Lucero Ramirez ’20
As a first generation college student, one of my biggest motivators was to make my family, especially my parents proud of me. I always think about how they had done everything that was in their power and sacrificed so much to get me to my first year at Texas A&M University. My parents did not attend college, but I did have an advantage in that I am the youngest of three and the last one of my siblings to go to college and the second one to come to Texas A&M. This meant that my parents and I had a lot more knowledge about college than my oldest sister had when she began to apply for college.
However, I was not prepared for being in an entirely new environment and balancing school with my social life and the effect that would have on my mental health. In the beginning I was fine, mostly because everything around me was so new that I was focused on something new every day. After everything started to slow down, I noticed that underneath all the excitement I was not really happy here, even though I knew I wanted to be here.
Eventually it started to affect my school work because my solution to being upset was to hang out with my friends, and it worked for a while. I really did not know what to do. Thankfully the student organization that I was part of brought in speakers from different campus resources such as the Academic Success Center, Career Center and Student Counseling Services. Hearing them speak made me realize that I needed to reach out to someone for help because I needed to get out of that hole I was digging myself into.
After visiting with the Career Center and Student Counseling Services, I realized that I did not actually like the major I was in and it was affecting my mental health, which then affected my grades. Using the resources that are on campus and talking to people helped me realize that feeling like I did not belong in the major I had chosen and the desire to change my major was completely normal. Others made me realize that I had to do what was best for me even though I felt like I would be a huge disappointment to my parents.
After I did that, I was able to talk to my parents and tell them how I felt the need to change my major. My parents were actually very understanding, and I am forever grateful for that. One of the biggest things I learned to do during my first year here as an Aggie student is knowing when to ask for help, figuring out where to get that help and actually asking for help. I had never really known about all the resources Texas A&M, and other universities, have to help their students succeed, whether you need help in academics, professionalism or mental health. Thankfully after going through that my first year and a little bit during my second year, I can say that I genuinely enjoy all of my classes and I’m really glad I decided to ask for help.