Welcome to Humans of Mountain Lion 360°

Humans of ML360° is here for others to see and hear about the accomplishments, challenges, goals, and proud moments from their fellow UCCS community; students, faculty, and staff alike. We are all here as part of the Mountain Lion family to grow in our educational knowledge, to explore and experience our career path, and to foster our own personal growth to become the best that we can be. We are proud to be a part of the UCCS Mountain Lion Family, and we hope you find encouragement and inspiration in these stories, and ultimately, see a little of them in yourself.

Taryn

Since I was little, my father has always been my biggest inspiration. Growing up with my dad working a strange schedule, I never really liked his job. As I got older, I found that I shared the same drive and hope to make the world a better place. My dream was always to help people, I just didn't know how. Criminal Justice was always my dream, but I didn't want to follow my dad and sister's footsteps exactly. During my senior year, I found a passion for working in a lab and putting together a crime scene. I found a way to create my own path.

Serah

Throughout my first few years of high school I struggled with my education, struggled with understanding and learning. I thought that I was unable, and had no ability, to succeed. My freshman and sophomore year was a struggle, and I didn't want to continue. However, even after receiving bad scores during my final exam in 10th grade, I pursued on. I convinced myself I would succeed. My junior and senior year was definitely a struggle. Trying to conquer one B and obtain the grades I needed to. Nevertheless, I never gave up. I pushed on and I told myself that I would graduate and I would go to college. Keeping that positive attitude was the very reason that I stayed motivated. Proving to all those people who said I couldn't do it, I pushed myself to prove them wrong and show them that I could.

Jaxon

Throughout my college search, I looked for four aspects that I truly believed in. The college I was going to attend had to have a trustworthy computer program, a rich campus life, the sort of comfort that would make me feel at home, and most importantly a staff that I felt would be behind me every step of the way. In the end, UCCS fit the bill perfectly. While I am attending UCCS, I believe that the most challenging thing for me will be improving my writing ability. One of the best things about UCCS is the tutoring programs that are easily accessible. Through these programs, I will work out these challenges with finesse. There are also many things to be nervous about in college, but I am most nervous about the work load that my major will have. The work load that may or may not be approaching scares me because I do not want to fall behind. I do believe that in the end I will be all right because I will grow wiser and more responsible throughout the years to come.

Ian

The campus of UCCS is, first off, beautiful. The complete environment of the school makes me feel comfortable and at home. I also enjoy how many friends and connections I've made. UCCS also offers me the close option to drive home if necessary. UCCS also offers one of the best nursing programs in the country.

Christel

Many things motivate me to do well in college, but the number one thing that motivates me would be my parents. I want to be able to make my parents proud because they never got the experience to go to college and get a proper education. They want to see me succeed in life and have a wonderful life without suffering and having money problems. My parents are my motivation to do great things in my life. They believe I will be able to accomplish my dreams, and without them I do not know where I would be right now. Another thing that motivates me to do well in college is myself. I know that I can do well, and if I push myself just a little bit more, I will be able to become a pediatrician and help others.

Adina

I am very nervous about meeting new people here. When I was younger, I never spoke a word to anyone, but in high school I grew out of that a little bit. I absolutely love meeting new people now, although it still makes me nervous. I am still very excited. I have already met so many amazing people here, and I like to think that with every person I meet, it allows me to broaden my horizon. I can be scared of change and it makes me nervous, but I love experiencing new things with new people.

Kathylee

I’m a first-generation student. My parents started college but never finished. I am grateful for everything they have taught me but now it’s my turn to pay it forward. I want to better my life and my family’s life. Being Latino, low income, and first-generation doesn’t give you a lot of opportunities. Coming here has opened a lot of doors and I want to take advantage of it.

Cole

I chose to attend UCCS because of the scenic campus and friendly community. I feel like the most challenging part of the semester is going to be maintaining a good balance between my social life and academics. What really motivates me to do well and strive in college is my future and making my family proud. I am really fortunate to have a lot of support behind me from my friends and family, so I feel like it's my job to work hard and do my absolute best here at UCCS.

