link Sammy Mestizo
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Sammy Mestizo

Mission College
UC Santa Cruz
Major: Anthropology, Latin American and Latino Studies

Currently: English Instructor, Madrid Spain

Like most new students, I experienced an up-down-and-up-again phase during my first quarter at UC Santa Cruz. I was initially excited for the newest chapter in my life. However, I nearly dropped out of university in the middle of my first quarter at UC Santa Cruz. The overwhelming workload, along with the loneliness of being a new transfer student, was not at all what I expected from that common "best four years of my life" college experience. What convinced me to continue my education were the good marks I received on my term papers. I eventually realized that college would be challenging - very challenging - but also that it would be possible.

The quarter system and upper-division courses are more demanding than the semester system and the general-education classes available at Mission College. Upper division courses are more specific and challenging as the material in one course is almost always essential to your future courses. It is best to take the time to at least skeleton-read the majority of the assigned readings and not procrastinate on assignments because your knowledge of the subject will suffer, which will most certainly affect your marks in future classes.

After hearing the experiences of students at other universities, I realize how spoiled we are as MC students, with numerous staff who are willing to help students reach their goals as quickly and easily as possible. EOPS, the transfer student resource center, and all of the racial/ethnic/identity resource centers were all very helpful. However, I believe the most helpful support services were my professors, given the importance of assignments for your academic career and that professors have a higher expectation for essay writing at a four-year.

I am currently teaching English in Madrid, Spain, the city where I studied abroad. (side note: study abroad!). I will continue my education in a master’s program or, preferably, in a PhD program for anthropology. I am very interested in becoming a professor of anthropology and researching the intersection of tourism and race.

My advice for other transfer students: Try establishing an effective study routine in preparation for the rather demanding work load of four year universities.