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Being a first-generation college student is already hard, but being a first-generation college student with cancer is that much harder. My name is Evelin Pacheco Mota, an industrial distribution major with a double minor in business and statistics at Texas A&M University. Within my two years at Texas A&M, I have struggled with my health, been placed on academic probation, beat cancer and was accepted into my dream major. Here is the story of how a crazy beginning turned into a blessed reality.
What cancer did I have, how long have I had it, and how did I beat it?
I was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma, a type of lung cancer, during my junior year of high school. This cancer followed me all the way to my freshman year of college where I was supposed to continue my radiotherapy sessions. Unfortunately, I had no car to go to these sessions. If it were not for the Aggie family, specifically my boyfriend and best friend Jesus, I would not have had a ride to my radiotherapy sessions. It took a toll on me doing two sessions a week, along with my first semester of college. I am glad to say I am cancer-free as of November 12, 2018, but along with everything I was going through, it ended up making my grades suffer and put me on academic probation.
Academic Probation and how I got out of it
It devastated me that I was put on academic probation. Now that I was in remission, I was determined to bring my grades up and get admitted into my dream major, industrial distribution (IDIS). Looking at my grades and considering this is not only an engineering major but that I had to pass all of the Entry-to-a-Major requirements, it seemed impossible. However, I did not let that get the best of me. For the spring and fall semester, I worked hard in my classes, studying for hours a day. Soon the time came to submit my transcript and major application to the IDIS faculty. I anxiously waited for a decision. The amount of emails I sent the IDIS faculty was immense, but I was determined to let them know I wanted to be in this major. All my hard work and dedication got me admitted into the program in Spring 2020.
Benefitting from your mistakes
I am a strong believer in things happening for a reason. It is crazy to me that I was once in a position where I had cancer and was on academic probation, but those experiences pushed me harder to reach my goals, and actually achieving them made me feel that much better. Just because you do not start off strong does not mean you cannot succeed.
We all have our struggles, but our struggles do not define us.