Reflections on the First Quarter at UC Santa Cruz

As soon as I entered UC Santa Cruz I realized that I was going to have a new life not only academically but in any aspect. I don’t know if I was or I am still fully prepared for the “college life” however, I know I will soon get there.

Being the first in my family to go to college has been tough because I do not have a person in my family who can give me advice. But I consider myself fortunate because I am part of the program EOP-Bridge. EOP-Bridge has allowed me to have a mentor to whom I can ask questions about my classes or anything else. I practically have a mentor who gives me a lot of motivation to keep striving for a better academic success and I honestly consider myself lucky. My mentor Gary always gives me advice and every time we have our check-ins I tend to write his advice down on my notebook to a point in where it became a habit. When I find myself without any motivation I refer back to my notes. Even though he’s major is business I can say all of his mentees, including myself, find his advice very powerful.

The classes were not close to being easy, but I managed to go to tutoring and ask questions to my professors. I had a good experience my first quarter of college not only because of my mentor, tutors, and professors but also because of the friends I made in Santa Cruz. We all managed to motivate each other while we were too overwhelmed with our classes or even our personal lives. Having good people around me who also wanted me to succeed made me appreciate them even more and acknowledge their support. I know that I have only spent a couple of months with them, but I can already see that what I’ve heard is true “You find your good friends in college”.

If I had the opportunity to change some things around this quarter I would definitely do it. I regret not being more involved with my school in volunteer activities or clubs. Even though, I did not volunteer as much as I wanted this quarter, I am proud to say that I was chosen to attend the annual “Student of Color Conference” also known as “SOCC.” SOCC is a conference in where State Universities and UC’s students come together and discuss solutions to problems that may be occurring in the schools as well as in our communities. The conference took place in UC Davis and we had workshops with different themes. I felt so empowered in the conference due to all of us students who were ready to change things around. I will never forget those three days, because those three days allowed me to know that there were other people striving for a change as well. And I am heading to change things around such as my future and my community.

Sometimes I wonder if there is a formula to find success in college, and if there is one I hope I am following the right steps in order to find the solution to succeed. I know I made some mistakes this quarter, but I have many plans for this upcoming quarter such as being more involved. I hope I can balance my academics, clubs, and other things. I also wanted to mention that if it wasn’t for Zuhair Saadat I probably would not be attending UC Santa Cruz. Thank you, Zuhair for giving me the opportunity to visit UC Santa Cruz, and realize that it’s the place for me. Thank you EdFund for believing in me! And once again thank you to all my professors, friends, and family who supported me you are all appreciated.

– Nelly, UC Santa Cruz ’15