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Double Major calls Lamar her “dream university”

Students sit in together in the blackbox theatre. UP photo by Ambour Leal.
Students sit together in the blackbox theatre. UP photo by Ambour Leal.

“Honestly, it’s been a dream come true– Lamar university is my dream university and I was super-grateful I was able to get in here,” McAllen native Marisol Arnold said.

Arnold is a junior and double major in computer science and theater of dance with an acting concentration.

“I keep to myself a lot of the time but it turns out that I really, really enjoy being around people,” Arnold said. “Ever since I got into acting, I was like ‘Oh my gosh I enjoyed the social aspect’– and I’ve been discovering a lot more things about my personality.”

Arnold considers herself to be more introverted and reserved and does not regularly attend campus events. She prefers to stay within her dorm.

“I get overwhelmed with a lot of people,” she said. “I always need to go off and recharge.”

The double major’s hobbies include playing video games, drawing, doing vocal warm ups or exercises, playing out acting scenarios, reading, and writing.

“I always like to feel like I’m working towards something – anything,” Arnold said. “Once I start on something, I don’t stop until I finish it or hit a dead end on it.”

During her spare time, she likes to plan for her future schedules, practice her current skills, or learn new things.

When Arnold was in highschool, she dropped out but later returned to school to continue her education.

“I found out I’m bipolar and it was confused with ADHD,” she said. “I’m gonna have off-days – I’m gonna have days where I don’t feel well but the most important thing for me to do is just to not lose sight of the goals that you want. Don’t forget why you’re here at Lamar, even though it gets overwhelming.”

To help cope with her mental illness, she has started to strive for self-care, taking things day by day, going to therapy, and talking things out with other people.

“There’s no one size fits all for treatment and it's nothing to be ashamed about,” she said. “For one thing, what helped me is knowing definitively what I have because now that can give you the peace of mind knowing ‘okay, I have this.”

“As a double major, you’ll never want for things to do and depending on whether you have already done your basics, it can be very doable or it can feel impossible,” Arnold said. “Double majoring isn’t for everybody.”

Arnold finished her basics at South Texas College which helped her more easily pursue a double major at Lamar.

“My dream is to become an actress and also a freelance web developer so I can generate enough money in order to not worry about where my next paycheck is coming from,” she said. “I do want to eventually get my master’s degree for drama in China and act internationally.”

Arnold also hopes to work in Mexico because of her family who live there and to get more in touch with her cultural roots.

“I was born in the United States,” she said. “So it wasn’t until recently that I really started to appreciate my history, my Hispanic background.”

Her choice to come to Lamar was mainly due to affordability, less competition for her desired majors, and the smaller size of campus.

“I’m really impressed by the quality of education I’ve been getting– especially since the faculty student ratio is small,” she said. “I just think I feel really lucky that I get to spend more time with my professors and ask them a lot more questions about how I’m doing in classes so that I can be the actress I want to be.”

Students read off script at the blackbox theatre. UP photo by Ambour Leal.





Category: Features