Studying Out of State

By Tomas Manriquez-HernandezFellow, Syracuse University

My legs maintained a constant fidget, my hands clenched into a fist every so often, all as I waited restlessly for my plane to land in Syracuse.  My stay in Denver this past winter break was characterized by this same unsettled feeling.  When I landed in Syracuse, I immediately began looking through the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) prep materials for the class I would take to prepare for the LSAT this coming summer.  Having been funded for a portion of the class by LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede, I felt utterly grateful for their support and, at the same time, overwhelmingly empowered because I have been given the resources to reach higher and higher at every step of my path to becoming a lawyer.  

My experience with LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede strays from the traditional because I have chosen to study out of state, at Syracuse University.  In choosing to do this I have been able to challenge myself in various aspects of my life and I have broadened my horizons.  The only problem is that when I get overwhelmed, as we all do at some point or another; I don’t have the option to return home, to rely on my parents, or even to take a break from school.  Although my parents are supportive and provide advice, their education was limited to elementary school in Mexico.  As such their knowledge and experiences are limited and do not cover many of the problems I have faced in college. Many times they just can’t relate to or understand what I am going through.  Similarly, many of my friends who graduated high school disregarded my choice to enter college as one that came from being “lucky” or “privileged”, rather than hard earned.  What is perhaps most frustrating is that, although all of my friends and family love and care for me, I cannot talk to them because their response is a simple “well just come home.”  

For these reasons it has been all the more imperative to have mentors who can empathize with my struggles.  In a few days, I will be finishing my junior year at Syracuse in the best position I have ever been in college thanks to the support and advice of my LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede  Mentors who have given me guidance on studying, balancing work and academics, taking advantage of additional resources here at the university, and managing personal relationships.  Even though my mentors are in Colorado and I am in New York, we manage to communicate almost every two weeks, be it by text messaging or skype video calls. When I am home we take advantage of our time in Colorado and regularly go climbing or hiking to build on the relationship. Furthermore my mentors have provided me with incredible networking opportunities, including meeting with the mayor of Denver, Michael Hancock, and sitting down and having lunch with Judge Arguello, herself.

I am grateful to LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede both for funding my LSAT prep course, a class I would never have otherwise been able to afford, and for providing me with three very committed mentors who have been there for me during the past two years.  In a few weeks, I will be taking one of the most important tests of my life – the LSAT and I am honored to have been provided with so much help along the way.path to becoming a lawyer.  
My experience with LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede strays from the traditional because I have chosen to study out of state, at Syracuse University.  In choosing to do this I have been able to challenge myself in various aspects of my life and I have broadened my horizons.  The only problem is that when I get overwhelmed, as we all do at some point or another; I don’t have the option to return home, to rely on my parents, or even to take a break from school.  Although my parents are supportive and provide advice, their education was limited to elementary school in Mexico.  As such their knowledge and experiences are limited and do not cover many of the problems I have faced in college. Many times they just can’t relate to or understand what I am going through.  Similarly, many of my friends who graduated high school disregarded my choice to enter college as one that came from being “lucky” or “privileged”, rather than hard earned.  What is perhaps most frustrating is that, although all of my friends and family love and care for me, I cannot talk to them because their response is a simple “well just come home.”  

For these reasons it has been all the more imperative to have mentors who can empathize with my struggles.  In a few days, I will be finishing my junior year at Syracuse in the best position I have ever been in college thanks to the support and advice of my LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede  Mentors who have given me guidance on studying, balancing work and academics, taking advantage of additional resources here at the university, and managing personal relationships. Even though my mentors are in Colorado and I am in New York, we manage to communicate almost every two weeks, be it by text messaging or skype video calls. When I am home we take advantage of our time in Colorado and regularly go climbing or hiking to build on the relationship. Furthermore my mentors have provided me with incredible networking opportunities, including meeting with the mayor of Denver, Michael Hancock, and sitting down and having lunch with Judge Arguello, herself.

I am grateful to LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede both for funding my LSAT prep course, a class I would never have otherwise been able to afford, and for providing me with three very committed mentors who have been there for me during the past two years.  In a few weeks, I will be taking one of the most important tests of my life – the LSAT and I am honored to have been provided with so much help along the way.