School: The University of Florida
House: Hansen Scholarship House
Year: Fall 2014 – Present
Before coming to college and living in SSF, I had never really thought about the term “Education for Life.” To me, getting an education was definitely an important aspect in my life. My parents moved me and my siblings to a completely different country almost exclusively for the purpose of us getting a better education in the United States than we would in Peru. Having knowledge of that, I had always worked hard to “get an education.”
Though, at the time, my definition of “education” included reading a book or doing some math problems.
Growing up with 4 siblings in a lot of always-too-small apartments and houses, I thought living in SSF would not be much different. In my mind, it was just going to be more people in a bigger space. I never expected to grow as a person as much as I did in this past year and a half of living here. Community living is not just about learning to share a bathroom or tolerate a large amount of people at the same time.
Living in SSF has shown me how to be more understanding, patient, and appreciative.
Sharing a house with 16 other girls was an experience that I never expected to have and it’s an experience that I would not trade for anything. Living within a community of so many wonderful people from so many different backgrounds actually taught me more about myself than any other situation I’ve lived through so far. Being surrounded by so many different personalities every day, I’ve been able to adjust my personality so that it matches more with that of the person that I hope to one day become.
The experiences and memories that I have obtained from the Southern Scholarship Foundation are something that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Coming home to a house of 16 girls after a long day and listening to everyone joke and tell stories during dinner is one of my favorite things about living in this community. Though I am only in my 2nd year of living within this organization, I can already feel that I’ve changed so much from the person that I was when I first moved in. I can only imagine how different I will once I’ve completed my college career within SSF. Being in this organization, I have learned so much and have been impacted by so many great people which allowed me to find myself more.
Coming to UF and living in SSF taught me that an education is something that cannot be obtained from just opening a textbook. More specifically, an education for life is exactly what it sounds like. It is knowledge and experiences that can be used and will come in handy for the rest of your life.