College Conversations in Nicaragua
In setting goals for their futures, the younger students learned an important lesson in equipping themselves through diligent study and careful consideration of what lies ahead.
Unity 4 Orphans recently hosted a meeting for students in Nicaragua to share their experiences in—and expectations of—university life. Our staff counselor, Greyddyn Rodríguez, created a welcoming environment, beginning with an icebreaker where the students introduced themselves. Ten were in attendance, from ages fourteen through twenty-eight, including six from the advanced group and four from the intermediate group.
Engaged and eager to learn, the students listened as others shared their testimonies about entering university. The importance of adapting to the challenges and changes ahead was a central theme, and the students who shared were enthusiastic to guide their younger counterparts. Their stories provided a visual of what life looks like at this education level, and what challenges new undergrads can expect to face.
Preparing psychologically to meet new challenges, and learning firsthand what this entails for successful students was a powerful way to inspire the younger ones. Paola Santana (17), shared specific personal challenges, such as getting up very early to take the bus. Because university students must travel twenty-eight miles to the city of Leon, they can expect to spend an hour and a half each way on the bus. This presents constraints on study time, other work that must be done, and an additional financial burden. Paola also shared that university teachers are tougher on students, and they must work harder to take advantage of the available opportunities to learn and grow at the college level.
The process of being accepted to university includes an entrance exam, which creates a lot of anxiety. Stories of stricter teachers with higher standards adds to this, but the elder students encouraged the younger ones by advising them to keep a positive attitude and dedicate themselves to their goals. It can be difficult to leave the familiarity of high school teachers and friends, but to hear that others share their feelings shows them that their fears can be overcome.
Engaged and eager to learn, the students listened as others shared their testimonies about entering university.
Service is a vital aspect of U4O’s mission, and the students echoed this message, recognizing the importance of serving their classmates during the event, and having fun while doing so. Many shared admirable goals, like helping their families and communities once they graduate. For some, this means studying English on top of their chosen major, knowing opportunities expand for bilingual professionals. Another student mentioned becoming a U4O teacher someday! The group talked of career paths beyond university, and it was clear that the meeting provided not only helpful information, but also plenty of inspiration. In setting goals for their futures, the younger students learned an important lesson in equipping themselves through diligent study and careful consideration of what lies ahead.