Thank you for a great year

My second year in college has come to an end I am grateful that I had the Ed Fund Scholarship to provide me its support in funds I needed. It wouldn’t have been possible if the Ron Whittier Education Foundation did not fund the scholarship. I have meet Ron multiple times in events, classrooms, and graduation. I remember giving a speech in class about the ITA academy in school to the funders of the academy and seen Mr. Whittier. I was the representative of the academy at the time and remembered speaking with him after my speech and him being impressed, but was cut short by my fellow students eager to speak with him as well. The other time I spoke with him, I was with the winners of the scholarship. We were trying to convince some people to support EdFund and get to know us. I thank Whittier at that time for all he does to fund kids organizations and academies. Thinking back to my ITA graduation a lady thank Ron Whitter for all he does and spoke highly of him that, when he got to speak his first words were, “I didn’t tell her to say that and I am not that great.” Everyone laughed, but all thought he was a good man for investing in the future of their kids. Someday I would like to thank him and tell him that he is a good man that has inspired a young man like myself to do better and be better. The skills I learn in college are one’s I will apply as I have two more years in college and plan to go to grad school. Those that know my struggles will understand that I have fallen to the lowest point in my life and did not think I would be where I am today. The scholars who received the scholarships were seen as leaders and I did not know that until I asked one of the workers what did they see in each scholar. As I come to the end of this blog I only hope that this scholarship will be around for many years to come so that it will never fade away and those it funded to fund those next in line. This year will be my last time being apart of the Edfund family and I only have gratitude for those that have believed in me and watched me grown for these two years. Thank you for reading and hope the best for you.

The Best Is Yet To Come

As my first year of college reached its end, I realize that I have changed so much in just one year. It’s crazy to think for a moment and acknowledge how much I learned from myself this year. I got to see for myself what my weakness and strengths are, and how to manage my time properly to keep myself from falling behind. But also how to take some breaks to distress myself from the school environment, because there has been times when I felt like I was falling behind compared to the rest. But that is not true, everyone takes their paths in a different direction. Some chose to take the same steps as their fellows, for the fact that their majors are similar or the same. However, I chose to kept my own path at my own way, and I can say that it has been working out pretty efficient so far.
Comparing the experience I have now rewarding college compare to my experience at the beginning of the school year, I can see big changes in myself as a person and also as a college student. My college days in UC Santa Cruz have been amazing, I would not change it for anything else even though I do recognize that at the beginning I was falling a little behind because of economical and family problems. Fortunately, the psychological services along with my academic adviser, both helped me overcome the problems that were coming in between my educational performance. At first, I found it weird going with a psychologist, but I realize that they help you so much, plus you learn many strategies based upon the experience they had when they were in your position. Every individual has been in a situation where they think they reaches the end with no way out, but that is never correct. Success is not finding the perfect path, it’s about taking several paths to find where you belong.
A side from my academic performance, I have develop great friendships. Beginning with my roommate, her and I became close ever since the beginning and our friendship, as roommates and friends have gotten stronger that we even decided to get our own apartment for the upcoming school year. In my math class, I meet a group of friends whom I kept a close friendship throughout the entire year. At the end I can say that my first year of college was a year full of excitement and great memories that will last for a lifetime. I thank God and my family for giving me the strength I needed when I felt like giving up, and I also want to thank the EDFund for their hard work and desire to keep up with every EDFund scholar of 2014. I can now say that I closed the first chapter of my college journey with a happy ending, ready to continue with whatever comes along the way.

Things can always change.

