Ever since I was very young, I remember my mom telling me: “Vale, one day you will realize that there is a whole new world of opportunities out there waiting for you. You need to spread your wings and fly.” My mom’s advice changed my perspective from a very young age. It planted a thirst in me to get out of my comfort zone and explore new things. Years later, our vision became a reality. I am now living in Reno, Nevada, and I love it here! Moving from Costa Rica to the United States was a major change, and there was a lot of adjusting to do. However, I appreciate living here while going to college for many reasons…
Opportunities! As many people say, the U.S. really is the land of opportunities and new beginnings. There are so many possibilities here to explore. As a student I was able to get two part-time jobs on campus, doing what I love: being an International Peer Mentor and being the Vice President for Student Government Association. Also, having access to scholarships, grants, educational resources, and great professors make your experience here even more gratifying and accessible! I have learned that if you work hard you will see your reward, guaranteed!
My Chemistry Class
Efficiency and Convenience! From receiving your Amazon order within less than two days, to 24/7 stores where you can buy almost everything! There are billions of products and services here that will make your life easier. For many foreigners, including myself, this convenient lifestyle is rather a luxury than a normality. It is nice to have such an efficient system, however, don’t let it fool yourself by wanting to purchase everything you see just because it is accessible and less expensive than what you are used to in your home country.
Travel is cheap! I love to get to know new places and here you can easily take the bus or train and be at another state within a day! The weather and scenery vary a lot across the States. Here in Reno, it gets very cold in the winter but within a 3-hour drive, I can be at San Francisco enjoying a warm-sunny day. There is SO much to see!
The amazing people you meet! One of my favorite things about living here is getting to know people from all over the globe. One of my classmates is from Uzbekistan, my co-worker is from Japan, my academic advisor is from Tonga, my close friend is from Cameroon, my chemistry professor is from Russia, my housemates are from 5 different countries alone… talk about diversity! I love the stories represented in each of us and how uniquely different we are.
I am forever grateful for my mom’s encouragement because it gave me motivation to expand my horizons, and I am so happy I did! I hope that I’ve inspired you to go out of your comfort zone and get to know new places and people. It is so worth it!
Valeria Saborio is from Costa Rica and is pursuing her Industrial and Systems Engineering degree at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada.