University of Arizona R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy student Miguel Cervantes is a bachelor's of science in pharmaceutical sciences (BSPS) freshman and a first generation student. He shared with us what challenges he overcame to reach his goals, what resources he used to transition to college, and what he hopes to accomplish during his time as a PharmCat.
Question: Why did you choose the Bachelor's of Science in Pharmaceutical Science?
Miguel Cervantes: As a kid, I wanted to go into nursing. But then I learned more about the pharmaceutical sciences and thought the BSPS might be something that I might like because it's a lot of everything. I saw a direct path toward nursing. But I like how pharmaceutical sciences is an overview of all the sciences and from there it could lead to bigger opportunities down the road.
Q: Do you have any family members who are in the medical field?
MC: No. I'm a first generation. I'm the first person in my family going into the medical field and so I'm creating the path for my family. I have a younger brother who is 10 years old and I'm like his role model.
Q: What does it mean for you to be a first-generation student?
MC: It's a big accomplishment because my parents are Spanish speaking. My parents would support me but I couldn't ask them 'Can you help me with this subject'? because they really didn't understand English. So it was a big accomplishment for me and my family because they saw me work hard to reach my goal of attending the R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy.
Q: What do your parents think about you attending the R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy?
MC: They love it. They are like star struck. At first they didn't understand the process and I couldn't really explain because I have a slight English to Spanish barrier, but when I met LuzMaria, she really helped open my parents' eyes to what I would be learning here at the University. My parents loved it and they were just so excited and amazed. So I'm really glad LuzMaria was there.
Q: What advice can you share for others who are also first-generation?
MC: Reach out! It might be a little scary and a little nerve wracking, but if you if you need help, just reach out to like anyone. Even a faculty member can help guide you in the right direction.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish?
MC: I definitely want to try to get into medical school. I know that's one of my options, but I don't know yet because I'm barely starting. I know where I want to be, but I don't know if I want to explore other options like studying abroad. But I definitely do want to pursue a career like in psychopharmacology, which is the study of how drugs affect your mood in the brain. That's definitely something like that I'm interested in. Or probably even become a doctor like use pharmaceutical sciences a way into medical school to become a physician.
Q: Are there any other resources that helped you get to where you are today?
MC: New Start. At first I was a little iffy about it. "Oh, do I really want to waste my summer?" But I'm so glad I took advantage of it. It got me connected to campus really fast because it is living on campus for six weeks. It was easy to make friends real fast. I also connected with professors who talked about more resources around campus. So I entered into my freshman year with a peace of mind. I wasn't really nervous. I wasn't afraid of meeting new people because I already went through it.
Q: What can you tell me about your college experience so far?
MC: It's not too bad but it is just the first semester. I thought that because it is a medical major there would be a lot of studying and work but so far it's been enjoyable and I'm learning a lot.