“Why Would Anyone Want to go to a Women’s College?”

“Do you hate men?”

“Are you so boy crazy that you can’t focus with them in the classroom?”

No and no. But these are actual questions I’ve gotten about my time at Agnes Scott College.

Agnes Scott

The best decision I ever made.

Let me address the first question (and title of this post) with my answer of why I chose Agnes Scott College, one of the top Liberal Arts women’s colleges in the country.

Before visiting I was 100% sure that there was No-Way-No-How you’d catch me at a women’s college. I was confident already, boys in the classroom didn’t scare me. I soon realized that wasn’t the point. The type of woman who attends Agnes Scott College and other women’s colleges are the opposite of afraid.

From my first steps on campus where I was immediately greeted by some of the most intelligent, confident, fearless and together women I’d ever met, I knew that I had stumbled into something amazing. Over the rest of that first weekend that I spent at Agnes Scott interviewing, attending panels, and talking with current students, I became 100% certain that it was the college for me.

I saw that the women of Agnes Scott were there to get the best education possible- a rigorous curriculum mixed with real world experiences and plenty of extracurricular activities to explore and grow in. These women cared about my passions and my goals in life, and we were in an environment that would nurture and allow me to cultivate my interests. I knew I wanted that. I wanted to be that kind of woman.

Current students at Agnes Scott welcomed me right away- before I was even officially a student there. The entire campus community was like that, welcoming me in enthusiastically and excited about the type of woman I could become.

I wanted a place where I could focus on my education and future, and that place for me was a women’s college.

Agnes Scott Graduation

Some of the most amazing women I’ve ever met.

Was it easy? No, but not for the lack of men.
I worked harder and more was expected of me at Agnes Scott than of my friends at other co-ed schools. This is not to say that all co-ed schools are easy, as I’m sure they aren’t, but the academic rigor at Agnes Scott is not to be compared to basket weaving and cooking classes.

And men? Psh, we were in Atlanta! There are plenty of other schools around when you want to go out. Some of my best friends are men who went to Georgia State and Morehouse!

Was it fun? Absolutely.

I spent time discussing real world issues and time discussing shoes and clothes. I partied with my friends and I studied and worked and researched with them as well. The friends I made at my women’s college will be my friends for a lifetime. They are as diverse as they come with so many varying goals and dreams. And that’s the beauty of it. We laughed and cried together and experienced college life together.

I spent my four years at college surrounded by ambitious, feisty, intelligent women who encouraged and supported me at every turn.

With all that being said,

Why wouldn’t I want to go to a women’s college?

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The story of a girl who couldn’t make up her mind. Ever.

Aka the story of how I’m now living in my 3rd home in as many months and now there’s no turning back. For a while.

As you know by now, life post-college graduation has not exactly been the fairy tale I might have imagined my sophomore year of college. (I thought I’d be living in North Carolina and married over this past summer and life would be moving in a TOTALLY different direction. HA, 20 year old me was so silly.) Honestly, I could not be more grateful for the way my life has changed over these past couple of years but it still leaves me with immense feelings of uncertainty. Is this where I’m supposed to be living? Is this the path I belong on? Hello, confusion!

What I do know is that I am incredibly lucky that my past experiences have given me the confidence and ability to just pick up my life in a matter of days, pack everything I own into my car, and go. It’s a wild ride.

After my summer of teaching, I packed up and moved home to take care of my Daddy. Though I know I was helpful to provide rides and a rest for the rest of my family, I also know that I wasn’t in the place I was supposed to be. My heart wasn’t there. And that’s ok.

I love my father with everything I have. I have him in my heart forever, and his writing tattooed on my skin. He will forever be my number 1 man, and my biggest cheerleader in this life. I know he understands my need to leave my small town in Idaho and knows my heart is in the city with more opportunities for education and for work that I will be able to love. I still talk to him regularly and I know the updates on his condition, and am in close contact with his doctors. At this point, there is nothing more I could do, and I just have to trust that they will make my father the most comfortable that they can in this time.

So I picked up and drove to Atlanta, back again for good this time. Or until I save up enough money for another move. For now, I am relying on the generosity of sweet friends to provide housing for me until I can find myself a job and an apartment on my own, and enjoying time recovering mentally and spiritually from these past few months, and reconnecting with friends that fill my soul with so much happiness.

