Best things about having Hispanic roommates

7 Of The Best Things About Having Hispanic Roommates

Home is where you can smell the taco seasoning!

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"Our differences make us the same." Most children hear this preached to them from a young age, but fewer take to heart what this means. On the day I signed an apartment contract with my roommates, I had no idea what to expect. I was a white chick living with two Hispanic girls who were already friends and I had no idea if they would even like or accept me. I was clueless about what their lives were like prior to my meeting them, but I wanted to build relationships with the girls I would potentially be sharing space with for the next two years!

Y'all. My roommates are the biggest blessing. They are nothing but a BLAST to be around, and I can't thank them enough for their love and encouragement in my life. Here are a few of the greatest things about being more than a lease-filler, but a friend to two talented, dedicated, kick-butt Hispanic beauties!

1. Latin pop has become a regular in my Spotify playlists 

I don't know most of the words because I'm far from fluent in Spanish, but it comforts me to know that sometimes my roommates don't know the lyrics either! We all make up our own words sometimes, in any language!

2. Meeting their families is THE MOST fun!

Every time I'm introduced to another sibling or cousin or high school friend (which is a regular occurrence), it's the best time ever! If there's a family member in our house, it's a party!

3. The kitchen always smells like fancy spices and love!

These girls know how to COOK (a talent I do not possess). I swore off spicy food until they introduced me to *real* taquitos. All kinds of yum! (Although, it makes anything I cook for them WAY less impressive!)

4. I always have a different perspective to consider 

Obviously, our world is pretty politically charged right now and things like race, religion and gender can be really touchy. My sweet roommates have always given me new insight on sociopolitical ideas that have helped shape the way I see my world as a whole. I can't thank them enough for their honesty and ability to just not give a crap when the time is right!

5. They've given me a new appreciation for all living things 

My roomies have a beautiful sense of compassion for all life. I see it in the way they treat their animals, their *many, many* house plants, and everyone that walks through our front door. They understand that all God's creatures needs good food, fresh water, and open blinds.

6. I live with the best design consultants ever 

My roomies have a keen eye for color and texture in everything from bedroom decor and living room set-ups to clothing ensembles and flower arrangements. It amazes me how easily they piece these things together when I struggle to match my shirt and pants in the morning!

7. My roommates' friends assume I'm Hispanic before they meet me, and I love seeing their reactions when they discover I'm not!

My name is "Ella" which is "she" in Spanish, so before meeting me, my roommates' other non Spanish-speaking friends automatically paint a mental picture of what I look like, which isn't usually a blonde, very Caucasian girl covered in tattoos! We all have a good laugh about it afterwards.

Miriam and Tanya, I love you so much. You rock my socks off.

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An Open Letter To My Unexpected Best Friend

You came out of nowhere and changed my life for the better.
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“It's so amazing when someone comes to your life and you expect nothing out of it, but suddenly, there right in front of you is everything you ever need."

-Unknown

Dear Unexpected Best Friend,

You were the person I never thought I would speak to and now you are my very best friend. You came out of nowhere and changed my life for the better. I can't thank you enough for everything you have done to shape me into the person I am today. You've taught me what it means to be selfless, caring, patient, and, more importantly, adventurous.

You don't realize how much better my life has become and all because you came out of nowhere. I didn't see you coming. I just saw you on occasion, and now I can't see my life without you in it. It's funny how life works itself out like that. Our unexpected friendship filled a hole in my life that I didn't know existed.

I don't even remember what life was like before you came along; it most likely had a lot less laughter and spontaneity than it does today. I can call you about anything and you would drop whatever you're doing to help me in any situation. You know when I need encouragement. You know when I am at my best and when I am at my worst. You always know exactly what to say.

SEE ALSO: 8 Tiny Lies Every Young Woman Has Told Their Best Friend

I couldn't have found a better friend than you if I tried. We balance each other out in the best way possible. You are most definitely the yin to my yang, and I don't care how cliché that sounds. Because of you, I've learned to stop caring what people think and to do my own thing regardless of any backlash I might receive. You are my very favorite part of what makes me who I am to this day.

It's as if I wished up a best friend, and poof — you appeared right in front of me. I am so beyond blessed to have you and I wouldn't trade the world for all our memories. Thanks for coming out of nowhere.

Love you forever and a day.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Medders

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I Want My School To Be As Diverse As Their Advertisements Claim They Are

Several campuses pride themselves on a wide range of individuals who attend their institutions, but what is the reality versus the things we see?

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When deciding on a college I wanted to know what I was going to be getting myself into for 4 years. I watched so many videos of Boise State Universities campus to find out what I had to look forward to. I was from a smaller town in Southern California so I was very used to the amount of diversity in my school and basically whole life at that point. I am a White Mexican-American female and while growing up in my city, I was a part of the minority of white individuals. I always wanted a campus who would represent me, or I could see myself at. I looked at so many ads before I did a campus tour and looked at stacks of brochures scattered across my room with my sister. I saw people who looked like the friends I had throughout my life, my family, and most importantly myself.

I took two tours of the campus and noticed that there was a lack of the people I saw on the brochures on the actual campus and city. I walked around only really seeing individuals who were white. I drove the 14 hours back home and continued to think about how I didn't see the diversity that was advertised in everything I saw from the university. It wasn't until the big move-in day that I realized the lack of diversity I was experiencing in the staff and the individuals I shared classrooms with. When you check the university's website you can see the numbers and the lack of diversity.

  • American Indian/Alaska Native — <1% (118)
  • Asian — 2% (595)
  • Black/African American — 2% (425)
  • Hispanic/Latino — 13% (3,243)
  • Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander — <1% (121)
  • Not Reported — 4% (914)
  • Two or More Races — 4% (1.079)
  • White — 73% (18,612)
  • Nonresident (International) — 2% (433)

The numbers I was seeing wasn't matching the things I was seeing around, and it wasn't until I conducted my own research and interviews with my peers that I noticed that I wasn't the only individual that was craving more diversity on campus. Other students wanted to more people who were like them around campus. Boise State University is not the only campus that will push diversity when its really to only meet their quota. Students who transferred from Arizona State University also mentioned to me that they face similar issues and feelings around diversity from their campus. I want to bring the topic of diversity to many of the student organizations on campus to help our voice be heard for a want for a more diverse campus.

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