My First Quarter at UC Santa Cruz

What I liked best about my first quarter at UC Santa Cruz was taking an introductory course to Latin American and Latino Studies with Professor Hector Perla. I learned the most from this course because it taught me about the relationships wealthier countries such as the United States and European countries have with poorer Latin American countries. I found this very interesting because Latinos, and Latin Americans continue to be affected by the policies wealthy countries impose on their native countries. It also opened my eyes to how important economics is and how much it affects our daily lives. Taking this course allowed me to realize that as much as I am passionate about Latino Studies, I’d rather major Business Management Economics because it is more stable than LALS and it will allow me to learn how economic policies affect people, especially poorer communities that are usually comprised of ethnic minorities such as Latinos.

Aside from this, I really liked the relationship I established with Professor Perla because we were able to discus topics that were interesting to both of us. We had lunch one day and were able to talk about our experiences at UCSC, which was very helpful to me because I was able to see things from the focal point of a UC professor.

Next quarter, in order to be a more successful student, I am going to stop procrastinating as much as I did fall quarter. I’m going to manage my time better and not go home as much as I did before so that I can focus more on my academic success and myself. I’m also going to make a stronger effort to talk to my professors and teaching assistants (TAs) outside of class so that I can get more help and establish stronger bonds with them. I’m also considering joining a club for Latinos in Business. It may help me to feel more like I am part of a community. This is something I lacked fall quarter.

If I had a chance to speak to myself in September when I entered UCSC, I would have told myself to invest more time and effort in the work I completed and to not go home as much as I did. In high school I had everything under control, but I became lazy over the summer. Looking back, I would have told myself to not let go of the driven student I was in high school. After completing my first quarter, I feel that I am beginning to settle down to the person I was before college. I’m a lot more motivated than I was last quarter and am very excited for the winter. I know I will be more successful this quarter and will enjoy my time at college a lot more.

– Margarita, UC Santa Cruz ’15