After learning a few basic phrases and how to introduce myself in Spanish on the first day of Spanish class in 7th grade, I became fascinated with the concept of being able to speak a second language. From that moment onward it became my goal to someday be fluent in Spanish.
During my college search I knew that a small liberal arts school was the perfect match for me. Although I planned to continue studying Spanish and major in the language, I had yet to discover what else I was interested in pursuing academically. In addition to the opportunity to take a wide variety of classes, I was especially interested in St Lawrence’s diverse study abroad opportunities. However aside from my academic interests, I hoped to find a school that I would absolutely fall in love with. After visiting the campus (in a blizzard!), speaking with current students and alum, I really began to get a sense of how truly special SLU is. The unique Laurentian identity, created through shared traditions, harsh winters, and the remote bucolic setting that only members of the SLU bubble truly understand and grow to love, seemed irresistible. Due to this strong sense of community and belonging, I knew this would be the perfect home for the next four years.
After taking a wide variety of classes my freshman year including Spanish, Chinese, Psychology and Music Theory, I decided to declare a Global Studies and Spanish double major. My FYS, Hispanic Cultural Studies, was the class that sparked my interest in Global Studies. In this class we studied various social movements throughout Latin America and Spain, which ignited my curiosity in the causes of and potential solutions for these social issues and widespread global inequity. I found that the Global Studies major provided me with the opportunity to investigate these issues further and take an interdisciplinary course load while complementing my Spanish major well.
This past summer I traveled to the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico for two weeks to take the summer course, Cultural Ecology in the Yucatán. In this course we investigated the ejido, or community land system in the Yucatán that is unique to Maya culture, and how it has been preserved and maintained today despite the influx of large-scale corporate agriculture. This course was an incredible experience as it provided me with the chance to use my Spanish while simultaneously having the opportunity to witness first hand one of the several issues that I have learned about through both my Global Studies and Spanish courses.
Next semester I will be studying abroad in Spain, which is an experience I have been looking forward to since my first year at SLU. I am extremely excited to immerse myself in the culture while also being able to improve upon my Spanish language skills. This will hopefully enable me to reach the level of fluency I have been aiming to achieve since my first Spanish class in 7th grade!