Rising Senior at Smith College
1. Why did you decide to join SWAG to College?
I joined SWAG to College when the organization was starting because I wanted to help high school students with a similar background as me to succeed in their goals. As a woman of color and from a low-income family, many times I heard people around me say that my situations would not lead to success. I also grew up in a culture that typically does not encourage women to go to college and have a career. I am thankful that I have supportive parents who want the best for me and who have never stood in the way of me trying to accomplish my dreams. However, they did not know how to help me because of factors like the language barrier and the simple fact that the education system here is different than in México. I was able to have support and guidance from a program and my mentors. I know that not many students have this opportunity, so I decided to join SWAG to College because I knew they would guide students with a similar background as me and I wanted to help.
2. What is one cool/fun/interesting fact about you?
I studied abroad this past academic year! I studied in Córdoba, Spain through the PRESHCO program, and I was able to visit many cities in Spain and Morocco, as well as Paris, Rome, and London. It was a difficult but great experience!
3. If you have chosen your major, what advice would you give to those unsure of what to study?
Before you decide on a major, explore and do not be afraid to pursue what you want and love. Do not think about what major is “practical”, because while it could be practical, it may not be the best for you. There will be people who tell you to choose that practical major, but do not choose it only because they say so or because you think it will get you a job. Choose the major you love.
4. Who encouraged you to pursue a higher education?
I have been encouraged to pursue a higher education by both my parents and myself. My parents have always been supportive of my education. Growing up, my mother never signed a report card that had a grade lower than a 95! I always had in mind that I would continue my education. But, I also encouraged myself because I knew I had to get a higher education, and I wanted to make sure my parents’ sacrifices were not in vain.
5. What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone in high school who is in the college application process?
Don’t give up. There may be times when you feel like the college application process is never ending, or you feel like it will not be worth it. There could be times that you may be scared about what comes next. No matter what, do not give up, because it will be worth it at the end.
6. What’s one thing that has been easier or different about college life compared to high school life?
SO MUCH TIME! Depending on your school, and your time designation (full time versus part time students), you would be taking four to five classes a semester, which means you will have more time than in high school. However, this time should be used wisely! Do homework or other assignments, get involved around campus, work if you can, go to the gym, take care of your health. You may have more time but you should be wise with how you utilize that time.
7. What’s the most interesting thing you packed to take with you to college?
A galileo thermometer! This thermometer is a glass cylindrical container filled with clear liquid and several glass vessels, each with a different mass meaning different temperatures. Depending on the temperature, the different vessels float!
8. How did you make the choice to attend the college/university you chose?
I attended my school’s admitted students weekend. I fell in love with the environment and vibe. I felt comfortable in a place that encouraged women to find their passions and accomplish their goals.
9. Explain at least two goals you have set for yourself in life (it can be anything!) and how you plan to achieve these goals.
One goal is to attend grad school, whether it be right after college or after some gap years. Another goal, which is much bigger, is to help close the achievement gap. I do not know how exactly I will do that, but I know that working with SWAG to College and other organizations that have that goal would help me accomplish that.
10. What is one piece of advice you'd give to parents with a child who is in the college application process?
Be supportive. Listen to what your child loves to do and what they want to accomplish, and do not tell them that it will be impossible. Support your child, because it is a difficult process and they need your support through it all.
11. What’s the one example you hope to set for younger family members or others?
I want my younger family members to know that they can accomplish even their “craziest” dreams. I want them and others to see someone like them and be able to say, “If she could do it, I can do it too.”