergraduates to share, collaborate, and friendly compete in their academic and professional endeavors. This would integrate the social mobility of undergraduates who may attend different colleges and entry would require an “user@school.edu” email.
  • A blogging website with posts solely directed at student motivation, improving academic performance, college lifestyle, undergraduate research/internship/abroad opportunities, inspirational stories, interviews, and other valuable resources for college students. Any marketing strategies here would be based off of affiliate marketing and/or ads.

Currently (2/24/2022), the website is under construction attempting to find a fitting web-design and homepage layout for the intentions of the site. Also, I have been learning how to use certain web services such as forums, coaching, merchandise, and classes, though it will be awhile before I can productively offer merchandise and online courses. 

Furthermore, I have been extensively learning the capabilities of coding, specifically using HTML code (which is actually featured on this blogpost’s cover image). Now I haven’t been coding my own Wordpress website from scratch using HTML code, but it will certainly help if there is some page design or user interface feature that isn’t readily available on an editor.

In closing, I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and agree with my future ambitions and my envision for the young site. Stay tuned!

* The email will not be published on the website.