My name is Santiago Bunce and I am currently a graduate student at the University of California, San Diego. Yes, beautiful San Diego, where the beach meets the hills, skateboards are the new bicycle and everything you’ve ever heard about the weather is true. Unfortunately, I don’t get to enjoy the beauty around me as much as I’d like because grad school is a whole new level of studying.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my program. I am studying International Development and Nonprofit Management along with International Economics, with about 200 other talented, intelligent and kind people, but it is a lot of work. Since UCSD works on the quarter system and classes fly by in ten weeks, I am currently in the middle of midterms and finals. Stressful for sure, but really exciting when you realize you are truly learning, expanding your mind and growing in your passion to connect with the world. You see, I want to work in infrastructure development and community empowerment, working on issues that benefit the quality of life of others, so when those topics come up in class I can’t help but get excited. It may seem a little nerdy, but when you enjoy something it’s good to embrace it. (If you’re ever in doubt of that, just refer to any of the writings of the wise Dr. Seuss, or various spiritual and theological texts).
I am young/old enough to remember that there were many times toward the end of my undergraduate time at BC when I couldn’t wait to get out of the classroom and into the world. I’m also young/old enough to remember that after working for three years, I couldn’t wait to get back in the classroom, if nothing else, for a large chunk of vacation in the winter and summer. But regardless of vacation, I knew I was ready to study again, which is why I am enjoying the program. Not to mention though, the free time I do have is spent with really great new people, relaxing at the beach, playing soccer (my true love) and exploring the wonders that Southern California has to offer, like hiking, camping, Legoland, Mexico and Legolandia-Mexico. That last one doesn’t really exist, I think…
All else aside though, grad school is a vibrant and dynamic environment that offers a great potential for growth on multiple levels. The experiences I have had so far and the ones to come make me very excited for the rest of the program (almost a year and half left of a two year program). Thanks for reading so far and I’ll share more soon!