Feeling at Home Within a Diverse Campus

By:
Jimena Velazquez & Remington Hill

Jimena is a Junior Psychology major at Southwestern Adventist University. She explores how the diversity on the University’s campus has impacted her experience at Southwestern Adventist University.

 

I always knew that I wanted to immerse myself within an Adventist community. After my high school graduation in 2017, I had decided that an Adventist education was worth pursuing. With this in mind, I began thinking about my finances. My plan was to work as much as possible for a few years, save money, then attend an Adventist University when I felt I was financially equipped.   That summer I took a job as a camp counselor at Wewoka Woods Adventist Center in Oklahoma.

 

During the summer, our camp pastor took me aside and asked about my post-summer plans. After telling him about my situation, he encouraged me to take a weekend off and visit Southwestern Adventist University. I had heard about the campus from friends and family and had always wanted to visit. This was my chance!

 

I made the drive from Oklahoma to the town of Keene, Texas and instantly knew that this was the campus for me. Everyone I came in contact with was so welcoming and kind. I sat down with advisors and administrators, and we worked out a plan for me to attend the University the very next month. It took an abundance of faith and prayer in order for my family and me to trust God in this decision. Three years later, I am still here, blessed that God led me to Southwestern Adventist University.

 

One of the most important aspects of my time here at the university is the relationships I have built. I’ve made friendships that will last a lifetime.

 

The diverse atmosphere is special.   You see, it is amazing to be surrounded by such a large Hispanic community, yet also get to know people from around the world on this diverse campus! I feel like it is a taste of what Heaven will be like.

 

With many Hispanic faculty, staff, and students here, I am able to cherish my roots, speak my native language, and experience cultural events and cuisine around campus. During Hispanic Heritage Month, our Student Association and Spiritual Life and Development teams host various events for students in order to let them embrace this culture.

 

On an international scale, the cafeteria gives us options that make students from various cultures feel represented.   Also, the annual International Food Fair provides a chance for international students to show off where they are from and to give others a taste of their food, culture and lifestyle. It is amazing to see how our unique differences help us grow together!

 

The more I integrate into the university, the more I realize that I made the right choice by attending Southwestern Adventist University. I have learned to grow as a person by exposing myself to a new environment of opportunities. The social activities that the university offers opens the door for many personal interactions and chances to connect with people.

 

The initial reason I came to Southwestern Adventist University was to be more involved in an Adventist community. Several years later, the spirituality on this campus continues to help me grow and explore possibilities in my life that I never thought possible. I have been able to help serve our campus and community, grow spiritually alongside friends from across the globe, and have an experience that I hope no one misses out on!

 

Southwestern Adventist University has not only prepared me for my degree and career, but it has also expanded my network and spiritual experience.  Southwestern Adventist University has opened up so many opportunities. I cannot wait to see what the next chapter of my life holds.

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