Merary De La Fuente

Merary De La Fuente

Name: Merary De La Fuente
Age: 22
Major: Mass Communications
Hometown: Alamo


Staying close to home was an important factor to me. I am 25 minutes away from home and even though I live on campus, seeing my family is something I do almost every week. However, I think that the idea of a brand-new university was the defining factor. The excitement and eagerness were genuine for me and it was the best decision I have made to stay on my home turf. Since we are a commuter school, I know that many students feel as if they do not get the full university experience, but for me, I think I got to experience what it is like to be a college student to the fullest. I became independent, I learned what it was like to live with others with completely different cultures from mine and I learned the true meaning of resilience and persistence.

What made you decide on your current major?
Since I was a young girl, I always had interest in reading and writing. Telling the beautiful stories of others always made me feel lighthearted. As a daughter of immigrants, the most important story for me to tell is my parents. I think that my calling is to keep my community, my country and the world informed about issues and topics happening in our world.

What do you like most about UTRGV?
The people for sure. I’ve lived on campus all my four years of college and I’ve met amazing people who influence me, motivate me, and have had a great impact on me. I have met those whom my heart loves dearly, and that includes friends, supervisors, co-workers, and professors!

What are some of your favorite study spots on campus?
I have several favorite places; my number one spot is the library third floor, I can get essays done there in an hour! Another great place to study is the study rooms located at the dorms. They are quiet and intimate and they are literally steps away from your dorm room so you can head to bed right after a good study session.

What does being a Vaquero mean to you?
It means having pride in the culture that we represent in the Rio Grande Valley. I think that our university is unique and located in a unique area. Being a Vaquero means being the best representation one can be of themselves. It also means being proud of who we are and honoring where we all come from. Having the courage to try new things and striving for success! Victory, Valley, Vaqueros!

What opportunities has UTRGV helped you find throughout your community?
I’ve worked for two departments over my years at UTRGV. I have worked for P-16 Outreach and currently work with the Department of Housing and Residence Life. The positions I have held are Collegiate G-Force Mentor, resident assistant and lead resident assistant. I cannot express enough how much these positions have helped me grow as a person, build skills that are necessary for life after college and have taught me lifelong lessons. I realized I have a heart for helping others. I have worked with kids from elementary all the way to college and I have loved every second.

What are a few of your favorite books?
“The Harbinger” is my all-time favorite book, and it is a Christian non-fiction book. It helped remind me that God has a purpose for everything and it made me believe that signs are real and so is destiny. All of us are destined for great things if we truly believe it.

“Borderlands” by Gloria Anzaldua is a close second. I can relate to her in the aspect of growing up close to the border and not knowing who you were or where you belong while growing up. As an undocumented student, I think I always questioned if I was more Mexican than American, but this book helped me realize that it is a beautiful thing to share both cultures and that they were both who I am.

What’s in your playlist right now?
I am loving my 60’s, 70’s and 80’s playlist at the moment. Everything from The Jackson Five to Bon Jovi!