Tuesday, January 15, 2013

From ILC Alum Lucina Parada

Dear Ivy League Connection students, alumni, parents, sponsors, and directors,

I have written to you in the past couple years chronicling my path through college. Last time I wrote, I was facing the start of my senior year in college and today, I write to you as I am eight days away from starting the final semester of my undergraduate career at UC Berkeley. It has been a long, arduous journey full of sleepless nights and major caffeine dependency but it will all be worth it when I hear my name being called as I walk across the stage at graduation.

I find myself answering a variety of questions after people find out I’ll be graduating this May. People always ask me, “What are you going to do after you graduate?”  It’s a question I’ve been hearing since my junior year, when I’d respond I was considering getting my Masters or pursuing a law degree after getting a job, without knowing it’s what I really wanted to do. Today, I’ve grown more confident in my answer and I tell them I would ideally like to work full-time in a law office so I can save money and put it towards paying off my student loans before I pursue a post graduate degree. As for my long-term goals, I would like to end up working in the law/public policy realm of immigration, as it is an issue near and dear to my heart. While I can proudly tell people of my goals and ambitions for the post-grad life, I know life can take me down a completely different path. It’s a scary thought yet I look forward to what truly lies ahead for me.

The follow up question I usually get is, “are you happy with your time at Berkeley?” It’s a thought provoking question that makes me reflect upon my three and a half years at Berkeley. I picture myself sitting in my Astronomy C12 lecture as a Berkeley student and I distinctly remember how excited I was to be starting my undergraduate career. As I walk down memory lane, I picture myself in the library slaving away at an Ethnic Studies 21AC paper, soaking up the sun on Memorial Glade on a bright day in October, marching down Market Street with Cal Band in the 2010 Giants World Series Victory Parade (which I still refer to as the best day of my life), and staying out until three in the morning with friends. The memories keep rushing into my mind as I see myself marching at AT&T Park in the fall of 2011, feeling on top of the world upon completing a thirty-page paper for a Junior Seminar in the Political Science department, traveling to Ohio State University for a football game this past September, and dancing my heart out to “Single Ladies” by Beyonce in front of 70,000 fellow Cal fans at my last home game in November.

After that quick stroll down memory lane, I proudly answer that I couldn’t be any happier with my time at Berkeley. Being at Berkeley as a Political Science student and a Cal Band member has filled me up with such joy that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I can only hope that every single one of you currently reading this testimonial will strive to find that same joy I’ve experienced, whether you’re studying at UPenn or UCLA or you’re a college senior waiting to hear back from the schools you’ve applied to. To end, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from a movie: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Warm regards,

Lucina Parada
B.A. Political Science, 2013
University of California, Berkeley

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