By Edurne Gonzalez
There are probably a million types of societal aspects influencing the average college student. Walking around the campus, I see people connected to their technology, and I’ve come to realize that headphones, laptops, phones and pretty much any other type of machinery is a must for everyday survival. But in my personal experience, college is a little different because you’re in a micro society that actually cares about what goes on in the world. While many college students are still addicted to technology, they still show that they care about what is going on in the world
Whether it’s local or international, people like to get involved and shape the future in both small and large ways. Something I admire about my fellow college students is that we share the same passion to make a difference in the world. We are the generation that is shaping the world.
As a Hispanic Woman I have never felt I was shorted opportunities due to my race.
It’s true that my parents were amazed to see how opportunities like studying abroad or learning Chinese or Arabic were opportunities so readily available to me.
It’s also true that I’ve always known that going to a university was the path I was destined to take. Whether it was in this country or another country, I would have tried my best to expand my education and make a better life for myself and my family, which I know is a widespread sentiment shared by people of all backgrounds attending college.
As a Hispanic, I’ve never felt like my dreams were too big for the color of my skin or the background that I come from. I never really identified myself as being different because I come from a different background than most people around me. I’m proud of the things that make me different; whether that’s drinking Champurrado instead of hot chocolate in the winter, or celebrating two independence days in a year instead of one, these experiences have shaped who I am.
Though I also understand the difficulties that can come with being a Hispanic woman at times. Learning about controversial subjects like illegal immigration, and whether or not women deserve equal pay to men frustrate me because I recognize the fact that they are still major issues in society. But with my generation, I know we have the power to change the problems society faces by using our voices to speak out.
The voices of Hispanics, though a minority, matter. They matter when we vote for the things we want to change in our society.
My purpose in looking for Latino groups around campus was to make a change. It was an attempt to meet people that came from the same background as me, people who shared similar life experiences and knew where I was coming from.
It’s definitely not just university students that should get involved. Everyday Latinos can be proactive in many ways by getting to know issues not only in their local areas but also in the nation and in the world. We can join groups that advocate issues such as equal rights, immigration and equal pay. This way more and more people understand the facts of the issues and find ways to add their opinion to sway the changes to their side.
Despite the fact that I’m thousands of miles away from the country my parents were raised in, coming to the university has helped me become more in touch with not only my cultural identity, but also a wide variety of cultural identities.
It has shown me that to change things, a person must speak their mind even if it goes against that of the masses, because there is definitely strength in numbers. I know a lot of Hispanics have been scared to speak out against injustices for fear of problems they may face. Yet, this is definitely not the way to go if people – not just Hispanics – want to change the issues in our society.
Sure there are obstacles to be faced yet the struggle is the thing that will lead us to getting our ideas at least out there and known. It’s all about taking that leap of faith.
As I continue to learn what it means to be a college student, sleepless nights and anxiety attacks and all, I think back to the path that has led me to this point in my life. As a Hispanic woman, I refuse to see any barriers in my path, because although there are going to be mountains to climb, I know that I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other to get where I’m going.
Edurne Gonzalez studies BLANK. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @AliSchultzzz.