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My Honors Program Experience

Gabriel Lopez

During my time at CSUSB, I had lots of chances to talk to people who knew me in a way that I'm not sure I knew myself.  At one point, I was told by a dear professor and advisor of mine that she thought I would succeed in not only a Master's program like I had been considering, but even a doctoral program, which at the time had not even been on my radar. The thought was exciting, and I trusted her enough to take her word for it, so I started taking necessary steps to make my eventual grad school applications as competitive as possible.

The University Honors Program was such a great community to be a part of. As I say this, I'm realizing it’s hard to talk only about what I got out of it, because it really was such a group experience. Looking back, I know that having such a supportive group of like-minded peers helped me keep on track with my goals and gave us a place where all of us in the program could support, motivate, and empathize with one another as we all went through our studies.

At such a large institution, it’s easy to feel like you're just one face in a sea of people, and that what you see is all you have to pick from. If you really want to work on something, even if you can't find it existing in some capacity anywhere on campus, you can find the right people to talk to and work with to start on something you're really passionate about.

I do wish I took a little time away from my studies to enjoy some of the smaller, easily overlooked parts of campus life. I never once went to the observatory when it was open, never went to a sporting event, never visited the art museum, and the list goes on. Now that I'm a graduate student, I realize how important it is to step away from math for a little while.