La Roche Senior Reflects on the Past and Looks to the Future

By Danielle Pajek

Leticia Alcaraz’s life began in a small village in Madrid, Spain. So, how did she end up at La Roche University?

“When I first knew that I wanted to come to the United States to do undergrad here I had no idea how to find a good college,” Leti said. “I decided to do it through soccer, and I signed up for this agency in Spain which helps student-athletes to get recruited and find colleges here.”

It was through this soccer agency that Leti said she met La Roche Women’s Soccer coach Miguel Lozano.

“I did a showcase in Spain where there were a couple of recruiters and scouters that came to watch you play and that’s where I met Miguel because, since he goes to Spain a lot, he always goes to these types of showcases. I think meeting him, we just clicked. Maybe it was because he spoke Spanish, so I felt like I could talk more with him, but everything at La Roche sounded like a good fit for me,” the La Roche Women’s Soccer captain said.

Leti said that she liked the University’s small community because she didn’t want to go to a big school where she would be “just a number.”

“I wanted to have the small class size and be able to talk to my professors,” she said.

The Spaniard said she chose her major, international studies, on a whim after being accepted.

“International studies are like politics, culture, economics, society, so it’s like a mix of everything but for me, it’s super interesting because of getting to know about other cultures, the way they live, their lifestyle, you know, how they set up their education system, their political system, and all that,” the dean’s list frequenter said.

Later, in her sophomore year, Leti said she felt an interest in sociology and decided to add the major to her studies.

Outside of academics, Leti said she participates in Student Government as Vice President, residents’ life as an RA, tutoring, soccer, the Writer’s Center, and other campus organizations.

Leti became involved in numerous activities. She said, “It started little by little, because first it was soccer. Then I was like ‘Oh, I like being involved, meeting people, and being useful to the community.’”

The Vice President said, “I became an RA, that was like the big step, because I started meeting a lot of people that were involved in other stuff, so I got involved as well. Like for SGA there were a lot of RAs involved in SGA, so I got into that. Spanish club as well.”

Leti said becoming an RA helped her realize there was more to school than academics.

“It was the realization that, ‘Yes, I’m here for my academics and my studies and all that, which is important, but like for me I realized that doing other things outside of that was as important, if not more, because of what I was gaining,’” she said.

Leti went on to explain how not only the various organizations changed her, but the school as a whole did.

“When I first came here, I was very shy, kept to myself. I didn’t even think I could spend four years here away from my family and home. Then I came here and did all these different activities. I look back and realized how much I’ve changed in the past four years, which seems like a long time, but they flew by, and I feel like I’ve really grown and changed. I’ve started discovering the things that I want to become and that I’m starting to become already,” she said.

“This is going to sound very corny, but I think when I first came here, I thought life was about discovering who you are and getting to know yourself, which yeah is important, but I think that at the end of the day it’s more important to realize the person you want to become and work for it.”

When it comes to the future and international studies Leti said there are so many routes to pick.

“It’s so broad that there are many many things you can end up doing. The field I am more interested in is international relations so like working for international organizations like the UN or the European Union, stuff like that. I could also go into the business world because businesses nowadays are becoming so international you always want to have someone in the human resources department or someone that can kind of navigate that,” Leti said.

“On one hand it is a little stressful because I don’t even know what I want to get into, but it’s cool because if you start with something and you don’t like it, you can always change to a different field which is nice,” she said.

After graduation, Leti said she isn’t sure what her long-term plans are. However, she did say her next step was an internship with the United Nations in New York.

She said she found out about the internship while online tutoring Spanish to a man in Switzerland.

“Who would have thought that Spanish tutoring online would have got me there?” Leti said.

Despite not knowing her long-term plans, Leti said, “I think not knowing what I want to do, on one hand is scary and makes me a little anxious, but I think the not knowing what I want to do and not having a set idea gives me the opportunity to explore so many things. I’m grateful that I have that opportunity to try things and find what my purpose is in life through doing different jobs.”

The soon-to-be graduate said that her experiences at La Roche meant a great deal to her. “These four years have been a time of growing, learning, and changing more than I’ve ever done before and I’m grateful for it. It was a good time and it prepared me for what’s coming next.”

Leti said, “Now that I’m going to graduate, I look back and I think I couldn’t have chosen a better school to go to.”


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