Academics

5 Years Later… What I learned from my Undergrad

I cannot believe I graduated from my Bachelors 5 years ago. I spent 4 and a half years working hard to achieve the 2nd steeping stone of my education. I started my undergrad on my birthday in 2009 with a major in Anthropology and a minor in politics. To think that I even graduated high school almost 10 years ago is crazy. Literally, my high school is planning our 10 year reunion for May… this is crazy to think about. 

Going back and revisiting what I learned form my undergrad takes a lot. I learned much about myself during my “college” years, and while probably should have made better decisions, I would not change a thing as it made me who I am today. Academically though, there are many steps I could have taken that would have made my days much simpler. For example, I would have just put my major as a double major in History and International Politics or Spanish from the beginning. I changed my major a good total of 5 times and that is not to count how many times I changed minors. I am glad I did my undergrad in the states because I change my mind too much to have been stuck with the same subjects for 3 years in the UK. 

Once I failed accounting and decided that nothing computers would bring me passion, I changed my major my junior year the 1st week of school. I went from computer information systems to computer sciences to finally history in the span of a summer. My first week of school my junior year was a week of discoveries. I learned that history as a minor was not going to satisfy my thirst for knowledge of the world, that I was horrible at coding, and that I was going to be studying for the next 10 years if I was going to be a historian. So, I put forth a plan that would be reconstructed several times in that same year.  

My junior year was a year of discoveries in general. I discovered that I liked politics (something I should have realized when I first said I wanted to be a lawyer but then changed my mind). I also discovered that studying Spanish was something I enjoyed even if I was horrible at grammar. The last major thing I discovered was that I loved to travel… as much as I could. And while I did not travel much as a lower class undergrad, once I joined my sorority sophomore year I knew that travel was in my future. After taking several history, Spanish, and politics classes (or modules), I knew that I had to study abroad. So, during my senior year, I took a leap and got accepted to study at the University of Nottingham for a semester. 

During that semester abroad, I learn much about myself and I improved in many other things. I learned to write better, to have more reading comprehension, and I learned how different the school systems are between the states and the UK. I took modules in history and politics, and I did not do so well. I passed but not with flying colors like I previously had. Studying in the UK opened my eyes to how hard and intense university can be in the UK. It does not matter how bad I did in my study abroad, I learned so much that those bad grades were worth it. 

After coming back home from my semester abroad, I ended up taking international politics, model UN, Mexican literature, and computer basics. My semester GPA 3.75, my best semester in all of my college career (besides summers). Studying abroad ended up giving me the tools to do even better once I headed home. 

While I did not graduate with honors, my undergrad career helped me so much in my masters degree. Without my study abroad, without me changing my major so many times, I would have done a horrendous job in my Masters. So thank you Georgia State University for giving me an amazing 4 and a half years of memories and experiences. 

Best of all!

PhD serie

The PhD Application Process: Why the Spanish Civil War

Now that I am free to scream to the wind that I have been accepted into a PhD program for Modern Languages and Cultures, I can say what I am specializing about without going to into my research ideas. 

So, lets start off by saying that I have changed my mind about what I wanted to focus on more times than I changed my major during undergrad, and I changed my major 5 times. I started with wanting to study Robin Hood, then Russian royal history, then moved onto the War of Spanish Succession and the Hapsburg, to the Spanish Armada, to finally end with the Spanish Civil War. And then when I was studying the Spanish Civil War during my masters I changed my mind about what aspect about the SCW I wanted to study. Thankfully all the changing came to an end when I encountered the greatest term ever: Historiography, the history of history. 

History is a passion of mine. Always has been. I just cared too much about what people thought of my studies than anything else, that is why I changed my major way too many times. Once I finally decided that history was it for me. I started planning for a PhD in the future. I tried to figure out what I wanted to start focusing on instead of just jumping around. However, as my earlier explanation of my change of topics shows, I changed my mind several more times. Once I discovered my passion for learning about Spain, the land of my ancestors and the birthplace of my native language, I decided that was where I was going to stay at. However, that did not mean I was not going to change my mind regarding what exactly about Spain I was to study. I went from being in love with Early modern Spanish History to becoming obsessed with Modern Spanish History in 6 months. On the second semester of  my Master’s degree, after a seminar on Francoist repression after the Spanish Civil War by who was later ended up supervising my dissertation,  I completely changed gears and started reading up on the SCW (short for Spanish Civil War). 

My fascination with the SCW started by my interest in war, religion and repression. Later, my focus moved to historiography, memory and commemoration of the SCW. The historiography of the SCW is a tumultuous area that needed to be addressed, therefore I wrote by Master’s dissertation on it and earned a high merit. It would have been higher if I was better with my grammar, something I am still working on, and why I am trying to write more often in this blog. Now, I am focusing on the commemoration and memory of the Spanish Civil War. This is a topic that  feel very passionate about, and I can’t wait to be about to further research the topic and dive deeper into the memory and commemoration of Spanish Civil War. 

So that is how I made it to study the Spanish Civil War and what I will be studying for the next 3 to 4 years of my life. I cannot wait until I get to the UK and start digging into my studies. For now, all I can do is search for sources and start getting some reading done.