#SAReads: Make Your Home Among Strangers.

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Today, I needed some time for myself, and I decided to catch up on some much desired reading.  And…I finished my book!

I have been working on Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capo Crucet for a while now, but I finally finished it today!  I wish that I could spend more time reading for pleasure, but wrapping up the school year and searching for a job has been quite the time suck.  Unfortunately, that means that I have put my reading on hold.

Inspired by the completion of Crucet’s novel and by my former supervisor and good friend, Alexandra, who is the author of a blog that features different reading challenges, I have decided to post some reflections of this book and it’s relationship with the world of Higher Education.

Here we go!


 

Make Your Home Among Strangers tells the tale of Lizet, a #FirstGen college student from Miami.  She comes from a low income, Cuban family with their share of struggles.  In an attempt to defy the odds, Lizet secretly applies to a prestigious university in New York.  Surprised by her acceptance to Rawlings College, Lizet chooses to leave everything behind in pursuit of the unfamiliar challenge of university life.

Crucet details the common struggles that #FirstGen, minority, and underrepresented students face when attending college.  These struggles take life in Lizet, and are portrayed clearly in Crucet’s narrative.  As a #FirstGen student myself, I immediately connected to Lizet and found myself reflecting on my own experience.  Challenged in different ways than Lizet, I know what it’s like to move far away from home, struggle academically and financially, and be misunderstood by family members.  I have to agree with Lizet, sometimes it’s easiest to disconnect my world at home from my world at school and live two separate lives.  I think many students struggle with this balance, especially #FirstGen students because they don’t always have the family support at home.

Without spoiling too much of the story, I will just say that Lizet didn’t necessarily have the support she needed from her family back in Miami.  Just before she leaves for New York, her parents get divorced.  Her sister is a single mother working long hours to support her child, and shortly after Lizet moves away, her mother is caught up in a movement to help a Cuban fugitive boy who escaped to America on a raft with his mother, who died along the way.

Lizet’s tale not only chronicles the hardships that many college students face, but also the importance of identity, and finding yourself as you explore your strengths, weaknesses, interests, and passions.  Amidst Lizet’s hardships she found a passion in science, built a positive relationship with one of her professors, and landed an internship.

Perhaps may favorite part of the story is her friendship with a Resident Advisor on her campus.  As a fellow RA myself, I get excited whenever this role is weaved into pop culture, and her friend Ethan sort of reminded me of myself.

Overall, I truly enjoyed Crucet’s novel, and would recommend it as a fun and easy read with content relating to many functional areas within the field of Higher Education.

I hope to keep up on my reading for pleasure and can’t wait to write another post soon!

–Joel

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