Overcoming Adversities Essay

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Alexander Ulloa
Professor Jones
English 848
November 20, 2014
Overcoming Adversities
Sonia Sotomayor is the first Hispanic woman appointed to the United States Supreme
Court. Sotomayor was born in The Bronx, New York City to her parents who were born in
Puerto Rico. Her memoir
My Beloved World maps out her long journey from the projects to becoming a Supreme Court Judge. Sotomayor wrote this book to show young people of all backgrounds how she came out of poverty despite encountering many different obstacles and adversities. Many students struggle with school for many different reasons, including having to work and study at the same time or just struggling to fit in. What we can learn from Sotomayor by reading her book is that with enough inner­strength and self­reliance one can overcome adversity and succeed.
A large quantity of students end up dropping out of college just because they need to work more rather than go to class. This was the case with Sotomayor since she had no father for the majority of her childhood. Throughout high school she would work full time during the summer and part time during school. In college Sotomayor found a way to make work and school coexist. She did this by working at Princeton as a keypunch operator at the Computer center. One of the benefits of this job was that she could set her own hours to fit her study and class schedule. Sotomayor claims that she “kept it all four years at Princeton, working there ten or fifteen hours a week on top of other jobs that came and went” (167). Sotomayor was fortunate

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enough to land a good job at her school. Most CSM students have jobs of their own, but many of them have these jobs off campus forcing them to struggle with school. CSM offers jobs to its students, for example the on campus library offers part­time employment to students who are enrolled in at least six units at CSM. Another program at CSM that offers employment to students is the Reading and ESL center who hires student assistants also enrolled in at least six units at CSM. If students can learn to take advantage of these opportunities they will have a much easier time balancing school and work, and this will lower the chances of them dropping out of school.
Many students end up dropping out of college because they have trouble fitting in, and making friends. This seems to be a problem for CSM students due to the fast paced atmosphere on campus. Everyone is always in a rush to their car, class, or appointments so no one has time to chat or meet new people. Sotomayor experienced this alienation from her peers, she felt this not because of the same reasons we do, but rather because of her gender and ethnicity. During
Sotomayor’s first weeks at Princeton she was discussing with her Puerto Rican friend Margarita
Rosa about how the males at Princeton did not seek them romantically. How if they were to have been white or black their male peers would be at their feet. Margarita Rosa states “Not true,
Sonia. If you’re a blue­eyed blonde, they know what to do with you. If you’re black, there’s at least a handful of brothers ready…