Erika

During my high school career I was very indecisive about where I wanted to go to college. When it came down to applying to go colleges I just applied to all the colleges I could find online in Colorado, and one of them happened to be UCCS. Before I was able to commit to a college, I wanted to go and see the campus. I went to a couple of colleges before I came and visited UCCS and every one of those campuses weren’t the right one for me. When I came to visit UCCS, I fell in love with the campus, dorm rooms and just everything about UCCS. Coming to UCCS has been a great place to come to college, and I have enjoyed every minute of it.

Henry

My future is what motivates me to do well in college, after all that's why I'm here. I view a higher education as having more freedom, freedom to do more, to do what you want. In the future I plan on being successful and living a happy life, and if the only thing standing in my way from this goal is four more years of education, I will try and put non-stop effort into my education until I graduate.

Khalil

Honestly, at first I wasn't even planning on going to college. It just didn't seem like something I would enjoy. All of the extensive work and studying just wasn't for me. Now I am here. I am not here for me though, I am here for my little brother, Kaleb. I am getting a college education and getting a good career for him. I want him to have the teenage life he deserves. I want him to know that anything he wants he can have. I want him to know he is loved. Kaleb is my motivation for everything I do. Everything I do and complete is for him.

Jake

Growing up, I've always wanted a nice car, a big house, and lots of money. Now as an adult I find myself wanting the same thing. Nothing has changed and that's what motivates me to do well in college. I understand that my dream of becoming successful will take some sleepless nights, however, I am willing to do whatever it takes to become a champion! May the next four years treat me well.

Nick

College is a great time in anybody's life. Staying motivated is the key. I will stay motivated all the way through because I plan on graduating in four years and becoming a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army. I also want to make the hardest working person at the university proud, my mother Susan. She continues to impress me with her contagious work ethic, and I want to show her my appreciation for all she has done for me. I want to be her second child to graduate college!

Lucy

I am very excited for my first year at UCCS. I have never been good at math so I know that I will struggle the most in that class. If I am struggling in class I know that I will find helpful recourses like friends, tutors, or the professor. I tend to quit as soon as I fail, and I realize that will not be helpful in any situation. To work through challenges I will step back, breathe, and remember what my future goals are. "You can't have a rainbow without any rain."

Jordan

When I was a little kid I always wanted to make things and amaze people. Drawing was one of the best ways to do that, but somewhere along the line I changed from drawing to art and from art to technology. Instead of choosing one, I chose many subjects and many mediums of art. Year after year I got better and better, but in order to make my dreams come true, I need to push myself further to make myself who I want to be. Soon I hope that I can obtain that dream and after that dream a little more.

Nick

There are multiple motives that encourage me to strive in college. The main reason is to be successful after I graduate. Who doesn't, after all? Getting good grades will prove that I will hopefully get a good career after. I also want to make my family proud, being that my dad didn't go to high school. Having a college degree is something to be proud of, a major accomplishment.

Jacob

What motivates me to do well in college is that I want to be successful in life. Being good at what you do is a big part of being successful, which starts when you begin your college career. Being a good student and trying my best is how I will be living the life I want.

Brandon

Hi! My name is Brandon, and I am in the Mountain Lion 360 program. Ever since the start of my college search it has been a dream of mine to go to UCCS. I wanted UCCS because of the beautiful campus as well as it has all of the classes I wanted. My goal is to major in computer science and do ROTC. I am a little worried about English, as I am a math and science guy. Throughout college I want to transform into a more social person. I am very shy and hope to build my confidence. Academically I need to learn to use my time wisely. What will motivate me in college is the college itself. I have worked my whole life to go here, and I will not let this opportunity pass by.

Garrett

I would like to grow academically by staying on top of ALL of my homework for the year. I have always had a hard time keeping track of all of the work. I'd like to grow personally a lot. I am hoping to get to know myself better so I can resolve personal conflicts that I am sure everyone has with themselves. Another thing I am hoping to achieve is having and meeting new people that I can share my experiences with. Having people in my life means a lot to me, so I have always tried my hardest to establish these friendships, connections, and relationships.

Audrey

Throughout my life I have always been shy and more reserved. I haven’t always had the most friends, but a couple of good ones. I hope I learn new things every day in my classes and grow in my math abilities. Personally I would like to improve my social skills and make more friends. Raising my hand in class has always been a struggle for me, so I hope I overcome this fear that I’ve always had.