If anyone has been keeping up with my blog they would know that I failed my winter quarter and was on academic disqualification. It meant that I had to get a 2.0 or higher to stay at UC Santa Cruz. My gpa was at a 1.13 which is very bad and I made the change to ask for more help. Fall quarter went by very quickly and before I knew it. I was on Spring break. My grades were out and they would determine if I would stay in Santa Cruz. Through all my hard work I managed to make my GPA a 2.43 almost a 2.5 which i was aiming for. Came up short only 0.07, but in the end was happy. I am now off the academic disqualification and currently taking my spring classes. I learned a lot from my failure and take that in every time I feel as if I can’t do this. I use it to motivate me to not fail anymore classes and to ask for help. I am a person that says they got this and doesn’t ask for much help, because I have too much pride. I learned that you gotta ask for help and put your pride aside and do your best to pass your classes and stay in school. This fall quarter that passed taught me a lot and have shared my story with my colleagues. I know what I am capable of and only aim for the best. Everything happens for a reason and its always a matter of what to do next. I would encourage people to take everything the school has to offer, because its offered for a reason and thats to assist you in anyway they can possible. I am very happy I changed the outcome the school predict for me to fail, but proved them wrong and now am two steps ahead of the game. It doesn’t matter what high school you may of came from, but the dedication you place in your studies. Only person to run your career is you and it’s no joke. I learned a lot and tell people about my failure and almost being kicked out of college, but now am I finishing my last quarter of the year. It went by quick and it has been an adventure.

My first College Quarter

Days, weeks, and months have passed and I survived my first college quarter. College life is so different from how movies make it seem. In movies, all they show is that college is just to party and do all the crazy things you never could because you were under your parents’ rules. Ever since I started college, I realized that it is nothing how I imagined it to be. To me, college has been amazing, it is so easy to make new friends and do different things. I still remember my first week as a college student, I was nervous to talk to other people. But all the students at Santa Cruz are generous and so kind to each other, that made it easy for me to began creating new friendships not just inside my classrooms but also outside of class. In the building where I live, we have two students who are older than us, and what they basically do is look after us. They are like our mentors, and our security guards. Their names are Abel and Eva, coolest persons I have ever met! Their responsibilities are to make sure that each student living in the building is comfortable with the people around, especially with your roommates. Abel and Eva makes us go to “Block Meetings” which are meetings that take place in the living room from the building. When we have meetings we talk about things that are happening in campus, or giving us tips on how to study, how to schedule our times, but mainly for the rules in the building. Not so long ago, we had a Block Party, it wasn’t exactly a party, it was more like a competition event because we were competing against each building from the university. I am affiliated with, Oakes College (UC Santa Cruz is divided into ten colleges, those “colleges” are where the students live). Anyhow, block party was so fun! Even though my college lost, I still enjoyed it and I made connections with students who are thinking on studying the same major as I am. It is a bit crazy how so many things can happen in such a short time.
When I was in High School, I never truly knew what “studying” meant, until college midterms came along. Studying super late in my dorm or in the library is just painful. However, hard work pays off at the end. My first quarter did not went so well, because I didn’t exactly knew who to talk or who to ask for help. I heard some students in my math course about a tutoring program called “ACE” which helps students with math and science courses. I decided to give it a shot, and I am now doing better than before.
Something that I learned about myself throughout my first quarter of college is that I am a strong women. Before Christmas break, a tragedy occurred within my family. The news hit me hard, my family and I had to travel to Mexico. As break/vacations where almost over, I did not know wether to return to Santa Cruz or stay with my family for a while, you could say I was somewhat depressed. But my parents and mentors pushed me to go on with the dreams I had before. To maintain those dreams alive, because they have gotten me to where I am standing right now. One of my college mentors has been helping me along on internships for the summer. She helped me with the application process, and right now I am just waiting for answers. One of the internships that got my attention was a Pre-Health summer internship at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Hopefully I get at least one, because that would help me so much on deciding what I really want to study.
Furthermore, my college experience has been good. I’ve faced some obstacles, but I am still here, I am still giving it all I can to achieve my goals. Though, I still need some years to obtain a bachelor’s degree, I will take advantage of all the open opportunities there are available in campus to continue helping me with my academics. That way I can achieve things I was not able to accomplish in my first college quarter. I am not afraid of what might come, I am ready for whatever comes along, but more ready to deal with it and continue my college life as a UCSC student.

