In the middle of his sophomore year as a nursing student, Alex Ramirez came to an important decision and changed his major.
“I went from nursing to social work,” said Ramirez. “It was a very stressful moment for me, because I had always been that student with a plan. That had always worked for me before, and then I came to college and found myself in a completely different environment. It was much more rigorous, and I had to work harder.”
“One of the main reasons I wanted to come here is because I grew up in a small town where you either went to college or worked in agriculture. I knew I wanted to go far, so when I heard from Catholic University, I was excited.”
As the first member of his family to pursue a college degree, Ramirez had already made a quantum leap. Adding to the distance of his jump was the fact that he came all the way across the country, from California to Washington, D.C.
“I had never been to the East Coast,” he said. “I did one of those tests that match you with universities, and I learned about Catholic University. So I said, ‘Why not?’ I didn’t know anyone here. One of the main reasons I wanted to come here is because I grew up in a small town where you either went to college or worked in agriculture. I knew I wanted to go far, so when I heard from Catholic University, I was excited. I’ve always been independent.”
Everything is working out fine with his new major, Ramirez reports. Like nursing, social work allows him to focus on helping others, one of his primary impulses. And he’s still on track to graduate according to his original timetable — even while being active on Program Board, the student organization that plans several large events throughout the academic year.
“We do all the fun stuff,” he said, “and I’ve been able to grow so much as a leader and as a peer.”