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First Generation, Low Income Minority, Transferred to GW: ASK ME ANYTHING!

CCadmin_SorinCCadmin_Sorin 2782 replies313 threads Community Manager
Luchiano will be a rising sophomore at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. He's majoring in International Affairs with a concentration in Conflict Resolution. Prior to his enrollment at GW he transferred from Nova Southeastern University in South Florida.

@RealLuchiano is a first generation, low income college minority as well. Included in his transfer application was an acceptance to the University of Cambridge's Pembroke Kings Study Abroad Program, a service trip to Quetzaltenango Guatemala, and two research experiences.

Luchiano is our Guest Student of the Week, so make sure to ask him all your questions!
edited June 15
24 replies
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Replies to: First Generation, Low Income Minority, Transferred to GW: ASK ME ANYTHING!

  • EconPopEconPop 640 replies11 threads Member
    Hi Luchiano, congratulations on your transfer. What made you choose GWU? Also, how did you enjoy your service trip to Quetzaltenango?
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 10131 replies118 threads Senior Member
    Congrats!!! Would love to hear more about the study abroad component of your acceptance.
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  • RealLuchianoRealLuchiano 39 replies0 threads Junior Member
    edited June 12
    EconPop wrote: »
    Hi Luchiano, congratulations on your transfer. What made you choose GWU? Also, how did you enjoy your service trip to Quetzaltenango?

    @EconPop During my time at NSU(the initial school I was at) I had been majoring in chemistry. I chose this major since the school had the most resources in STEM. Throughout my first year however, I realized that STEM was not for me and was confident in this when I was a part of the service trip. The trip to Quetzaltenango was during spring break(right before COVID-19). I actually stayed with local host families so I was fully immersed in Guatemalan culture. Regardless, the trip was focused on building stoves, chicken coops and educating children on how to maintain hygiene. If anything I believe every student should try and gain international exposure because this experience was enlightening. I knew that Guatemala was a third world country, but I didn't truly understand how different their lifestyle would be compared to an average American.

    Coming back to the States I knew that I wanted to enter public service. Fortunately when I was a senior in high school I actually applied to GW so that's how I knew of the school. But before I don't think I was mature enough yet to have been accepted. GW was the only school that I wanted to transfer to for numerous reasons: Elliott is ranked #7 in the country for international affairs, the unparalleled resources and networking, and location.
    edited June 12
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  • thealternativethealternative 77 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Congratulations on your outcome! Can you discuss your two research experiences?
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  • mczchlmczchl 13 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Hi, and congrats on your transfer! Can you briefly describe what your International Affairs major is like? Thanks so much
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  • RealLuchianoRealLuchiano 39 replies0 threads Junior Member
    edited June 12
    @thealternative Of course! During my first year at NSU I was able to obtain a research assistant position under a professor. The research focused on the correlation between national innovation rates and national culture. Some of my tasks included sorting data into sheets, annotating potential journals which were relatable to the professors study, and skimming over my professors work for potential grammatical mistakes. Outside of this assistantship I pursued my own independent study on "The Effect of Cultural Exposure on an Individual's Political Orientation." This research essentially deals with how culture shocks can influence an individual's ideals. These experiences served me well seeing that I was doing research in the social sciences which benefited my application for majoring in International Affairs.
    edited June 12
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  • RealLuchianoRealLuchiano 39 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @mczchl Unfortunately, I really can't talk about my experience yet in International Affairs at GW's Elliott School since I was recently admitted and will be enrolling in the Fall. I mentioned this in an earlier post that I wasn't majoring in International Affairs during my first year. In fact, I initially was majoring in Chemistry since the institution I was attending had more resources for STEM. However, my interest and passion for foreign service and not Chemistry is what drove me to submit a transfer application.
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  • thealternativethealternative 77 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Your research experience sounds very interesting. Can you speak in more detail about how students can use resources at their school more effectively? Perhaps, strategies that you used. Also how, even if resources are not directly related to their major or main interest, students can work on transferable skills?
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 6883 replies170 threads Senior Member
    Good luck and it sounds like they made a great decision at GW.
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  • RealLuchianoRealLuchiano 39 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @privatebanker Truthfully I've questioned whether GW has accepted me simply based off my merit. This is because GW announced that more transfers were going to be admitted to compensate for the potential decrease in international students due to COVID-19. Also since I am a low income minority I help the school diversify even though GW follows a need aware policy. While I have made significant accomplishments, the acceptance to GW doesn't feel real... as if I didn't earn it.
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 6883 replies170 threads Senior Member
    edited June 12

