Graduating from college always seemed so far away, yet here I am, at 20–years old and only a few weeks away from walking across the stage and finally celebrating my achievements.
Education has always played a key role in my life. I believe higher education is the road to professional success. It leads individuals to their passions, and it opens opportunities for generations to come.
I grew up in a family that always motivated me to go far and beyond in achieving my educational goals. Although some may say I am an over-achiever, my dreams of earning a Ph.D. have led me to work hard to make my parents proud since I was young.
I attended Valle Verde Early College High School to accelerate two years of my college education and earned an associate’s degree at the age of 17.
Although I have stumbled through various challenges throughout these past years, including not sleeping, late-night tears and remote learning, I can confidently say I would never trade this experience for anything.
Thanks to my parents’ words ‘No te des por vencida, yo sé que tú puedes’ and seeing my sisters accomplish their goals during their Ph.D. programs, it motivates me to continue fighting even when situations get stressful.
Without my friends, family, and mentors’ constant support and advice, this dream would not have come true – especially during a global pandemic.
I still remember my first day at UTEP in 2019, walking around and admiring our beautiful campus. I would have never thought my stories would be published at The Prospector, let alone promote me to Arts and Culture editor.
Although I have only worked at The Prospector for two semesters, I am thankful for the experience and friendships I have built along the way.
I would like to thank Anahy for taking a chance on me and allowing me to join the Prospy team as a contributor and letting me report on any issues I felt passionate about, even when I did not have any experience.
Thank you, Julian, Tracy and Vero, for motivating me along the way and for always supporting me even when I felt unsure or stressed. Tracy, thank you so much for all your letters of recommendation, for always answering any questions I had and giving me advice.
I am thankful that I get to call The Prospector not only my workplace, but a second home.
To my co-workers, who I am thankful to call my friends – Emily, Itzel, Vicky, Anahy, Maria, Annabella, Salette, Levi, Albert, and Hugo – thank you for all the laughs, tears, hugs, and happy moments we have shared throughout the weeks.
As I prepare myself to close this chapter in December, I am thankful for the education and opportunities that I have received at UTEP. I will forever be a proud Miner.
Thank you, Professor Kate Gannon, for being so patient with me and always providing me with great opportunities. Thanks to Professor Angela Kocherga for helping me believe in my skills and work, and thanks to Professor Eraldo Chiecchi for showing me my love for journalism and helping me explore outside my comfort zone.
This is not a farewell, but a see you later as I enter graduate school next semester.
Victoria Rivas is the Arts and Culture editor and may be reached at [email protected]; @VicRivas_18 on Twitter.