This change and transition into a new stage of life is bittersweet, but the moments of joy make it worth it. And as bad as I might think things may be at times, I remember the words of my favorite professor as I complained once to her about not knowing what to do with my life- I am lucky. I am so very blessed to have these options. To have choice. I have the privilege of deciding what I will do and who I will be. There are so many who don’t have that, and I am lucky. This reminder to be grateful echoes through my mind any time I start to think negatively.

 

One.

I’ve been feeling kind of “meh” lately. Between moving and leaving everything I’ve known for the past four years and trying to make this transition into living in Idaho and not being a college student anymore, I have to admit it’s been a little rough.

However, today when I was browsing the TV channels (cause I can do things like that now- no papers to write!) I saw a commercial about education that shared some stats about Idaho. While the commercial was quite sad (we’re ranked 48th in the nation! OUCH!) it also pointed out that although right now I don’t feel like I’m accomplishing much, I actually have done something that not many people do.

As you can watch in this video,

For every 10 high school first-years in Idaho, 8 will graduate from high school.

4 will go to college.

1 will graduate from college.

ONE.

I am that one.

The teacher in me wants to make sure that in the next generation there are many more than just ONE. The recent grad in me is damn proud to be that one.

A a woman, I know the odds were even greater against me.

As a Latina, I know the odds were WAY higher that I would drop out or get pregnant than graduate from college.

I know it may seem like a small thing, but right now it’s big. And it’s real. And that’s something that I’m proud of.

Graduation, moving, and puppies, oh my!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve updated, but I promise there’s a reason! I graduated from college and moved across the country! It’s been such a whirlwind couple of weeks but I’m finally catching up with everything going on.

First of all, let me say that graduating from college is the most amazing feeling I have ever experienced. The amount of love and pride I felt radiating all over my college campus that day was overwhelming in the most fantastic way. My beautiful, sweet, intelligent, kind, incredible friends all did wonderfully and we all couldn’t have been more proud of each other. We’ve all supported each other through four years of the greatest but also most difficult and trying years, but we survived and came out stronger, more confident women.

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We’ve loved each other with incredible strength, passion, and loyalty, and these women have become my true support system and best friends. I couldn’t imagine life without them, and I feel profoundly lucky that I don’t have to.

And of course I can never forget about my other incredible support system. My parents and two of my brothers were able to make it to my graduation and I was so so happy that they were there!

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A couple days after graduation, my brother and I started on the drive back to Idaho! We had a pretty uneventful trip, just a lot of driving and counting antelope in Wyoming! And of course, coming home I’ve been spending a lot of time with this sweet baby!

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Leadership Awards and SpARC!

Tuesday was the college’s leadership awards, and as a student leader (President of our Latina organization on campus, Latinas Unidas) I was invited. I was also recognized as part of Who’s Who Among America’s College Students. It was a great night that really acknowledged all the hard work that students do to create programs and promote awareness of different issues within the community.

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A little fun was had with the balloons afterward  🙂

Yesterday (Thursday) was our Spring Annual Research Conference. Students (mostly seniors) are able to present what they’ve been working on and show everyone their findings. It’s a really great thing to have on campus that we all feel pretty lucky to have. Most students have been doing research for the semester leading up to this. However, I’ve been working on mine for a year!

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It was an extra stressful week leading up to the conference. I was finalizing data analysis, creating my presentation, practicing, timing, and organizing everything. I was so afraid that I wouldn’t be ready.

Then, yesterday, it all came together! My presentation went smoothly and a lot of people actually came to watch. Only a few were my friends to support me but the rest were honestly interested in the subject. It felt good to give a presentation on what I’d been working on for so long that people enjoyed. A few of my deans and professors also came out. Celebrity status, ha.

Most of my presentation won’t make sense without me talking and explaining everything, but here are my title and thesis slides!

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It’s been a great and busy week. This weekend begins the paper writing. Over 50 pgs in the next week need to be written, so I’ll be keeping busy still! Here we go!

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It’s been a quiet week over here on the blog!

I’ve been keeping busy with school, events, and trying to spend as much time with my friends here as possible in between research and other work.

This past week has been full of a lot of reflecting, reading, thinking, and realizations.

