Today I was able to interview my other mentee from the ACES mentorship program, Yaretzi Leos. Yaretzi is a first-year OSU student, currently studying Early Childhood Education. It was a great experience to catch up with Yaretzi and see how her semester has been going!
ACADEMICS: How do you like to study? Have you found a good place for studying on campus?
Yaretzi is a commuter student from the Hilliard area in Columbus. Therefore, she enjoys to get her work done and study at home. She told me that at times it can be distracting trying to get work done on campus, so it’s easier for her to work in the comfort of her own home with her family. She also said it is hard for her to focus when it’s too quiet. Therefore, she enjoys having background noise to help her focus like a TV show or a movie. Overall, Yaretzi has enjoyed her studies so far this semester, and hopes to finish strongly as finals are coming quickly.
INVOLVEMENT: What kind of involvement are you interested in on campus?
So far, Yaretzi gotten involved with the ACES Scholars program, and is also a member of the Morrill Scholars program. With these current commitments, she has monthly meetings and social events that allow her to get to know more students in these organizations. However, she also wishes to also get involved with the Latino Student Assocation (LSA) on campus, but with her current academic schedule, it is challenging to find the time for her to come to the weekly meetings. She told me she’s hoping to find the time next semester to attend the meetings on campus as she is about to schedule for her next academic semester.
ACES: What are you most looking forward to in the ACES program?
Being a commuter student, it’s been a little challenging for Yaretzi to connect with her ACES community. While she’s living at home in Hilliard, her scholars community all lives together in Smith-Steeb Hall on campus. Therefore, she only gets to see her fellow ACES at their weekly seminar class, monthly meetings, and occasional events put on by the program. She is hoping to connect more with fellow ACES as we finish out this semester and continue into next year by getting more involved within the Scholars program.
CAREERS: What do you plan to do with your major after graduation?
Being a Early Childhood Education major, Yaretzi aspires to immediately get into the field and begin teaching after she graduates. She’d like to spend her time with 3rd grade students, and would also like to expand her license to be able to teach 4th and 5th grade students as well. Yaretzi is also hoping to teach in a school environment full of diversity, like Southwestern or Columbus City Schools. Originally from Southwestern, Yaretzi loved her school system and the cultural dynamic that filled the school, and she would love to go back to Southwestern and continue nourishing the diverse community. Yaretzi also told me that she’s never had a Hispanic teacher, and doesn’t know too many people that have had one either. Therefore, she’s hoping to change that by getting into the field and promoting diversity.
MISC: What is one of the most important things you’ve learned so far at Ohio State?
For Yaretzi, there have been a lot of eye-opening moments throughout her first semester. She told me that time has been going by so fast, and it’s crazy to think her first semester of college is already almost over. In result of that, she’s hoping to enjoy her time on campus while she can and appreciate every moment. Yaretzi also has found that campus truly isn’t as big as she thought it was going to be. She has been able to find her way around all of campus with ease, automatically knowing where every building is on campus and how to get there. She has also found that she often sees a lot of people she knows on campus, making OSU feel more welcoming and inclusive for her. Finally, Yaretzi told me she’s felt very relieved as a commuter student, initially worried that it would be hard to make connections with others due to living at home rather than campus. She’s learned that there is a huge community of commuters at Ohio State and has made a lot of new friends, along with keeping strong connections with friends from home that also chose to attend OSU, which has been incredibly relieving for her.
It was great to catch up with Yaretzi and hear about her semester, and I hope she continues to get involved and make more connections within the ACES community and OSU overall!