Rio Grande Valley Alumni - The University of Texas
Monica Ruiz - Rio Grande City High School
A little about myself... My name is Monica Osbelia Ruiz and I am a 2008 Rio Grande City High School graduate. I’m the first in my family to attend a university and in May of 2012 I will the first to be a college graduate! I will proudly be graduating as an honor student from The University of Texas at Austin (UT) with a Bachelors of Science in Neurobiology and a certification in Business Foundations . . . An achievement that is still hard for me to believe I have accomplished!
I plan to attend medical school in the coming year (finger crossed!). Below is a quote, which I find to be an exact representation of the passion I feel for becoming a physician:
“Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of Humanity.”
Bleeding Burned Orange!
Attending UT has proven to be the best decision I have ever made! It has truly been a remarkable experience, an experience full of ambition, adversity, and achievement. The intensity of the education at UT enabled me to find a degree of determination and perseverance within myself, I didn’t even know existed. As a UT student I have earned awards such as UT’s Health Professions Organization Most Outstanding Officer (2011), The Aspire Achievement Award of Leadership and Community Service in the College of Natural Sciences (2011), and an academic status of University Honors (2009-2011). In attending UT you will feel as if everyone wants you to succeed!
Big University, Big City Concern
Although, the university is huge, all educational professionals make themselves extremely available and approachable. For example, the chemistry class I attended my freshman year had about 500 students, however the professor and TA’s held over 20 office hours per week! In addition, UT provides it's students with multiple disciplinary programs (First Year Interest groups, Emerging Scholars, TIP Scholars) that provide you with the opportunity of one on one time with your professors. You would think with such a large school located in such a large city, one would lose themselves, when in actuality one ends up finding who they truly are!
How did I succeed?
Here are some of the tips I have to offer:
1. STUDY! STUDY! STUDY! STUDY! And when you’re done studying . . . STUDY some more! This proved to be a major aspect in my success at UT.
2. Get involved! I did not move to UT with my closest friends and thus making UT a good experience involved stepping out of my comfort zone. Join an organization or program involved in a cause you feel passionate about. It will come easy to feel a connection with this group of individuals.
3. Take initiative-become a leader on campus! Officer positions or joining a council of some kind will not only add great substance to your resume, but also provide you with the opportunity to gain leadership experience.
4. THIS IS POSSIBLY THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP: You are from the valley . . . It’s a beautiful thing; embrace it! Be confident in the way you present yourself and this area. Prove to everyone, whom ever doubted you that you have what it takes. Step into each classroom and office as if you are 200% sure you are just as smart if not smarter than all the other students in your class (which at UT maybe 300 plus students)!
Don’t make your adversity your excuse
I am no more privileged, smarter, luckier, or strong-minded then any of you all. I repeat- I am no more privileged, smarter, luckier, or stronger minded than you! I mean this with every ounce of sincerity I have. My household was extremely difficult to grow up in; I had to experience and worry about problems most teenagers should not have to. With everything going on at home it made it hard to focus on my academics and so I did only enough work to get me by. I was not part of the Top 10, did not academically excel and only got into UT because of the 10% rule (I barely made the top 10%, like by one spot). I did not plan on attending college; none of my siblings had done so and figured I wouldn’t either. To this day, I do not know what came over me, but I decided I would NOT MAKE MY ADVERSITY AN EXCUSE! I knew that if I ever wanted to make something of myself, an education was important. So I applied to college! The transition to college was extremely difficult, but once I freed myself from doubt I was able to pull things together. I challenge you all to do the same. I challenge you all to proceed free of doubt in the direction of your dreams! Create the life you’ve always imagined for yourself. If I could achieve my dreams there is no doubt in my mind every single Rio Grande Valley graduate can do the same for themselves!
It would mean so much to me if any of the words I have stated above encouraged you to attend college. . In particular UT. . LOL! I’ m here to help and would gratefully speak or meet with you if you have any questions, comments, and concerns. Good luck in everything you do and hook’em horns!