    @RealLuchiano

    That is so common among students they have a name for those feelings you’re facing. They call it “imposter syndrome”. It’s real to you but not real. I’m sorry you feel like this right now but focus on the prize.

    You were accepted because A. They believe you will succeed there as a student in many ways. B. Because you will add something special to their campus. C. You have the academic chops.

    Bottom line. You worked really hard and did impressive things to get noticed.

    They are not taking substandard students at a school of that caliber. Too many candidates. Period. They guard their grad rates and other success metrics very closely.

    Also, Tom Brady was a sixth round pick. He walked into the training camp and said he was the best decision they ever made and made it a point to prove it. Hard work, determination and skill. You have all those same opportunities and qualities. Go prove it and stop worrying! You got this, I promise.
    edited June 12
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  • RealLuchianoRealLuchiano 39 replies0 threads Junior Member
    edited June 12
    @privatebanker thanks, what you said is reassuring.

    @thealternative If a student is truly passionate about something, then they will take the initiative to find a resource at whatever institution they are at to pursue their passion. For me I partook on the service trip and began my own independent study on a field that sparked my interest. I'm the first in my family to achieve such heights so far in college so I didn't have any advice I could rely on. Personally my experience has led me to believe that if an individual is driven by something then they will persist in making it come into fruition. If your school has no resources available to help you then create them through whatever process needed. No one at my university had participated in the study abroad program with Cambridge so I had to get it approved, email Cambridge's professors for the syllabus, and consistently stay in contact with Cambridge and my academic and study abroad advisors. That being said, a student should search online regarding whatever they are questioning or trying to do. Contact their academic advisor or talk to upperclassmen in the same major.

    If anything there truly is no hurdle that should stop you from achieving your goal. With enough grit and initiative no goal is unattainable.
    edited June 12
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  • Mom270Mom270 72 replies3 threads Junior Member

    @thealternative If a student is truly passionate about something, then they will take the initiative to find a resource at whatever institution they are at to pursue their passion.

    If anything there truly is no hurdle that should stop you from achieving your goal. With enough grit and initiative no goal is unattainable.

    You have a wonderful attitude. So many students are fixated on getting into College X when college is really what you make of it. My son got a scholarship to GW but decided on another school. I have noticed that not many GW students comment here on CC so I hope you will return after you have some campus experience to talk about the school.
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  • csilver4csilver4 11 replies0 threads New Member
    Hi Luchiano, congratulations on GW! As a rising junior preparing to transfer to an urban university (I'll be attending NYU in the Fall) from a more suburban one, what are you doing to try and prepare yourself for the change?

    Also, how was your transfer application experience?

    Finally, I totally get your feeling of wondering whether your acceptance was truly "earned," I feel the same way about my acceptance. Seeing people on the College Confidential thread saying, "I didn't get in here, but I got into USC!" makes me wonder what truly stood out in my application. But I'm sure we're both going to do amazing things over these next few years as transfer students (since these schools don't take students they think won't do great things), and I am hoping for all the best for you! Good luck in the Fall! :-)
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  • aela00aela00 5 replies3 threads New Member
    hello, congratulations on your transfer! your research topic sounds interesting, is there any way we could find/read your paper? best of luck at GWU!
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  • xenialouxenialou 2 replies0 threads New Member
    Well done!!! I couldn't imagine anything better than to hear progressively about the investigation abroad segment of your acknowledgment.
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  • EconPopEconPop 640 replies11 threads Member
    edited June 17
    @privatebanker Truthfully I've questioned whether GW has accepted me simply based off my merit. This is because GW announced that more transfers were going to be admitted to compensate for the potential decrease in international students due to COVID-19. Also since I am a low income minority I help the school diversify even though GW follows a need aware policy. While I have made significant accomplishments, the acceptance to GW doesn't feel real... as if I didn't earn it.

