For as long as I can remember, my dad instilled the notion in me that no matter what, I was going to be a Longhorn. Being an Austinite, orange blood has run through my veins since the day I was born so naturally, that was always the goal. I used to be so intimidated at the thought of applying (even though I was in the top 8% of my class) because it seemed so unreal. I never knew anyone who went to UT and any time I'd hear people talking about students that went to UT, it always seemed as if they were put on a pedestal, like they were somehow among an untouchable group of people. I wanted to know what that felt like.
Before I knew it, 4 years of high school had flown by and the time had come to apply. By late December, my letter had arrived. I was home alone and was so nervous I probably could've passed out. Somehow, I got myself together just long enough to open the letter and see that I had been accepted to the college of Liberal Arts as an English major! The first person I called was my dad. When he answered the phone, I was already crying which made him think something was wrong but when I told him, "I got accepted to UT!" He said, "Congratulations, Baby! I'll be home soon, save the letter for me!" It wasn't long before his blue Tahoe pulled into the driveway and immediately, I handed him the letter. When he opened it, he began to cry and being the big baby that I am, I cried too. It was truly one of the greatest moments of my life. "I always knew you could do it." Those words have stuck with me from that day forward.
Here I am 4 years later, sitting at my desk in the Latinitas office doing what I'd always dreamt of! It took me a while to get used to passing the tower everyday on my way to class. It was so unreal. The tower, for me, was the symbol of all my years of hard work. I've been fortunate enough to experience amazing opportunities offered through the University of Texas. School has opened so many doors for me and has inspired me to dream even bigger than I ever had. Graduation is only around the corner and what keeps me going is imagining the look on my dad's face when he watches me cross the stage at the Frank Erwin Center.
My advice to any young Latinas even slightly interested in pursuing higher education is to just go for it! It might seem as if all the odds are against you and honestly, that might be true for some people but what makes success even greater is the satisfaction of knowing you were brave enough to fight through the odds. Follow your passion and work hard, it will take you far.