Arnold Gonzalez

Arnold Gonzalez

Name: Arnold Jacob Gonzalez
Age: 24
Major: English with a Concentration in Creative Writing
College: College of Liberal Arts
Hometown: McAllen, TX
High School: McAllen Memorial High School 

I chose UTRGV because it’s home and it’s just as impactful as any other university. Many choose to go to school out of their hometown or home-state where the same experiences, same classes, and same people you live is the same as I have here. It’s never the name of the university that attracts, it’s the people. I’ve visited other schools and institutions where I didn’t feel where I needed to be. UTRGV and the people that’ve helped built its reputation has helped me realized where I should be and it’s here as a proud Vaquero.

What made you decide on your current major?
My family helped me choose my major. Originally, I was going to be a computer science major or IT due to the economic promises it offered, but I did some creative writing in high school and excelled in only two classes which were English and history. Teachers and friends were impressed with my private projects to where I continued to do for my last years of high school. So, my parents convinced me that I should pursue an English degree to do what I’ve always loved, yet never knew. Over the years into my major, I’ve continuously fallen more and more in love with what I’ve been studying which has brought me a joy I never knew I can obtain.

How are you maneuvering being a student during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The goal remains the same throughout, which is to perform academically as strong as I have before the pandemic. So far, hybrid courses have offered leniency, yet impacting online learning which continues to thrive since the beginning of this. Every day is dedicated to studies and readings, which I take my time carefully to achieve my goal through these stressful times. If the pandemic were to have delayed or never to happen at all, I think my time management skills would’ve remained at a poor level like in 2019 and before.

What are your greatest strengths and what are some challenges?
My greatest strength is that I am good at making observations and thinking critically. If there’s a proud skill that I’ve learned from my major is to analyze and think critically about situations, problems and create solutions or interpretations. 

What do you hope to achieve beyond completion of your major?
For an English major, I’d like to do something beyond teaching. Teaching is a good and noble pursuit to sustain stability. But to do something creative and fun for a living will always be the long-term goal. I’d like to go into the entertainment industry with how much I write. Whether it’s in television, film or even the comic book industry, I think it can be cool and fun to do for a career.

What do you like most about UTRGV?
Just the fact that UTRGV exists in its current state and reputation is surreal. It’s not just the campus or the classes, the professors, it’s a combination of everything involved. People, it’s the people associated with this university that makes it most attractive to me and I will not forget the experiences I’ve had here. Even if most of it was spent through online learning.

What does being a Vaquero mean to you?
I don’t mean to be vague or abstract but being a vaquero to me means to be friendly and a genuine individual. If to be Texan is to be friendly, then to be a Vaquero is to be friendlier. Since so far as my experience at UTRGV, I’ve never met such a welcoming community of people.

What opportunities has UTRGV helped you find throughout your community?
There are a few great opportunities I’ve found while attending UTRGV. One is being associated with a great department for work-study. Working with the News and Internal Communications department has humbled me in a new form of writing that is outside my concentration and has improved my research and writing skills. The relationships I’ve made with the department through work projects has helped learn another kind of team orientation in a professional work environment.

What advice do you have for fellow students pursuing degrees during the COVID-19 pandemic? The advice that I can offer to fellow students or incoming students even, during these unsure times, is to spend your time wisely right now. Now more than ever. With your studies, your passions, your family, and your friends. Spend your time carefully right now when before we were so busy, people sounded like a bothersome alarm from your phone. Take the time to appreciate the little things and take the time to enjoy the big things. Work hard now during the pandemic and remain safe, so you can celebrate in blithe the more the pandemic dwindles to a comfortable state.