Kayla Chavez

Kayla Chavez

Name: Kayla Chavez
Age: 19
Major: Graphic Design
College of Fine Arts
Hometown: San Juan, TX
High School: IDEA Donna 

UTRGV gives the opportunity for students to study in their hometown with many advantages. It’s a dedicated university that actually cares for their students with aid such as financial aid and advancing their physical and mental health. Yes, it is more affordable than most universities but out of all of the universities I was able to feel welcome and at home even before I said yes to UTRGV.

What made you decide on your current major?
When I applied to UTRGV, my major was psychology but throughout my senior year of high school, I realized that psychology wasn’t my passion. Throughout my whole four years in high school I was taking pictures at school or church and I realized using Photoshop or Lightroom was a fun, so I decided to pursue a career that brought joy to my life: Photography. 

What do you hope to achieve beyond completion of your major?
I want to be a photographer that is able to tell a story through the images that I take. That the images have something to talk about and make a difference in a person’s life or in today’s society.

How are you maneuvering being a student during the COVID-19 pandemic?
This pandemic has really taken a hit at all of us. Being a student and learning from home is difficult because sometimes I don't understand the lesson and I can't ask my classmates questions when I'm confused. Thanks to my professors and the events around us via online, I feel better and it makes me feel like I can finish the semester strong. I am glad that UTRGV decided to give us the opportunity to continue pursuing our education from home because I'm one step closing to getting my degree. During this pandemic, I have been able to learn my strengths and weaknesses; I've noticed that I am able to persevere in getting up early and start my daily routine from home. I've struggled with getting distracted with the smallest things, but I am able to get back on track and continue my daily routine. 

What does be a Vaquero mean to you?
For me, being a Vaquero is my identity. It’s being able to represent the university with my studies and personality, but also be there for one another when something good occurs or when someone needs a hand. Being a Vaquero is being part of a huge family.

What opportunities has UTRGV helped you find throughout your community?
UTRGV has helped me get involved on campus by attending events, meeting new people that have the same passions as me and volunteering to help those around in our community.

What advice do you have for fellow students pursuing degrees during the COVID-19 pandemic?
My advice for all students pursuing degrees during the COVID-19 pandemic is to not give up. We're all facing different challenges, but we have the support of our friends, family, professors, faculty and staff. You are not alone, we’re all in this together and we will get through this together! Hang in there, Vaqueros!