Scholar's Program Peer Mentor
Major(s) and minor(s):
Sociology major and Education minor
What has your experience as a 1st generation or low income student been like?
At first I had difficulty finding my space on campus because I had never moved away from home before. After visiting El Centro for a MUJER meeting in my first year though, I found people that I really resonated with. From there I got to meet even more great people and find more places that felt like home on campus, like at the RCSGD(Resource Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity). Since then, I’ve met more amazing people who are staff or students and gotten to know more about campus and the community, and I am happy to be able to pass on the knowledge that I’ve acquired in the last three years to incoming classes of low-income first gen students that were in the place that I was when I first came to UCSB.
What has your experience at UCSB been like?
It’s had its ups and downs. Imposter syndrome is really hard and still persists for me, but I found that involving myself in my community, especially with people that I have met in MUJER or through EOP, has been rewarding and a motivator to continue to do my best and value my work, so that I can be as powerful as the women and non-binary folk around me. I was lucky to be an RA the spring of my first year and summer before my second year, and I am so happy to see where my residents are now! But, what this job made me realize is that if I want to be helpful, then I also have to accept help and reach out. Normalizing asking for help is something I am still working on but I value a lot because it has lightened many loads.
Top tips for students:
1. Doing things ahead of time prevents stress. It’s hard especially if you’re used to BS-ing tasks and just aiming for high grades, but if you are able to, list your tasks for the day and do the things that take the least amount of time first. This gives a sense of accomplishment from doing a couple of small things which then motivate you to do longer tasks. Plus, it helps to feel more involved in your classes if you give yourself time to do the learning. This is something I’m still working on as well.
2. Sleep is a must! If you’re a nap person, take naps, but overall it’s never worth it to skimp on sleep!
3. Also, you are a person first—above school, above work. Take care of your needs first and reward yourself for the hard work you’ve done often! Self care doesn’t have to involve a purchase: it can be giving yourself time to reflect, to water your plants, to watch an episode of that show you forgot you were watching. Do what makes you feel good! .