Winter Quarter Change

In the beginning of this quarter I was a little depressed, because I really messed up last quarter with my academics. That has not stopped me from looking at this as a lesson that will help me understand that you will always need to ask for help even though you think you know everything. Personally I thought I could do everything myself and had help from my tutors but had a lot of stress I would shove off from the work load. What made me realize is that stress that I put to the side would come back to me when I would take a major test that would determine my grade. Going in its fine, but once it starts you question everything you know and ask if what you are doing is right. That is what I went through in my head, but now I have taken one midterm and it was fine, because I study hard and asked others to test me and ask questions that they made up. I have developed a better schedule for myself and follow it more than I did last quarter. I am now more aware of where I need help and where my strong points are. I have really taken a step back from last quarter to really change the way I do things, because I am not just saying it to make me feel better I am doing what I am saying and following what I need to do. I know that college is not a place where you can act like it’s high school, but sometimes those old habits come back and you may not notice tell you take a step back and see that you are setting yourself up for a train wreck. I am going to make this change and acknowledge that I have made mistakes and will accept all the help and advice given to me.

College Life

UC Santa Cruz has become my new home and I am able to shape my future to how I want. Nothing has taken a real tole on me because coming to Santa Cruz always felt like a home with all the new people you meet that are tagging in the journey of college. College doesn’t change you as a person, but opens your mind to knowing that you can trust people and know that the only person who can fail you is yourself. The campus is beautiful and you are free to be who you want to be. You don’t have to hide who are because everyone is as weird as you are. Just loving this place and want a productive year with great people here.

First Week of College

During my first week of college I have noticed a lot of good things, there is no one here to keep you on track, your very independent and this is going to take some time to get used to. Otherwise, college seems easy so far just waiting for new challenges.

First Year of College Completed

After completing my first year in college I can say I have learned a lot during my first year in college. I learned a lot by taking different courses that were interesting to me as well as how to manage my time. I was able to learn about my academic interests by taking classes that I thought were interesting and was able to learn about different subjects in my first year of college.  I think that the classes offered in college are great ways to explore career possibilities especially with the introduction classes offered during your first year of school.

College helps you learn new things about yourself as well. For example, you might learn the ideal study habits for yourself as a student. Everyone has different study habits that they prefer so that they can perform at their best. You might like to study in a group so you join a study group with some classmates in order to make the most out of your studying. Other students might prefer to work in the library because it offers them a quiet space where they can complete their studying without any distractions. For the most part, it depends on the student and their study habits that determine the preferred ways they study.

By attending college, you also get to learn about the community you live in. You get to explore your surrounding environment and learn about the different features your campus has to offer. For example I learned about my school’s mascot called banana slugs in Santa Cruz and how the best time to actually spot a banana slug is in the spring quarter. Going to college allows you not only to learn about your academics, but also about your community on campus as well as your surrounding environment.

-Alejandro, UC Santa Cruz, Class of 2016

First Weeks of College

My first week at UC Santa Cruz was challenging in adjusting to the routine of college. The work load changes in college and you need to be able to prioritize what you want to see completed. It’s very easy to think that by not fixing small problems before they become bigger, things will get better on their own. By procrastinating, the situation becomes worse before it becomes better.  You are also exposed to a lot of campus resources the first weeks of college, and finding your interests seems difficult with so much going on. College campuses want their students to be engaged in their communities so there are always good opportunities to get plunged in to something you enjoy.  Exposure to many resources along with meeting a lot of people your first weeks of school happens really fast and before you know it you have already completed your first week of college. 

I didn’t know what to expect from college life, but so far it has been an awesome experience. Every situation is new for first generation students, so any type of expectation isn’t real, because no one before you has attended and graduated from college. The cool thing about the transition to college is that there is an abundance of support offered. I always wanted to go to college, and receiving support from family and friends has really made it easier for me. College is also a time in your life to celebrate all your accomplishments so be proud of your journey to college and make the most of the time you have in school.  After finally taking my first leap into college I hope to continue learning about topics that interest me. I look forward to continue meeting new people and look forward to exploring new careers for my future.

-Alejandro, UC Santa Cruz