Mayra Cordova – Portland State University
Mayra is studying social work in order to become a mental health counselor. She is involved in the campus community through several positions in student organizations.
Portland State University, Class of 2020
Degree: Social Work
I chose Social Work because I wanted to work with children and their families and help them find resources they may need. Now, I am interested in mental health within the Latinx community, so I hope to become a Mental Health Counselor.
What did you think about college before you attended?
When I was in high school, I imagined college as a scary place. I thought I was going to be alone and struggle to make it through to graduation. I am now at the end of my third year and am realizing how close I am to graduating. Being involved on campus really relieved some of my worries and made my time hear fly by. Even though it has been stressful, it has been worth it, and I have learned so much about myself. College is stressful but does not have to be scary. As long as you are willing to try new things and make the best out of what you have, I am sure you can also come to realize the ideas we have of college before attending are not necessarily true.
How do you think being a first-generation student has affected your college experience?
Being a first generation affected my college experience in many ways, including my mental health. Something I have learned in my journey is how important it is to self-advocate. When I feel like I am struggling or feeling overwhelmed, I have learned to ask for help and have found people I can talk to. As a first-gen student, I was also able to become a peer mentor, and it has really helped me because I know I am helping students who are feeling the same way I was when I started attending this university.
What is your favorite subject or class you’ve taken?
One of my favorite classes I took at PSU was Sex and the Family. This class gave me so many new perspectives around the topics of families and sexuality. The professor who taught this class was amazing. He was always willing to be vulnerable and recognized the privilege he held and class.