Triston

After the age of three I never stayed in the same home for longer than two years. It caused me to lose a majority of my good friends. The day I got accepted into UCCS I knew this would be my new home, where I can start a new life and start new friendships that I'll have forever.

Zachary

My motivation to do well in college is to quite simply to prove those that doubted that I would succeed in college wrong. I want to give my family the retirement that they deserve and have worked so hard to earn. Another motive that I have is for when I go try out for the Navy Seals, I want the higher pay grade. I do have one more motive, I just don't feel like telling the story that goes with it.

Stephanie

Two years ago I knew college wasn't my cup of tea. I hated going to school and longed for graduation. I planned on going to beauty school for five months and I would be set. Well, things changed. I met a teacher who changed my perspective senior year. By then I thought it was too late because my grades reflected my attitude towards school, but I made it and am super grateful to be here. How do I stay motivated? Tuition is $8,000 so I better not fail! In all seriousness, I reflect on my past and I acknowledge who believed in me even when I didn't believe in myself. Its cliché but very true. Just because I couldn't see my potential doesn't mean others did not. Now that I see what I am capable of, I am confident in my future. I will never tell myself, "I can't do it," because I can. I just need to try.

Chevon

Motivation was never an easy thing for me. I constantly struggled with the concept of walking in my own shoes. My family pushed me to work hard in everything I did. I worked hard to follow in my parents' footsteps only to discover the truth behind my parents hard work. To provide for their child was the most important thing they could do. Everyday I strive to become successful in college, so when the day comes I can work hard and provide for my family.

Mohamed

I chose UCCS because of the location since it was near the mountains. The only problem I'll have will be time management and spending too much time trying to fix that problem. I am nervous for the environment that I'll be going to because this is my first time away from my neighborhood. Ensuring I have a good job motivates me to do well in college.

Emily

The reason why I picked UCCS is because I really liked how the school felt like family. It has been great here. I have made so many friends. I am really excited to see what is going to happen these next years.

Cam

I chose UCCS because I fell in love with the campus, the views, everything. I was dead set on Mesa for a long time because I wanted to do CSI type stuff, but that changed somewhere along the line to law enforcement. I saw that I could get my Criminal Justice degree from the School of Public Affairs here, and since UCCS is way closer to home than Mesa, I made the decision to attend school here.

Shania

I am most nervous about being far away from home and failing. I think I am nervous about being away from my family because we have always been close. I also have a three month old niece that I have gotten close to so being away from her has been really hard. I am also afraid to fail because I really want to be successful.

Bella

I had been dead set on moving to North Carolina since I was seven. I loved the mountain area of North Carolina, so during my junior year of high school I found my dream college, it was in the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina. I was set on going there and no one could change my mind. I applied and I also applied to one in-state school as my backup, UCCS. I didn’t think anything of it since North Carolina was my dream. The time came when I got my acceptance letters and UCCS’s came first. Once I was accepted is when I first looked into the school and what it really had to offer. I came down for the Mountain Lion Experience tour and fell in love. I fell in love with the environment, the people, the campus and everything else UCCS had to offer. That was when I knew UCCS is the place for me.

Ryan

I would like to increase my reading skills. I have dyslexia, which affects my life daily. Homework takes twice as long and twice the effort.

Alyssa

I chose UCCS my freshman year of high school. My best friend Adina went to visit UCCS and when she got back she was so excited, and it got me interested in it. One of the most challenging things for me this semester is going to be surviving without my dog. My dog, Ruby, is the light of my life. Just looking at her makes me ten times happier. I will get through our separation by not really thinking about it and keeping my mind busy. I am most nervous about being social all the time. I have social anxiety. Over the years it has become less extreme but I still can’t be in a large group of people for too long without having a panic attack. In college I would like to grow into a more outgoing person because I like being social, I just don’t know how. I want to do well in college so that I can prove to myself that I am not like my biological father. I want to show that I can achieve anything.

