Published Date: May 15, 2015
The impending beginning of her freshman year at UD is inspiring an unfamiliar feeling in Gabriella Montes: excitement to be starting school.
"It will be wonderful being around other people who want to learn," Montes said.
Having attended a large public high school in her hometown of Brownsville, Montes is looking forward to UD's small size. She was researching schools in the DFW area when she met a representative from UD at a college fair.
"It meant a lot to me that UD had traveled 10 hours to be there," Montes said. "Seeing them there solidified my interest in the school. The admission counselor really reached out to me; unlike with some of the other schools I looked at, he was incredibly knowledgeable about the curriculum and really gave thoughtful answers to my questions."
Montes played the baritone in her high school band and sang in the choir. She plans to find some way to be involved in music at UD, perhaps by auditioning for a musical, but she also wants to take some time to explore other activities that might interest her. In high school, besides band and choir, Montes worked with children with Down syndrome, participated in walks to combat domestic violence and collected tuna cans and blankets to donate to homeless shelters through her involvement in organizations such as History Club, Interact Club and National Honor Society.
Montes, who reads and writes poetry in her free time, plans to major in English. In high school, she participated in the University Interscholastic League (UIL) Academics Literary Criticism category, and she loved learning the different literary terms and reading a variety of novels and poetry. Her UIL Literary Criticism team advanced to regionals; Montes also competed in the UIL Journalism category, advancing to state.
"I also considered business," Montes said, "but I asked myself what would make me incredibly happy during college, and the answer was English."
Montes' tentative plan post-graduation is to either go to law school or become a teacher, but she thinks she could be happy doing almost any type of work.
"I think I could shovel dirt with a smile on my face. I would always be able to find some value in whatever job I was doing," she said.
Having spent much of her childhood sharing not only a room but also a bed with her younger sister, Montes isn't worried about residence hall life. She's glad to be living on campus.
"It will be good always being where I need to be," Montes said.
Overall, Montes can't wait to delve into this new experience.
"I think college is about not only gaining book smarts but also figuring who you are as a person, meeting all kinds of people and finding out what it is you love to do and why you want to do it," she said.