Daniela Garcia Mejia '17
Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico
MY EXCEPTIONAL STORY
Hearing about Mount Union
I heard about Mount Union after asking my home university, Universidad de las Américas (UDLA), about the exchange programs they had to offer. After the Office of International Exchange gave me their available options, I picked Mount Union.
Nervousness to Happiness
I went in thinking, “let’s see what happens”. I was hoping to enjoy my classes and meet new friends that would make me feel at home, since mine would be 2,330 miles away. That feeling of uncertainty transformed into a feeling of excitement because not only did I love my classes, but I connected with the professors and made friends for life, which is why I decided to stay at Mount Union. So, I officially transferred here and will graduate from Mount Union this upcoming May 2017.
I appreciate the opportunities Mount Union gives all students to expand their knowledge not only in one area, but in various ones throughout the liberal arts. In Mexico, we do not have minors, so I think having them is a great way to learn about other areas of study that I am interested in, and the extra knowledge I’ve gained could eventually help me when looking for a job in the near future.
School to Second Home
I consider Mount Union to be my second home because I live on campus the majority of the year—I only get to go home to Mexico during summer vacations and winter break. However, Mount Union truly changed from being “school” to “my second home” because of my international friends. All of the international students are very united and have definitely become my family.
Mount Union’s Personal Attention
I am most impressed with the attention each and every student receives. Students are very close to faculty members, making it really easy for them to ask for help when needed. This isn’t the case with universities in Mexico, but this is definitely what makes Mount Union unique and special.
It all started with the thought of helping others and I figured that by helping children I could help that child grow to fulfill his or her dreams. One of my favorite classes was called Introduction to Counseling. It was an excellent class where I learned a lot because we had to role-play both as a counselor and a client. It was a great way to put the skills I attained from the class, into practice.
Another favorite class so far has been Forensic Psychology. I surprisingly developed a new interest through this course—I truly did not know that I would be able to expand into criminal justice as a future psychologist. Right after graduation I would like to go for my master’s degree and ultimately become a counselor one day. Mount Union has helped me develop and improve my writing skills, which I will definitely need once I start doing my own research.
Throughout my time here at Mount Union, I developed an interest in communication, which is why I decided to minor in that field. Not only is communication a necessity in all careers, but the skills acquired will definitely help me succeed in my psychology career after graduation.
Professor to Role Model
My favorite professor is Dr. Malynnda Johnson because not only is she a great researcher, but she is also a role model. I have learned many valuable life lessons through her classes and teaching style. Dr. J has influenced me on my path to success because I now know that everything is possible if you are determined. In the future I am really hoping to do what I love to do, just like her.
The Integrative Core has definitely helped me improve my writing skills and, little by little, overcome my fear of speaking in public. If it were not for the oral skills I obtained through the Integrative Core, I would have never thought about being the president of the Association of International Students. It’s amazing to see the doors the Integrative Core can open.
Mount Union truly changed from being “school” to “my second home” because of my international friends. All of the international students are very united and have definitely become my family.
- Where is your favorite travel destination?
- I consider myself one of the most fortunate persons in the world because I have traveled to many places. I lived two years in Costa Rica and four years in Colombia and I have traveled to Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, Rome, Venice, Prague, Budapest, Curacao, Puerto Rico, Panama, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and many more. I carry with me really good memories from all of these places and I plan to start saving money to go to Japan next.
- What is your favorite holiday, and why?
- My favorite holiday is Christmas because I get to spend it with my lovely family and have a delicious dinner. I also love the presents because it has become a tradition to exchange gifts, but before giving out the real ones, we give out joke presents!
- What is your favorite quote or motto?
- This is actually something that my dad reminds me of almost every day- he says, “Haz que las cosas sucedan” which translates to “Make things happen”. I now understand why he repeats it to me every time we speak on the phone: you have to make things happen because nobody else will do it for you.
- What did you want to be when you grew up as a kid
- I wanted to be a teacher.
- What’s your favorite app? (If it’s not common, briefly explain what it is)
- Right now it is WhatsApp, a chatting app. It is my favorite because I miss my family and it is hard for me to be away from them, but with this app I am constantly in touch with them.