I am exactly 3 weeks from graduating from college (!!!) and things are getting REAL. Experiencing things with my friends here “for the last time” has been getting rough and emotional for us all and at this point when someone talks about they are usually met with shhhh’s and “noooooo!” But the thing is, whether we talk about it or not, May 11th is going to be a hard day. It will be SUCH a happy day though. My family will be here, I will graduate. I will be done. But, like I’ve said before, I have a hard time letting go of friends.

So it’s been a somewhat quiet week around here as we all keep on keeping on through these next few weeks.

I did take my little ones to the LUL probate this week and took them out with me. They are so fun. LUL is the frat that I’ve worked with a lot through the years and I’ve become really close with the guys. I’m going to miss them too! My first-years are fun ladies so taking them and introducing them to everyone was really enjoyable. I felt like a proud mama watching as they became more comfortable with themselves throughout the night.

Today we had our senior brunch at Dean Lee’s house, and we ate omelets and she read Dr. Seuss to us and then gave us each a book! It was such a fun time and an opportunity that I know wouldn’t happen at any other school. I have been so blessed to be a part of this community.

Tomorrow I have plans to go out with my friend Syedah and take some senior pictures so that we can have some pretty spring pictures. I’ll share some results when we come back!

Weekend recap!

This past weekend was lots of fun and filled to the brim with friends, food, and of course- homework.

First, on Friday morning I rang the bell! Ringing the bell is a huge tradition at Agnes Scott. As a senior, when you get into grad school or accept your first real job, you get to go up to the bell tower and ring the bell to let everyone know about your accomplishments. It was definitely a proud moment for me and I was shaking most the time. Afterward I was so happy and nervous I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry or both! It was a lot of fun!

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After that I had my usual Friday mornings (for LU and such) and then walked out on the quad to see this cute kid! My friend Emma babysits him and they came to visit campus for a bit. He is my favorite and gives me my baby fix when I need it. He’s super adorable and so happy.

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Then Friday night was Spring Fling! I thought about not going, but my sweet friends convinced me to put on a pretty dress and go have fun and I am so glad they did. We had a blast hanging out and dancing the night away. I also got my palm read and apparently I have the mark of an educator (surprise), will have 3 kids and be married once. I’ll take it! I’ll be excited to see our “professional” pictures from that night and I know Camille has some on her camera too but for now I have these! (featuring my loves Larricia, Camille, and Megan)

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Saturday was for recovering from the exhausting night (my feet were definitely hurting!) and getting work done. At night though, Megan and I decided to go to Panera because of the wedding happening on campus. My GPS took us in a round-a-bout way to get there but it meant we drove through a neighborhood of beautiful houses that we drooled over and said “someday” about. Then we discovered this adorable little park! It was so fun!

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And of course, knowing me, I had to get in the water! I took a little trip across the creek to “look for gators” and splash around a little.

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Sunday was a relaxing day with lots of class reading and napping and Netflix watching. A good weekend, overall. Now time for another week of classes and research! Hard to believe I’m only 26 days from graduation!

First blog post.

A couple weeks ago I was thinking about starting a blog while I sat relaxing in my parents hotel room in Seattle. Not knowing where I’m going in this world had me overwhelmed with thoughts that I feel like I should share and even more overwhelmed by how incredibly blessed I am in this very moment.

I am healthy. Incredibly so. My surgery over this past winter break has allowed me to heal so much and not be sick near as often this semester. I’m so grateful to have had healthcare and insurance all my life that has blessed me with this health. Getting back into running/jogging recently has made me feel better than ever. I need to keep with this habit!

I have options. SO many options! As scary as it is most days it’s really such a wonderful thing to have so many things to be able to do. I am lucky to have choices about where my future is going. Many people have their futures planned out for them and have no voice in what they’re going to do.  I do.

I have a supportive family. Of course we’re not perfect, but they will stand behind me and help me with whatever happens.

My friends are truly the very best in the whole entire world. I am so so lucky to be able to call them my friends and talk to them all the time. They are the best humans I know- smart, sweet, beautiful, kind, giving, patient, and so many other adjectives that are fabulous. And for some reason they let me hang out with them, ha!

I have an excellent education and a job I love. My schooling has been top notch and I’ve worked hard and earned my way through with zero student loans. As close to impossible as that is these days, I feel even luckier. I love working with the children I do and being the one they trust and talk to and depend on. They are so much fun and they keep me creative and young.

I am honestly so, so blessed.