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alvinI grew up with no doubt in my mind that I would attend college. The tricky part was figuring out what I would major in once I got there. As the first generation in my family to attend college, expectations were high to pursue a profession that was respectable and would also allow me to be financially secure. I, however, wished to find a career path that I could truly be motivated about. Therein began my constant struggle throughout college to find a major and career that would satisfy both others’ expectations as well as my own desires.

Having been more mathematically inclined in high school, I hoped that by starting off with classes in the mathematics department, I would please my parents and perhaps spark some further interest on my part. I soon realized that higher-level mathematical theory was not something that I was passionate about or very skilled at, but I still persisted in taking those courses in hopes that I would somehow fare better and start enjoying it. At the same time, in seeking a field that I could be interested in, I was also taking many courses in psychology and biology. As a result, toward the end of my college career, I had a smorgasbord of different subjects on my transcript with little idea of what I would do after I obtained my degree.

I once heard, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” This quote from Howard Thurman inspired me. To discover “what makes you come alive” is not an easy process. In my case, I needed to let go of other people’s expectations of me and even my own lofty ideas of what a respectable major or career was and really search deep to find the type of job that suited me. Still not seeing one particular field that stood out and appealed to me, I started piecing together little clues from the qualities and strengths I knew I had with various aspects I enjoyed about the jobs I held throughout college. Knowing that I liked the positive atmosphere of a college and that I wanted to be in a position where I could help students led me to pursuing a graduate degree in higher education administration and subsequently a career in academic advising. I am grateful for the experiences and even the struggles that have brought me to UHCL as an academic transfer adviser, where I now have the opportunity to assist students in each of their own unique educational and career paths.

Freda Yeh
Advisor, Academic Transfer Advising
YehFre@UHCL.edu
Phone: 281-283-2639
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