There are memories in life that are everlasting, me, I’m in the middle of creating mine. My name is Crystal Galarza and I’m from Gresham Oregon. Having lived in Gresham my entire life, I learned to see it as a comfort zone. One in which I had grown up with the same people, seen the same streets and knew where all the shops were. This familiarity made the aspect of leaving for college seem like a precarious move, however, I knew that as hard as it would be to leave the security of my hometown, friends and family, Linfield was where I should be. From the moment I took my tour of the campus, I knew it was the right college for me. After doing a little research and comparison, I realized Linfield’s class sizes allowed for individual attention, its atmosphere created confidence and location was just enough distance from home. Now I had to think: size… good, location… good, atmosphere… great but of course what about the price?
Since early on in my college search, I had deciphered I wanted to attend a private institution of higher learning. Somewhere in Oregon where I was far enough away to be pulled out of my comfort zone but close enough that I could return if necessary. However it was Linfield’s financial aid that truly set them apart from the other Oregon private schools. It was not just the amount of aid they offered me but all the support I received from the financial aid personnel as well. They walked me through the different opportunities I had and encouraged me throughout the entire process. All of their individual attention and patience demonstrated that Linfield truly cared and wanted me to be a part of the Wildcat family. Now Linfield is my home where I hope to develop the skills necessary to pursue my career. In the future I would like to go into healthcare. My goal is to do outreach to various communities where I can educate others on positive choices they otherwise wouldn’t know. We are all gifted with different opportunities and if I was blessed with the opportunity to receive an education, that blessing should be returned on to others.
Giving back to others and working hard are concepts I learned to emulate from my family. The challenges my grandfather faced are ones I use, to this day, to fight through every day obstacles. I am also the first in my family to attend college. Therefore the entire college process I had to carry out on my own. Everything from where I could get applications to how to fill out my FAFSA. I could not simply ask around me, “what was it like for you,” or “could you help me with this,” because my family didn’t know. However what they lacked in experience my family made up for in motivation and support. My family’s fight against adversity gives me the confidence to pursue my dreams in their honor.
Linfield is the base which will allow me to reach my dreams and I am truly lucky to be here. The transition was virtually effortless only because of how quickly my hall bonded. Whether it is a walk down 3rd street or a movie night, the girls in my hall have rapidly become my good friends. Rather the most challenging aspect up to this point has definitely been time management. The classes at Linfield are interesting and taught by professors with a passion for their subjects. The work load is slightly heavier then high school but very doable. The trouble is with so many fun activities on campus and friends living just a few doors down, prioritizing is definitely key. I also have come to find that one cannot be up late doing homework consistently for very long and still expect to function. My advice, get things done early and get your sleep.