Thank you, next

Thank+you%2C+next

Hugo Hinojosa, Designer

My name is Hugo Hinojosa, and I am your layout editor for this newspaper– which means that, if you have been reading The Prospector for the past year, you are familiar with my work. I also happen to be a senior student about to graduate – which means that I, like my fellow graduates, deserve a lifetime award for mak-ing it through the odyssey.

For the way we acted through boring classes pretending that we liked them, for the way we wrote the same number of essays as there are songs on a Taylor Swift album, for the way we walked a marathon’s distance going from one building to another, for the way we became Formula One racers wanting to get to our 8 a.m. classes at 8:05 a.m. Girls, gays, and theys, we may not win an Oscar or a Grammy, but our bachelor’s degrees symbolize a lifetime’s effort for overcoming these and many challenges.

Seriously though, as much as one wants to downplay being a college student, we must admit that getting a degree is kind of iconic. It may not have been for everyone, and it is certainly not a guarantee of a life of luxury or popularity – or whatever we think success is – but we must realize that it is not easy whatsoever. Now, add a global pandemic into the mix? I will absolutely buy Jamba Juice on my way to therapy.

It may sound obvious, though often we take the journey for granted and sabotage ourselves in the process. I am guilty of falling for self-sabotage. I used to be too worried about decisions affecting my future and too obstinate not to make decisions at all. I would freeze and let deadlines sting until I had no option but to rush to-turn them in. Fortunately, I learned to let go. “Go with the flow,” as they say. But what does that mean? For me, it meant that, to maintain your mental psyche, I had to accept the present (or at least acknowledge it).

I had to realize that I am not a professional with years of experience, and I will not be anytime soon. It was the false expectations of success that fed my insecurities. I also had to grasp that other’s accomplishments are not my failures. I had to be grateful for what I had already accomplished to shake the envy.

So, look at your trajectory and you will find success. At 23 there are few, but a degree is no small accomplishment. And the most exciting part is that we are just getting started. So thank you UTEP… next!

I would like to thank my professors and supervisors for supporting me and allowing me to find direc-tion and purpose during my time at the university. I was lucky enough to learn from fantastic people who love their discipline and were willing to lift others.

I want to specially shout out Kadiri Vaquer Fernandez, Ph. D., Maria de los Angeles Flores, Ph. D., Jorge L. Aguilar, Richard Piñeda, Ph. D., Frank Perez, Ph. D., Roberto Avant-Mier, Ph. D., Corinne Boudreaux, Katie Bird, Ph. D., Tracy Patrick Roy, and Veronica Gonzalez. From every single one of you I learned integrity, leadership, initiative, creativity, and kindness.

Hugo Hinojosa is the designer and may be reached at [email protected]; @fotohinojosa on Instagram.