ULV opportunities encourage growth

Campus Times
May 7, 1999

by Araceli Esparza
Managing Editor

When I began college three years ago, I imagined the next four years at the University of La Verne to include nothing more than endless nights of term-paper writing, numerous study groups and pots and pots of fully-caffeinated coffee.

Though some of my imaginary concoctions have been proven true, others have led me to believe otherwise. And what I have discovered from this University is that, if I do not try something first, I may not know what it has to offer.

ULV offers personal and intellectual growth, life-lasting friendships and more importantly, a home to which many are always welcome. To some, even this image sounds so unrealistic-like a fairy tale-and I understand that life at La Verne is not always zippidy-doo-da. But at the same time, I have reason to believe that, for me, life does exist as such.

My experiences at ULV have guided and molded me in so many fashions. I have never thought of myself as the outgoing, happy person some describe me to be. In high school, I was always the student bookworm, the one who helped out here and there whenever necessary.

But I was also the one who was quite naive and somewhat shy, and it seems that all of that has changed since my first day at this University. Much of my "transition" is due to the fact that many wonderful friends, administrators and professors from ULV have provided the stepping stones along my walk.

Another part of growth stems from the many programs and student opportunities this institution has to offer.

In the time I have spent roaming the grounds and investigating the stories of ULV, I have accomplished much more than I could have ever imagined.

As one of the 1997-98 Orientation Week Leaders (O.W.L.s), I hopefully served as a reliable source to the students who entered ULV two years ago. The opportunity was so enjoyable, I was prompted to serve as an O.W.L. again, only this time to the current class of new students. Again, I hope that my efforts were of benefit to them, and that I have been a dependable person at ULV for them.

The same outcome applied to my time in the University's Summer Service program, which has since been one of the most impacting and life-changing experiences in my life. From it, I learned independence and gained the assurance that I truly love people.

Then there are things such as journalism, which is the entire reason I can write this now. I have found my career love, and from it, I have discovered what I hope to pursue as my future.

At the same time, I honestly do not know at what point I would be in my life had I not had the opportunity to experience the advantages of ULV. Life at this institution can be much more than merely school, sleep, nourishment and studying.

It can also become a learning ground on which an extended family and second home is attained; that is, if it is given the chance to serve as such.

Of course, not everyone at ULV enters with the exact same goals and intentions. After all, that is part of what makes its community so unique and so diverse.

At the same time, however, it is important that the people who make up ULV at least give back more interest and credit to those who try to make it a little more than just a learning environment. College is a place of intellectual growth, but when it offers an opportunity for a extended family, it should at least be given a chance.

One can never know what life has to offer unless he or she first tries.

Araceli Esparza, a junior journalism major, is managing editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at esparzaa@ulv.edu.