“Getting the degree and getting that bread.”

Life in university

Brittaney Hernandez, a nineteen-year-old, started her art journey in animation when she decided to go to CSULA with the help of her high school advisory teacher. Brittaney is a commuting student so she goes back home with her family and her seven pets after attending her class. She is now in her first year and a half in university.

Going into CSULA taught her things that she never learned before, such as science and it also helps improve on her art skills.

However, in university, it’s pretty difficult for her to make friends since most of the students are commuting so they don’t have much time to hang out or talk. In addition, it’s hard to commit to her work and to stay on track because Brittaney ends up experiencing loads of work to do if she doesn’t focus.

Commuting to university is easy for Brittaney since she has classes on different days and for a specific amount of time she has to be in it. Though, there are times where she was given assignments from her professors, so she spends her time doing work at home too.

Overall, going to university at CSULA benefited Brittaney because it was the closest university to her, so commuting to university was a comfortable fit for her, and it’s helping her through her art journey in animation.



Stefany Hernandez: But does your university teach you a lot?


Brittaney Hernandez: Yeah.


SH: Really?


BH: I mean from my… I have been in this school for a year. It’s about to be a year and a half. I have been learning more about stuff that I have never learned in high school honestly. Like drawing, they’re making us draw like every week, and by doing—drawing I’m improving little by little. And also with like science, I’m learning about rocks that I never knew. In my high school they were teaching us about chemistry, I never understood it. I think the teacher impacts how you learn stuff. The teacher wasn’t good so I didn’t learn anything from chemistry. But in the class in the University I’m taking, the class is for geology. I learn about rocks, I learn about plate tectonics, the layers of the earth, chemicals, and like specific minerals. So, that’s what I’ve been learning that I would never have learned  in high school honestly. It would have taken me like at least a few months but it has barely been a month since I had school. You get what I mean right. But yea, it’s better. It impacts-But it doesn’t matter how well the college teaches you, it depends on the teacher honestly. Because if a teacher that puts no effort, you won’t know anything. But if someone who really dedicates to their job and wants to teach students, you’ll learn everything that they have to offer. You get what I mean, right? But yea.


SH: Question. Are you the one that chooses your classes or does the school also choose it for you?


BH: They give you options and you decide and you have to complete specific amount of classes to get your bachelors degree. So right now I’m completing barely a quarter of it, because I’m mostly focusing on my general education that the school makes you take for you to graduate. You get what I mean, right? So I’m taking right now that is required, I’m taking science and I think that’s about it.


SH: Just science?


BH: I had another one called, it was art history, but I dropped out because I wasn’t able to handle it mentally and I’m taking three art classes.


SH: Okay, at least you’re doing okay [inaudible]. You’re taking steps or classes to begin learning animation.


BH: Yeah.


SH: Or whatever you wanted to do.


BH: Yeah.


SH: [Inaudible] How do you live with cats when you’re in university?


BH: Honestly I don’t see no change. It’s the same thing as going home because since I’m commuting I won’t be far away from them. So it’s been alright but sometimes I don’t have the time to take care of them because I have to be at school early in the morning, and I have to rush to get ready while also feeding them in the morning, and making sure they’re okay. So yeah, it’s been a little bit like not having time to do what I want to do.


SH: Would you recommend people or do you think it would be a good idea to get pets for University since you see no changes if you get cats?


BH: It depends on the person and what they decided to adopt. Like one person could end up adopting five dogs the moment they start college. Would that be fit?


SH: No.


BH: You see, it depends on the person. And also their dedication and time to take care of their animal. So it just depends on them. You know.


SH: Okay and then, oh this one is good. Is it easy to stay with your family when you’re going to university?


BH: Most of the time yeah since I’m commuting. I have specific classes for specific times. Like for example, today it’s on a Wednesday, I only had a class for fifty minutes, well yea it was around fifty minutes and I just left to go home because I had more time for family. While in high school you have to stay the whole day at school and it’s mentally draining, physically draining as well, having to talk to people. So in college you can spend more time with family or you just stay home, you know.