    @RealLuchiano , a younger relative graduated from GWU graduate school a couple or four years ago. Like you, she is a URM and female. She earned great grades while earning her Masters degree in Political Science, and immediately landed a great job in DC in her field. She is now earning just shy of $90K and living her best life ever.

    Don't look at your acceptance as something you did not earn. Just the fact that you even have to have that thought cross your mind is reason enough to prove that an entire history and trajectory of systemic unequal treatment is what causes you to feel you don't deserve good things, like to attend a great university and receive grants and scholarships. After having it insinuated by others your entire life about some Affirmative Action myths and misconceptions, you now start to doubt your own worth.

    All it takes is a couple of people to ask ridiculous questions about whether or not you were accepted only because of your female minority status, and the cascade of doubt ensues in minorities. Don't let the ignorant and spiteful doubt of others cause you to doubt yourself. Their enmity is theirs to own, and their petty jealousies are their cross to carry, not yours. Your successes are yours to be proud of.

    Fight that feeling of a dozen nagging doubts. You EARNED the right to attend GWU and you most certainly DESERVE every good thing that happens to you going forward. As you work your way toward you degree, always remember that you BELONG at GWU.

    Keep up the great work!
    edited June 17
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  • RealLuchianoRealLuchiano 39 replies0 threads Junior Member
    edited June 17
    csilver4 wrote: »
    Hi Luchiano, congratulations on GW! As a rising junior preparing to transfer to an urban university (I'll be attending NYU in the Fall) from a more suburban one, what are you doing to try and prepare yourself for the change?

    Also, how was your transfer application experience?

    Finally, I totally get your feeling of wondering whether your acceptance was truly "earned," I feel the same way about my acceptance. Seeing people on the College Confidential thread saying, "I didn't get in here, but I got into USC!" makes me wonder what truly stood out in my application. But I'm sure we're both going to do amazing things over these next few years as transfer students (since these schools don't take students they think won't do great things), and I am hoping for all the best for you! Good luck in the Fall! :-)

    @csilver4 As of right now I have been buying winter clothes. Growing up and attending college in Florida has been great but I know in DC the weather will be different. Other then the weather I don't expect myself to be overwhelmed in the city of DC since I grew up in Miami which is also a very urbanized area. Until the beginning of the Fall semester there really is nothing I(we) can do. Maybe you can relate but for me I know that where I am right now I am extremely comfortable and I wanted to transfer to get myself out of this comfort zone to grow. Now that I was accepted to GW I have been growing anxious, nervous, and maybe a bit afraid of what my new life will be.
    Some things that I have been doing to mitigate these feelings are reaching out to potential organizations that I am interested in. For me this means contacting GW's Model UN team and finding out how I can transfer chapters for the fraternity I am in. Also finalizing paperwork from my initial institution to GW.
    Lastly regarding the transfer application process I felt confident with my application. Contrary to my high school common app I knew that what I had done in my first year of college was applaudable when compared to my counterparts. I know that the admissions committee recognized my confidence in myself possibly benefiting my admission decision.
    edited June 17
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  • RealLuchianoRealLuchiano 39 replies0 threads Junior Member
    edited June 17
    aela00 wrote: »
    hello, congratulations on your transfer! your research topic sounds interesting, is there any way we could find/read your paper? best of luck at GWU!

    @aela00 My hope for my research is to have it published in a journal. When I began this research endeavor in the beginning of the Fall semester I was extremely optimistic, hoping that I can write and publish it by the end of the year. Little did I know that I soon would be mistaken since I didn't know the amount of work research takes. Currently I am still recording data on culture shocks, therefore the paper is not finalized. Unfortunately, I can't share my drafts yet because they aren't finalized.
    edited June 17
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