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I did that.

Let's talk about one of my biggest accomplishments to date. My thesis. I recently got in the mail printed and bound version of my thesis and that's when it really hit me that I wrote what could be considered a short book.

I think I first realized that English was my favorite subject when I was a sophomore in high school. I remember during that year we went over some poetry and that is when I fell in love with John Keats. But I think my real love for writing developed during my junior year in high school. Looking back I can definitely say that my teacher at the time was amazing, and I don't think she ever got the credit she deserved from the administration at my high school. I think that she was the first one who made me take writing seriously. From there, I have always enjoyed writing and just putting my thoughts down. For me, it has always come naturally.

When I started my first year of college, I was actually registered as a computer science student. I let myself be influenced by people in my life, who made me think that what mattered was money and not what I was passionate about. My first year of college was kind of miserable, because I wasn't enjoying what I was studying, it made going to school very hard. I was so conflicted every day having to choose between something that I did not like and something that I actually wanted to do. My wake up call was when I got so sick and I had to go to the doctor, and I remember him telling me so clearly that I was depressed and that it was starting to affect me physically. Once I realized that I was putting myself through so much stress for something that I didn't even like, I made the choice to change my major and minor.

That was the best decision I ever made, along the way I met some of the most amazing humans and mentors. I can definitely say that these people will be in my life for a long long time. I think the person I am most thankful to have met is my very dear friend Laura Gonzales, she is my mentor, thesis director, and she is an amazing human. She really helped me figure out what I wanted to do and helped me during my applications to grad school. I think she was, and probably still is, my biggest cheerleader.

With her help, I navigated grad school and worked on my thesis. I ended up writing about something so important to me, my identity as an international student and my experiences and the experiences of others applying to graduate school. For my project I was able to talk to some amazing humans from across the world that had also gone through the process of becoming international students. I got to talk and learn from all of them and realize that it is super important for me to continue to represent and advocate for my community.

I guess I wrote all of this to say that our journeys are all different, and there are difficult times long our lives, but if we are doing something we love, great things can happen. I can look back and definitely be grateful that I got to study what I loved and that I was able to do a project that I genuinely cared about. And most importantly, you are never alone, there are people along the way who will believe in you and help you move forward and shine. It was a journey full of hardships (maybe I'll talk more about these later) but it was definitely worth it to see my writing printed and bound (and published on the internet) and to know that I DID THAT.


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