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Melissa Alba

Major: Psychology

Hometown: Riverside, California

Graduation Date: May 2022

Career Plans: Family Therapist

Coming from an immigrant family, it always brought upon me how important getting an education was. My mom would always tell me “Tienes la oportunidad de ir a una universidad y estudiar para una carrera que te encantará y disfrutarás haciendo. No dejas que esa oportunidad se desperdicie. Yo tuve sueños, pero no puede cumplirlos. Yo se y tengo fe que tu haras los tuyos realidad.” Because of these words, I have gotten to where I am today. I am now a sophomore at CSU Channel Islands. I chose to come to CSUCI because I really wanted to get away from my hometown. I come from a city that is very crowded and hectic. CSUCI is a small and quiet university. It has a beautiful campus and what I love the most is that it’s by the beach.

When I first came to CI, I was undeclared. I didn’t quite know what I wanted to major in. In the beginning, I wasn’t really worried that I still hadn’t declared a major because I knew I still had a while to decide but as I kept hearing my classmates all name their majors, it made me realize that maybe I should be worried. As I kept hearing all of them talk about what career they wanted to pursue and why, I thought to myself, “What if I can’t find something to major in?” or most importantly, “What if I can’t figure out a career that I am passionate about?”. The day I decided to major in psychology was when I took Intro to Psychology. Taking that class, made me realize how much learning about the mental process and human behavior interested me. It took me awhile to really figure out what specific career I wanted to pursue. I did research on what type of careers I could pursue with a psychology major. What really caught my attention was a family therapist. I want to be able to help others and also be able to give them advice.  I have always thought that I am good at giving advice but when it comes to receiving it, that doesn’t go so well.

What I like to do for fun is to hang out with my family. I have a really close relationship with them and I always enjoy spending time with them. We do all types of different stuff together. We go out to eat, we go to the movies, or even do little things such as going on walks. When I was younger, I have never really appreciated how important spending time with my family was until I came here to CI. Being away from them and not being able to be with them made me realize that I really need to take every opportunity I get to be with them and cherish every part of it.

Becoming a PEEP mentor, is one of the bravest things I have done. I have always been too afraid to really put myself out there and get involved. It was really hard at first to step out of my comfort zone because I’m not much of a social person nor am I confident either. As a PEEP, I want to be able to guide others who don’t necessarily have the guidance that they need or the resources it takes to know why pursuing a higher education is important and who also don’t quite know how to. Being a first generation student, I know the struggles and challenges one has to face. I don’t only want to guide them but also motivate them and be the support that they need in order to get to the full potential I know they can. Along the way I also hope to improve myself. I hope to become more confident and a great leader that other can look up to.