SH: But like is, staying with family, like you know, is it bad for you like does it ever, how do I say it, does it ever hold you back from doing your stuff from university?


BH: Yeah cause sometimes I have to do some chores before doing homework because then I end up getting scolded for not doing that. So yeah, sometimes they push me back from doing my studies. 


SH: Okay and then, would you drop out of University if you had a chance to?


BH: No.


SH: Why?


BH: Cause I want to see how going to University leads me to. I want to see how it goes and if I had a job, if I had the opportunity I would take it but while in University to get the double cash you know. Getting the degree and getting that bread.


SH: [laughs] Bread.


BH: Yeah but like I don’t have the opportunity so I would just mostly focus on my studies.


SH: And then, but if the university is bad would you just drop out, or like it isn’t fit for you?


BH: Instead of dropping out you can just transfer to a different school but I have already gotten used to my college/university so I wouldn’t leave just because it’s bad.


SH: Okay then, then does your classes help you for your future career?


BH: Basically yeah duh I’m getting a bachelors. But, it’s more than just getting a bachelors, you have to actually be engaging with other people to get other people to be like, “Oh my god, this person is a good fit for our job we can get them to work.” And how would they know that? By talking to people. Knowing what you’re doing, your projects, your portfolio. If it weren’t for that, you wouldn’t- they would just know that you just have a bachelors, but what else makes you fit to get a job. You know what I mean right? You have to talk to people, interact, let them know that, “Oh hey I’m doing this and that, do you have any job offerings?” Or like also communicate with your teachers, your professors for they can help you get jobs as well. You get what I mean right? It’s not all about getting the degree. That’s what my professors also tell me.


SH: But what do they teach you in class like what they teach you in class is it going to help you?


BH: Yea.


SH: Really?


BH: Yea. I saw my planner for the future and like around the next few semesters I’ma start learning about animation. But I’m so nervous because I don’t know how to animate. And like, I’m like, really nervous.


SH: I know this is off-topic but if you want you can use my iPad to animate because I have that app to go animate.


BH: Nice you can give it to me and I can download it.


SH: You can’t, you have to pay.


BH: How much?


SH: Ten dollars.


BH: What’s it called?


SH: Procreate. 


BH: Oh then I’ll just buy it.


SH: Okay. 


BH: I need a bigger iPad.


SH: Really [inaudible]?


BH: I mean I don’t want to use yours. I don’t want to bother you.


SH: Aren’t you gonna animate on like paper?


BH: No. I mean I don’t know yet. I just know- I don’t even know the basics so like I don’t know. I’m just learning how to draw right now.


SH: Okay do you think drawing is easy?


BH: No. It takes time to put the effort but also don’t think too much when you’re drawing cause you end up undecided what to do and you just mess it up entirely.


SH: I know right.


BH: So like, it just takes time. What’s your next question?


SH: Okay then, how do you make money when you go to university?


BH: I don’t. Sadly, I don’t have a job, so I am living off of my school money that they give me, and sometimes my family. They have to- I am not independent. I depend on them for food, to live, to have a bed, a roof over my head. So I don’t get money, the only way I get it is from school.


SH: Is the school money that they give you good enough?


BH: Maybe. But sometimes I don’t want to spend all of it cause I want to put it in my savings. 


SH: Do all universities give you school money?


BH: It depends honestly, cause one of my friends, she goes to UC Santa Barbara and she still in debt because she’s dorming there, and right now since she’s in DACA she can’t get FAFSA so- and her scholarship that she has isn’t supporting her anymore so she needs to pay for college. 


SH: I feel bad for her. 


BH: Same. So now her parents have to pay for her college and her education.


SH: Wow.


BH: Yeah, so sometimes it isn’t enough or like sometimes other students- the more expensive it is, the more they can’t afford it. You get what I mean right? I don’t know how to explain it but yeah.