Pace Graduates’ Valuable Advice for the Class of 2022


Though the goal of college is to obtain a degree and get a job, Pace graduates Christine Latorres and Edwin Rodriguez give advice on how to make the four years on campus worth it. Photo Courtesy of Christine Latorres.

Kwadar Ray, Managing Editor

For those who know Pace graduate Edwin Rodriguez, he is the life of the party and a consistently outgoing individual. However, he was not as much of an extrovert that he is today when he entered Pace as a freshman in 2011.

Just like most first-year students, Rodriguez arrived on campus nervous and unaware of his surroundings.

“My first week at Pace was a bit nerve wracking, not being home and living on campus,” he said. “I felt more freedom, but it felt weird and unfamiliar. I just felt nervous living with someone and sharing a space which I haven’t had experience before.”

Rodriguez felt accomplished that he was just able to make it through the week. After a few weeks, living at Pace felt routine and he begin to feel more comfortable, much thanks to his Residential Assistant (RA) Sasha-Gay Scott, Residential Director (RD) Ladarius Thompson, and the community of students.

“I would ask questions and visit [Thompson and Scott] during office hours, developing a rapport with them that helped me become more willing to try other things,” he said.

Like Rodriguez, Pace graduate Matthew Indik was nervous entering a new environment, but he eventually got involved on campus too. Indik, who entered the university in 2010, was a student assistant for the Student Development and Campus Activities Office, which allowed him to see what the university had to offer. Before he knew it, he became involved in a plethora of clubs.

“I did not think I would be as active as I was throughout my undergrad,” Indik said. “But because I was active on campus, I grew as a person and met some awesome people that I’m still close friends with.”

Indik and Rodriguez may be outliers, as not all freshmen get involved on and get acquainted with the campus so quickly. Christine Latorres, who was a freshman in 2012, did not immediately get involved, as she recalled her first  week at Pace being overwhelming.

“I would totally consider myself an introvert my freshman year,” she said. “There were so many things to take in. It was a lot trying to find my way around and meet new friends.”

Latorres, who graduated in 2017 with a Master’s degree in Education, said that if there was any advice she wish she would have gotten, it would be to not go home until a month in.

“I went home almost every weekend and I feel like I missed out on a lot,” she said.

However, she redeemed herself and began to “test the waters” by going to events, such as 50 Days & Nights. She then joined Alumni, Students and Professors Influencing Recruitment and Enrollment (ASPIRE) and the Glee club, which helped her meet new people. By the time the summer hit, Latorres had a campus job and became increasingly active on campus.

Latorres, who eventually became an RA on campus, never expected she would be as active on campus as she ended up being.

“I never would have expected to be where I ended up when I graduated,” she said. “It’s crazy how you just find your place after the first year. My first year I was super quiet on campus and by the end of it all I was involved in tons of different clubs and offices on campus.”

“My advice for the new class of freshman is enjoy every moment,” Latorres continued. “It’s really what you make of it, so take that risk and go to that event, even if you do not know anyone. Because you never know what might happen.”

Rodriguez also had advice for the Class of 2022, regardless of their interests.

“Some advice is don’t be afraid to try new things,” he said. “It is okay to ask for help when you don’t know something. You are going to have your ups and downs, but always remember it’s still a fun ride. And it’s short, so do not stay in your room when there is always something you can enjoy in your building or anywhere else on campus.”