Camila Campos Lam from Peru Wants to Make a Difference
“What change could you make in your life to make yourself proud? How many paths could anyone follow?”
Those are some questions I remembered asking myself when I made the decision to study abroad. I thought about this while my mom and I were on our way to explore Tampa, my new town, the place where I planned to live for at least two or three years. My mom told me that one of the most unexpected things for her was having two daughters. Traveling abroad to leave one of her daughters in a foreign country, with new goals, beginnings, and a lot of challenges, was totally unpredictable.
Growing up in Peru
I was born in Lima, Peru. My family and I moved to Piura after two years of frequent travels through the jungle districts of Tarapoto, Iquitos, Pucallpa, and the capital. For as long as I can recall, I have always desired to get out of the city where my parents decided to settle.
For more context, Piura is located in the northern part of Peru and is known for its chaos within the national popular culture. This chaos includes Piura’s daily scorching heat, as well as the notorious socio-cultural problems, such as classism and lack of gender equality, among others.
Being in such an environment had a notorious influence on my life. On one hand, it greatly developed my sense of justice, belonging, and sensitivity. On the other hand, it provided me with the ability to speak up and participate in my environment on a continuous basis.
My community involvement
I went to the same school throughout elementary and high school. I was given the opportunity to actively participate in activities and festivals of culture, knowledge, and art. This ranged from participating and gaining recognition in Model United Nations, establishing a Debate Club, as well as participating in dance routines, and playing a character in different theatrical plays.
From an early age, despite having made a firm decision not to live in that town, the desire to help people progress grew over time thanks to the influence of the extracurricular activities that I was involved in. This is why I am where I am now, majoring in Political Science at Hillsborough Community College (HCC). I decided to come to the United States because I would like to help and contribute to my community through studying and implementing public policy to positively benefit citizens.
My goals in the U.S.
A big goal for me is to evolve and transcend as a person, especially in the academic field, so I am sure that this new period of my life will give me the opportunity to do well in my career. During my time here, I will mainly focus on learning, improving my studies, and passing my exams. Putting my professional life on the proper path and giving myself a better orientation.
I also hope to learn more about the American culture, make friends, create new memories, and have a true college experience. In the learning process, my commitment is to be punctual, take notes, read and absorb knowledge, ask questions or contribute to the class, and ask for help if needed. Additionally, I would very much like to participate in college clubs and organizations.
My future plans
Based on my goals, I plan to finish studying at HCC in December 2023, and then transfer to a university to complete a bachelor’s degree. After finishing my studies, I will be involved in two fields of law that I am passionate about: Public International Law and Environmental Law. The first mentioned focuses on maintaining peace between nations, and the second field focuses on the legal norms related to the care and preservation of the environment in the midst of a developing economy. These two areas are interdisciplinary, so regardless of the field I am in, I will be in constant contact with people from different parts of the world and different professions.
As a current international student, this gives me a small glimpse of what is to come in the future, by putting me in front of a diverse group of students, all with different goals. Studying in the United States will give me the knowledge to impact my actions in an ethical, responsible, and courteous manner.
Where I am now
As I sit down to write this blog, the calendar marks that officially three months have passed from when I landed in the United States to start this new chapter in my life. This new stage of my life will take me through an evolution and a constant learning process in several areas of my life. I am studying in a language that is not my native one, adapting to a new environment, while achieving my independence. Studying in the United States is the way I choose to prepare myself to assume the responsibilities of my personal goals.
Camila Campos Lam from Peru is an international student majoring in Political Science at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida.
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