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Yoland-VargasIt’s a new year and the start of a new semester for those in college. We had a long break to recharge our energy and face the challenges of a new

semester. For those who are seniors in high school, this will be your last semester before graduating and the pressure that comes with preparing for college.

Yolanda Vargas

In life, we all have struggles and I know as Latinos we have added pressure not only from society, but from our families. 2012 for me as a young Latina in college was a struggle that felt like I couldn’t over come. That struggle was to maintain balance in everything that was happening in my life. Nonetheless, all of these obstacles taught me many great lessons.

Toward the middle of the semester, my dad was admitted into the hospital for open heart surgery. I live on campus here at Frostburg and I had just started my Resident Assistant job so it was impossible to leave my classes and my job for too long. As a Latina, and being the oldest child, one takes the role sometimes of a parent when a parent needs help around the house or with the rest of the children. When my dad had surgery I wasn’t able to take that role because I wasn’t able to stay at home for long to help out and also missed a week of classes, which caused me to miss many assignments and struggled catching up.
While away in school I missed being home with my parents and sisters and felt like I kept falling and falling and couldn’t get up. At school, there’s nothing that reminds me of home, of my Hispanic lifestyle. My university doesn’t have Latin food and the cable in the dorms doesn’t have Spanish channels. This was the time I felt most alone and stressed dealing not only with my family and academics but also of how I felt personally and the own struggles in my life. I asked myself many times how in the world do I do this? I tell you this story because it’s not easy when you’re in a place where you feel like you are the only Latino on campus, but it is not impossible to get through. If you’re one of the few Latinos in your university/college then make a plan to stand out. Focus on your academics by creating a schedule that will help you balance between your classes and studies, join organizations like LASO (Latin American Student Organization), or even go Greek! Go ALPHA SIGMA ALPHA!!

If you’re in your last year of high school enjoy it. Don’t stress over the little things. Apply to college! Go to prom! Finish your last year strong!

2012 ended great for me because I didn’t give up. I talked to my professors, created a schedule, released stressed and moved on. I know for me this semester is going to be interesting because I will have to balance taking 18 credits, being a Resident Assistant, keeping up with my other activities and family life but I know it’s possible.

To anyone that has told you that you can’t make it or has given you the bad advice. Prove them wrong!

“Never let life impede on your ability to manifest your dreams. Dig deeper into your dreams and deeper into yourself and believe that anything is possible, and make it happen.” Corin Nemec

By Yolanda Vargas You can follow Yolanda Vargas on Twitter @Yoli_813

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