Bordering Broader Horizons

10 Feb

nogales border

I lived in a small border town that connected Nogales, Arizona with Nogales, Sonora. Growing up in “Ambos Nogales” gave me the opportunity to experience two different cultures; my Mexican culture was influenced by the English-speaking community. While Nogales was great, it didn’t give me the opportunity to expand my knowledge about different identities. My first real experience dealing with diversity was when I came to the University of Arizona. You could say I went through culture shock, dealing with a new environment and the different cultures that were right in front of me.

society

The U of A gives us the opportunity to mingle with people from all around the world! Some people don’t take advantage of it, maybe because they are scared of change. However, getting involved is something that is extremely important. I wanted to broaden my horizons, and take advantage of all the opportunities that this campus offers. Here are some of the experiences that I had:

After getting comfortable in my new surroundings, the first thing I did was join Chicano/Hispano Student Affairs (CHSA), an organization that provides different events and resources to connect students together. CHSA gave me the opportunity to meet people around the U of A community that had a similar background and gave me the home base that I needed on campus. This was the first place that opened its arms to me. What I like most about CHSA is that it welcomes anyone into the center!  There are five different centers around the university that offer that support that everyone needs. Asian Pacific American Student Affairs, Native American Student Affairs, African American Student Affairs, Women’s Resource Center and LGBTQ. These great resources host events where anyone can attend and experience the different community that our campus has to offer.

marvin

My best friend Marvin is one to show up to almost all of CHSA’s events

Once I had my home-base, I started joining different clubs in order to broaden my horizons. Minorities in Psychology brought a new perspective to the major that I was pursuing; the club provided everyone the opportunity to meet new people, obtain help with homework, and provide support for the students that needed it. Through events like the meet and greet, bowling night, and the semester wind down,  I had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, and talk about the experiences we have had at the U of A.. I still cherish the friendships that arose from that club.

hillary clinton

Educating yourself about diversity, through research and firsthand experience is something that is extremely important. This way you can build your own definition and understand and respect everyone’s identity.

diversity

–Veronica Atondo

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