Sofia Fernandez is a Communication Studies major and member of the School of Communication Student Advisory Board. The SAB advocates for the needs of students in the SoC by serving as the student voice to the administration and generating and implementing programs and initiatives designed to enhance the student experience within the School. Have questions, concerns, or ideas about the student experience in the School of Communication? Let her know!
My mother never learned the Pythagorean Theorem. My mother never read epics like The Odyssey or hung out with friends during passing periods. As a result of the financial situations of her youth, my mother’s educational opportunities extended as far as the ladle of the pan to the stove. I, however, am a typical young American woman, living the “American dream”.
I am leading an entirely different life. I have the opportunity to attend my dream university, studying what I love in pursuit of higher education and opportunities. With neither of my parents having obtained the “typical college experience” that most young adults experience in the United States, I entered my first semester of freshman year unsure of what to expect, and quite frankly, afraid. While my experience as a first-generation college student has been difficult and confusing at times, it has shaped me into the woman I am to this day and has instilled a strong sense of intellectual curiosity and a genuine love for learning.
Despite the uncertainty I faced during the first few weeks, Chapman University has quickly become my home and an integral aspect of my identity. I am currently a student in the School of Communication, majoring in Communication Studies and minoring in Business Entrepreneurship. Additionally, I am involved with Alpha Kappa Psi: The Professional Business Fraternity, The National Honor Society: Gamma Beta Phi, Chapman Ambassadors, the Admissions Volunteer Team, and LatinX. These organizations, coupled with the School of Communication faculty, programs, and resources, have significantly shaped my growth as a student, individual, and emerging professional and have solidified a strong support network on Chapman’s campus for me. The knowledge and experience I have learned from these organizations have led me to pursue a spot on the School of Communication Student Advisory Board, with hopes of giving back to the community that has significantly impacted both my Chapman experience and my career path.
My identification as a first-generation college student is one of the most important aspects of myself as an individual. It has led me to pursue a path of rigorous outreach and involvement in my college experience in order to make the most of all opportunities that my parents were unable to reap in their youth. It has created an inherently strong sense of self, cultivating me into a woman who understands the importance of exercising her independence, but knowing when to ask for help; and having no shame in doing so. It has cultivated an impregnable pride for my culture, my heritage, my roots and has reconnected me with the individuals who nurtured my love for learning since the very beginning. It has ultimately let me to Chapman University, which has played the most important role in defining who I am and who I aspire to become.