I hope April has treated everyone well. I know I personally have been in immense academic stress (hence my absence this month). This is the final few weeks of graduate school for me, and I am feeling all those deadlines. It’s almost like everything decided to just hit at once. Sometimes I don’t know how I’ll get it done, but I know I will. I’ve come so far and I am trying to go even further!
This week I’m going to participate in the 35th Annual California State University Research Competition at Cal Poly Pomona! I am so excited! Even if it will be virtual, participating in this has been a goal of mine. I know pre-COVID, I didn’t think I would have what it would take to become a Stan State delegate. Somehow though, I managed to secure a delegate opening and will be presenting my research tomorrow (Saturday, May 1st)!. I’m so excited!
Logo by Cal Poly Pomona
Before tomorrow arrives, I thought I would reflect on what it means for me to present at this competition.
As a first generation student, who enrolled in a program that is deemed “too professional” and by some “not academic enough,” I can’t help but be very proud of myself. I never thought I would have the range to engage in academic and scholarly based work outside of classroom settings and assignments. I also never imagined myself presenting at the CSU system level! That’s huge.
Whenever I ask myself what I would be doing had I decided to go to school elsewhere, I begin to wonder if I would have the same opportunities that Stan State has presented me with. I also wonder if those opportunities were presented elsewhere, if the support system would exist that would allow me to strive and thrive in the face of academic pressure and what seems like endless deadlines, even during a once in a generation global pandemic.
I would describe this new era of my life as going from Student to Student-Researcher, because I am beginning to really accept the fact that there is a space in academic for people like me. Queer people of color can thrive and take up space in academia and do research on topics they are passionate about. I firmly believe it and hope anyone still considering attending Stan State to recognize that this university does grant those opportunities. It’s just a matter of taking them on.
Have a good weekend, friends!