Christine Gonzales Severn

Christine Gonzales Severn

Name: Christine Gonzales Severn
Age: 30
Major: Literature and Cultural Studies (Master’s)
Hometown: Weslaco 

After completing my Bachelor of Arts at UTRGV the choice to go to another university to pursue a master’s degree was there, but with my spouse in the middle of a master’s program at UTRGV, and our son enjoying his education with McAllen ISD, staying at UTRGV was the best and, undeniably less expensive option. 

What made you decide on your current major?
I have always loved reading and writing. After completing my undergraduate degree in English, continuing into the master’s program was inevitably the next step. Choosing to focus on literature and cultural studies allows me the opportunity to focus not only on the texts themselves, but to look at the sociocultural implications of those texts as they relate to our lives. 

What are your plans after graduation?
After completing my thesis and graduating with my Master of Arts, I intend to take a year off from school before continuing my education and pursuing a doctoral degree. During the much needed time off I hope to continue teaching either in a high school or college setting, while also researching and building a professional career in cultural studies. 

What are you involved in on and off campus?
Currently, I am working as a graduate assistant for the Literature and Cultural Studies Department, working my way into becoming a teaching assistant, to which I will then be given the opportunity to teach freshmen-level classes centered on teaching writing as an introduction to cultural studies. I served for three semesters as president of Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society, through which I participated in community service events to bring literacy awareness to the community. 

What is your biggest accomplishment to date?
In 2007, I dropped out of college due to severe depression and anxiety issues, making the idea of going back to school feel like an unattainable goal. In 2012, after trying to be a stay-at-home mom to my then 2 ½-year-old son, I decided it was time to go back to school, if not for my benefit at least for the benefit of my child and his future. Starting college again with a 1.14 GPA, I worked my hardest to bring my GPA back up to good standing and four years later I did just that, graduating from UTRGV with my undergraduate degree in the summer of 2016 with a 3.43 GPA, almost 10 years after dropping out. Now I am happy to be continuing my education even further, breaking the stereotype associated with college dropouts, into the master’s program and eventually a Ph.D. 

What advice do you have for future students?
Don’t give up hope. There will be times in your life where everything feels dark and impossible, but we are much more resilient than we give ourselves credit for. If possible, take the time off to find yourself, and to find what drives and motivates you to be the best person you can possibly be. There is always light at the end of the road, sometimes it just takes us longer to find our way and get to the other side.