What college/university are you attending and what made you choose it?
New York University (NYU); ever since I knew that NYU was a research university but also put a huge emphasis on the liberal arts curriculum I became interested. I wanted a university where I could explore both my passions for the basic and social sciences. I wanted an institution that not only respected but also celebrated all the different aspects of my identity, and where I would be able to find a community of people who also felt pride about being who they are.
Which program are you pursuing and what about the subject intrigues you most?
I am currently majoring in Chemistry and intending to double major in Gender & Sexuality Studies (GSS) or Social and Cultural Analysis (SCA). For Chemistry, I love thinking about why things happen in the way they do. Everything that we see and experience has a chemical explanation behind it that beautifully intersects with biological and physical phenomena -- it is so cool to learn about it! For GSS/SCA I am most intrigued about intersectionality and how race, gender, sexuality, cultural background, history, etc. can explain most of our social dynamics and interactions. I believe everyone should at least take one class on intersectionality.
What are your career aspirations?
I want to become an MD or MD/Ph.D. I want to be able to be involved in different research projects while also closely interacting with community members and patients in general. I get inspired and energized by serving my communities and getting to know people. I hope that I get to find a balance between research and in-person practice.
What is a fun fact about you that few people know?
I put lime juice on practically every food. Even “unconventional” ones like pizza, rice, soup, anything. If I don’t put it on something on a regular basis I have at least tried it.
What is your favorite book/movie/song and why?
Book: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Movie: Love, Rosie
Song: “The Adults are Talking” by The Strokes and “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over” by Jeff Buckley (it’s a tie). And I like them because no matter how much I want to deny it I am a romantic and I also like alternative/slow music a lot :)
What is your current favorite streaming binge?
Avatar the Last Airbender (waterbenders, where you at?)
In your spare time, what do you enjoy doing?
Pre-COVID, I would always try to discover new coffee shops and go swimming somewhere. Now, I’ve gotten back to writing and coffee-painting. :)
How are you practicing self-care during this difficult time?
I FaceTime my friends and family often. Me and my roommate eat and do homework together, and I try to have regular sessions with my therapist and spiritual counselor. Please take care of yourselves y’all. :)
How are you adjusting to remote life and what are your tips to stay motivated?
It definitely took me some time to get used to it. I started developing a routine around it and in order to stay motivated I try to remind myself that this is a situation that is not under my control and that literally the whole world is going through, so the most important thing is to do the best that I can to whatever extent that is. Being kind to myself has kept me more motivated to do things!
As a Point Scholar, what is your message to other LGBTQ+ students?
No matter where you come from or what your situation is, you are worthy and deserving of love, and even if you don’t find that in the place you’re at right now, there are people out there willing to give you unconditional support. Do not be afraid to take risks, but also remember to be patient with yourself. You do not owe anyone explanations. Do not feel pressured to take steps you do not want to take yet or at all. There is something about being part of the LGBTQ+ community that inherently makes you strong and resilient, so hold onto your courage in order to persevere and succeed. No matter how hard the challenge seems, you can do it, and if you need me to, I will be there for to help you in any way I can.
This post’s responses were submitted by Point Scholar Diego Antonio Quintana Licona.
Quintana Licona is currently pursuing a degree in Chemistry at New York University. Read more about Diego here.