I chose to double major in Psychology and African American Studies because my ultimate goal in life is to help others and I feel both these degrees will make me well suited for that. I want to eventually become a therapist who works primarily in communities of color, so I believe I have chosen the correct path that will allow me to expand my network and reach my goal.
What is a fun fact about you that few people know?
I played the clarinet in my school band. I had to stop in high school, but I still have a lot of fond memories from that time.
What is your favorite song and why?
My favorite song is Warrior by Demi Lovato because it has gotten me through some of the hardest times in my life. Demi Lovato's music, in general, is very significant to me because it reminds me that I am not alone and that I can overcome any obstacle.
What is your current favorite streaming binge and why?
The Originals, for sure! I rewatch the show at least once every other month. I love the storyline and the depth of the characters and it never ceases to make me cry no matter how many times I watch it.
What is your favorite hobby or activity you like to do in your free time?
I love finding unique ways to work out that don't involve going to the gym because I don't like the repetitiveness. Something I have come to love very much is kickboxing. I'm always learning new moves and it keeps me on my toes. I am also really into anime and doing photoshoots.
How have your identities (race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender) affected your college experience?
I would say they have affected my college experience in a positive way because it allowed me to explore each of my identities and find people who understood my struggles. I created a network of individuals who made me feel seen and accepted and supported me throughout my entire time there.
How do you practice self-care?
I make sure to take breaks when I need them and not overwork myself. I also make sure to communicate with my friends when I am not feeling my best and may not be able to advise them on their problems at that moment. To take care of myself, I like to go for quiet walks by myself, read a book, or listen to music.
How are you adjusting to the "new normal" as we're emerging from this pandemic? Do you have any tips for other students who are going back to college this semester?
Switching to online schooling was a real hassle for me, at first, but I think it's had a positive effect on my study habits and scheduling ability. I started writing down all my assignments for the week, and their due dates, on a whiteboard and delegated different days of the week to a specific class. I also marked in times to study and when to take a break (it's important to let yourself rest!). This is something that I will definitely keep up when I transfer to a university and I do recommend trying it. School seems a lot less stressful when you have a clear plan to follow.
As a Point BIPOC Scholar, what is your message to other LGBTQ+ BIPOC students?
Never doubt yourself and don't give up! You'll get to where you're meant to be in time and, regardless of what others may say, you deserve happiness and success.
This post’s responses were submitted by Point BIPOC Scholar Raelynn Requena (She/Her/Hers).
Raelynn is currently studying psychology and African American studies at the University of California, Davis. Read more about the Point BIPOC Scholarship for LGBTQ students program here.