Emmerry

Faith. Faith is the main reason I am motivated to do well in college. Knowing that there is so much more opportunity after having a college education makes me have faith that I will get a job that I love, have a sense of security, and an enjoyable life. My loved ones have faith in me, the Lord has faith in me, and I know this is the direction I need to take. I am excited for this journey!

Aaron

Ever since I was a young child video games have always been a part of my life. It was saving the universe in Halo, or finally saving enough money to buy a skyline in Gran Turismo. Games have shaped my life more than I thought they would. And, in a way, they encouraged me to do well here because a degree is key to getting into the gamin industry. My dream job is making worlds that helped me shape my childhood because games can always build better worlds.

Mercades

Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be involved in science. It wasn't until freshman year in high school I decided I wanted to be a CSI. From that moment on, I have been pushing and striving to reach my goal. I am motivated to do well in college because I have already worked so hard to get where I am today. I am going to continue working towards my goal to becoming a CSI. College is my one chance to become what I want, and I am going to take this chance very seriously.

Kate

I have lived in Colorado my whole life and have been mesmerized by the mountains since 1998. UCCS has the perfect view of not only Pikes Peak, but of Colorado Springs in general. Going to UCCS has been a huge step in my life and moving away from home was hard. Being able to see Pikes Peak from home and college makes my stay at UCCS feel a little more welcoming.

Kayla

College in itself is motivational because everyone who goes to college comes for a reason. Have you ever felt like there was something more to do with your degree and life? Working as a nurse has always been what I wanted to do, but joining the Peace Corps was my motivation to continue my education (even if it felt never-ending). My motivation comes from a sense of adventure and a need to help the world. Adventure is far out into the world. My motivation comes from an urge to enjoy what the world has to offer and how I can make it a better place through medicine.

Nikki

I changed my major going into my senior year. The two most important things I've learned throughout my time at UCCS helped me with that decision. The first being that the passion you posses for what you do in your lifetime will always be more important than the money you earn doing it. The second is that the time is going to pass no matter what, so it is never too late to begin doing something you love.

Alex

From the time I was four years old and acting out every role of The Wizard of Oz I dreamed of being a movie star. When I reached high school, I decided that I wasn't just going to be let that be a dream anymore. So I packed everything up in two bags and left home for one purpose, to make my life into a work of art. Three years along the way, and I've done a lot of growing up, I've met a lot of people, and I've had a lot of experiences. With the support of my friends, and sisters I continue to passionately work hard not just for me anymore, but for the benefit of society. Through my art, I want to spread compassion and fuel kindness. We're all human, and sometimes I think we forget that, but by using art to promote creativity I think we can enhance our collaboration efforts and move forward to a kinder and braver new world.

Emily

I am originally from Oceanside, California and although I have developed a love for the mountains, my heart will always reside with the ocean and the salty air. The ocean has provided serenity in times where I needed peace and has taught me lessons I will always carry with me. "It comes and goes in waves" is my constant reminder that although sometimes you may feel as though you're drowning, the calm will always come, you will always prevail, and the struggle will be worth it in the end.

Stacy

Writing has always been a part of my life. As a kid, I would attempt to write and illustrate children’s chapter books. As I grew up, I was journaling more and that was my way of coping with changes and challenges throughout life, especially in college. I think that writing was a way for me to get out my frustrations and learn more about myself. It helped me to process thoughts and feelings. It didn’t stop at journaling either. To this day, I find myself writing lists to help keep me organized, writing quotes to stay motivated, and writing small snippets of ideas that come up to save them for later. I’ve always said that I would write a book someday, and I still have that dream. There are many collected thoughts written in these pages, it is just a matter of getting them into some kind of logical order.

Karen

Capturing moments is very important to me. Whether it be telling a story, freezing a moment, feeling an emotion, or just because…I like to capture it. For me, something does not immediately become interesting just because it is there. Rather, it’s the light that brings it to life. Light is critical to photography, just as it is to life on this planet. I love light and enjoy seeing it represented through the lens of my camera.

Marta

Dancing has been a part of me as long as I can remember. I was a very energetic child and this helped me release energy as well as express myself. To this day I find dancing to be one of the best ways I can express myself with whatever emotion I am experiencing. Dancing is speaking with my body and I think it is without a doubt the most beautiful art form.