I don’t remember when I decided to go to college. Neither Mami nor Papi had a college education. In fact, Mami had only gone as far as the 9th grade and Papi can’t recall the last grade he completed. Still, I knew I would pack my bags, buy flip flops for use in the public showers and get a college degree. I wanted to learn. I wanted to live in a tiny dorm room. I wanted to experience what it was to become an independent woman.
My college experience was more than just learning about communication, writing and psychology (my major was in Communications and minor in Psychology). I also became aware of myself, personally and professionally. I had to be responsible. Mami wasn’t there to do my laundry or cook my rice and chuletas. I had to be proactive. No one was holding my hand when I joined Casa Dominicana, the Dominican organization on campus, or when I was sworn in as Secretary. I had to be savvy. It was the only way to figure out which professors to connect with and what advisors would allow me to fiddle with my schedule so I wouldn’t have classes on Fridays.
Responsible. Proactive. Savvy.
These qualities blossom when in an academic environment and onward. These qualities are essential to having an entrepreneurial spirit. Because I had to go out on my own to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, I plow ahead despite the obstacles. At the young age of 18, I had to do for me. And I always have. Since then, I have accomplished so much. I graduated with my Master of Arts in Writing in 2006. I was a teacher. I self-published a book. I am a freelance writer. I am an entrepreneur.
I am…responsible, proactive, savvy.
So, take this time as an educated Latina to tap into your entrepreneurial spirit. What makes you plow ahead? What ideas do you have for your future and how can you bring them to life? Take a moment and ask yourself this question, which I have asked myself many times before: if I had all the resources in the world, what would I do professionally? Think big. Dream big. Write it down and give it power. No matter what your parent’s educational history, what your color or where you are from, remember to do for you.