A Life in Colegio

By:  Iván Trinidad

December 23, 2010

A Life in Colegio

The University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez(UPRM) better known as Colegio, has a diversity of students that are from every city in Puerto Rico. Also the UPRM has international students and professors.  Most of the students that come from far away of Mayagüez live in campus housing.

Christian Satini, a math student from Colegio works in an investigation in one of the few study halls of the UPRM.

Terrace is one of the most popular areas in Mayagüez where students live. Another popular location is Post Street, where most of the bars and pubs of Mayagüez are established.  On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday Post Street is crowded with people at night.  The music could be heard until 2 a.m. in the street thanks to the Public Order Code.  After hanging out Colegio students, go back to their homes searching for a good and soft bed.

To be a lodged resident in Mayagüez is not be easy for any student.  Their life turns completely different and mostly harder. The student shall be an independent person, not economically, but psychologically.  Why?  Because lodged students won’t have their families in Mayagüez and they won’t be able to share with them more than three days a week.  Sometimes being away from the people who raised you for a long times, makes you forget your moral values.  In order to be responsible and have a balanced life in Mayagüez it is important to remember your goals and the purpose why you are in Colegio.  Your friends can help you to not feel alone and make progress in Mayagüez.

When you listen to the horns in the afternoons and your car doesn’t move because there a hundred more cars waiting for the traffic light to change, probably you will feel at home when you remember that Puerto Rico has the same traffic issues everywhere.  So let’s be grateful if the air conditioner is working because temperatures of an average of 85° F will make Colegio’s students sweat daily, and maybe if you are waiting for those cars to move you will hate to live in Mayagüez.

What about the stress temperature in Colegio?  Every time a new semester starts in UPRM high waves of stress burn students.  Their lives are charged with problems. Investigations, reports, essays, homework, quizzes, exams, and all that academic stuff that I probably forget to mention surrounds constantly their minds.  Adding to their issues the weight of their personal troubles may turn them crazy, but a Colegio student won’t give up and will be strong enough to keep going.

Mostly, life is not easy in UPRM; even finding parking could be a serious job.  The “white” parking area, where most of students leave their cars is full most of time.  Wake up at 7:00 A.M. on a Monday and you will be late to find parking.

Also if you are hungry the best alternatives to eat in UPRM won’t be available to you.  Colegio has a contract since 2008 with a company named Sodexo that manages the campus cafeteria.  The prices for food and other products served should be “reasonable and competitive” with other establishments around the Colegio, according to Article IV, section 4.3, on the contract.  But some students are not satisfied with the service provided by the cafeteria.  “The food tastes bad, and is too salty”, said Hector Torres a 5th year computer engineering major. “There are prices that are okay, but others are expensive”.

Selling homemade food for three days at economical price was the way some organizations from UPRM protested against Sodexo’s food service and prices on October 18, 21, and Nov 2nd, 2010.

Organizations of the UPRM represent students’ feelings and interests.  Pre-professionals organizations “help them to attain a better understanding of how to pursue their careers”, said Jenny Hong, an editor of Daily Bruin.  Students who are members of some organizations find jobs and internships easier than others because they learn through activities to search for them.  Also organizations prevent students from having sex without protection.  According to the Health Department of Puerto Rico around 24.7% of confirmed AIDS cases were caused for heterosexual contact and men who had homosexual relations, based on the data submitted until 2006, caused a 16.1%. The Department of Health Services of Colegio offers confidential tests for sexually transmitted diseases.

UPRM students benefits from organizations and acquire skills for their career majors through leadership activities

It is important to be healthy and care about you, to ensure your academic development.  Grexarie Torres, a mechanical engineering student said, “I think not getting to much rest last year made me crazy”.  Studying is the key of success in Colegio as in any other academic institution.  Therefore, it is important to be responsible, do homework on time, try to further any study time, review daily class material, create a study routine, and ask questions whenever you don’t understand something.

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