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‘From Boyle Heights to College’ is an occasional series written by former Boyle Heights Beat youth reporters about the challenges and successes during their first college experience. Stay tuned for more!
All of my life has been steered towards college, and on August 17, I stepped foot onto Syracuse University”” my new home for the next four years.
My family of eight flew from Los Angeles to drop me off at my residence hall and spend a few days with me while I completed orientation programs.
Because I had my family and Posse Foundation friends with me, I felt comfortable being on campus. However, once my family left, I had less familiar faces surrounding me and I began to befriend those on my dorm room floor and in orientation programs.
Latinos are no longer the majority here. I am now part of the 7 percent Latino student population. However, it has allowed me to meet people from all over the world and learn about new cultures. I put on a brave face and introduce myself to everyone I see. Now, I spend most of my time in our residence hall’s lounge doing homework or watching movies all night.
During these first weeks, I have become my own motivator. My mom is no longer there to tell me what to do (even though I hear her in the back of my head) so I have to make sure I eat my vegetables, go for a run, do my chores and go to sleep at a reasonable time.
I’ve also had to train my mind to study once again (I’m taking 18 credits from Monday through Friday). Unlike high school, I don’t have to turn in homework daily, but if I don’t do the reading I would be lost in the lectures. The classes require more analysis and discussion, but since I picked my classes, I am interested in what I’m learning.
While creating a schedule was easy, maintaining it is harder as I apply for extracurricular activities, including my job. It’s only been a few weeks in, but I’m excited for what’s in store!