The Challenges of College

By Edgar Chavarria, Fellow Class of 2016
University of San Diego

Nothing is made to be easy—that is the key lesson I’ve taken from college thus far. During my time, I have balanced surviving in a city like San Diego, going to a private university where I decided to double major, and fully engaging in student activities while trying to stay in touch with my family, mentors, and friends. 

College challenges students with endless reading and constant exams—all of this while handling a million other responsibilities. I remember my first year brought fears of not fitting in, having obnoxious roommates, and homesickness. My second year was all about classes increasing in difficulty as well as deciding on a degree plan. During my third year, my goal has been not to starve without a meal plan and not start a kitchen fire in my dorm. Yet, the hardest thing has been finding more time to complete everything and getting the right support and motivation.

 I found out this year that twenty-four hours is simply not enough time to do everything that I want or need to get done. With so many things on my to-do list, I hit a point where I could not accomplish everything.  This affected my sleep and health. I realized that I was so busy that I no longer had a routine. I would get emails about meetings for work and other events on campus and I would simply adjust and go. Needless to say, I found myself in a situation that made it difficult to find direction and purpose. But even with this apprehension, it was not until I got a call this year from Judge Arguello and emails from my mentors that I realized that I was getting burnt out and was clearly overcommitted.

As I reflect on all these challenges, I realize that for first generation college students, getting through all of these challenges and continuing to law school is nearly impossible. I have seen it in my own life where so many aspects of college have made it very difficult to keep up with my goal of going to law school. Even when it came time to talk to advisors in my department, I would hear professors tell me that law school was not worthwhile, especially with my background. And, while I am aware that law school and the law school admission process is intensive, I know I can make it happen.

My mentors both in San Diego and Denver are some of the most helpful people I have who have supported me and continue to support me. Law School YES WE CAN makes it possible for someone to further their education after their undergraduate degree. Judge Arguello is a constant reminder that hard work, focus, and resilience are the key components to success. This past semester I made the decision to step back from many of my commitments on campus and, as a result of dedicating time to my mentors, I am about to begin an incredible opportunity as a legal intern through a partnership between Molson Coors and Law School YES WE CAN.

Nothing is made to be easy. But, would anyone be proud of who they are without truly challenging themselves? All the challenges I have faced were rigorous, yet here I stand committed to the challenge ahead and attending law school.

“So often in life, things that you regard to an impediment turn out to be great good fortune .”                     

-Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg