Meet One of My Best Friends at BU: Matt Latorre

This past week, I interviewed Matias (Matt) Latorre. I first met Matt when we were in the same group during our first-year orientation program at BU, called FYSOP. We instantly became friends, and we have grown even closer through living in Warren Towers together. Matt inspires me every day with his determination and commitment to bettering himself and the world around him. So, I asked him some questions to get to know him even better!

Q: How are you feeling right at this very moment?

A: Matt said that at the moment, as we began our interview over Zoom, he was feeling really good. Touching on the current situation regarding the coronavirus, Matt mentioned that at first he really missed Boston, but he was grateful to be at his home in Texas with his family. Matt also said that being home during quarantine has given him time to "reflect on [himself] and see what [he] wants to do with the future and [his] college career."

sticky note that has

Q: Where are you from? Tell me a little bit about your hometown and your heritage. How do you carry your heritage with you?

A: Matt is from Austin, Texas. He said that Austin is "probably the best part of Texas and it's got good music, great food, and it's really hot.” Both of Matt's parents are from Bogotá, Columbia, and they moved to the States in their early twenties after they got married. Matt was born in Houston, then moved to Austin about twelve years ago. He noted that since he has lived in the United States his whole life, his parents never really imposed any Columbian traditions on him. Matt said that during his senior year of high school and freshman year of college, he has "grown more of an appreciation for where [his] parents came from, so nowadays [he] feels like [he] has a lot of pride." And Matt carries that with him every single day.

Q: What made you choose BU? Did it live up to your expectations?

A: Matt said that while BU was not his first choice, he always felt that BU was special. When he got accepted to BU and began making his decision about where to go for college, he felt strongly about BU. He said that BU is a great place for students on the pre-med track (like himself) because of all of the access to medical resources in Boston. He said that BU "100 percent" lived up to his expectations, and it is the perfect place for him.

Q: How was your transition to BU?

A: Matt noted that Texas felt "like a bubble" for him, and he knew he did not want to attend college in-state. He has always been "fairly independent from [his] parents," so leaving his family to come to college wasn't too stressful for him. His main fears about coming to BU involved "finding friends, and finding people you can connect with, and places you connect with within Boston and BU." Matt confirmed that he has, in fact, found those friends and places to connect with. BU has really become his home.

Q: What are you studying, and why?

A: Matt is majoring in Human Physiology in the Sargent School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at BU, and he is minoring in Medical Anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences. He is also on the pre-med track. When asked if he enjoys his major, he said, "absolutely, I love it!"

Q: What do you plan to do after college?

A: Ever since I met Matt, I have always admired how he knows exactly what he wants to do and how he always has a solid plan to make it happen. After college, Matt said he plans to get his master's degree in Public Health through a one-year program offered at BU. He said he plans to attend medical school after that, and then wants to enter the Peace Corps, which is a two-year minimum commitment. After that, he wants to work with Doctors Without Borders or "start [his] own public health practice in a foreign country."

Doctor's stethoscope

Q: What did you want to be when you were little?

A: Matt said, "Ever since I was little, I wanted to be a doctor." He noted that since his dad is a physician, there were always medical textbooks lying around his house. He said that when he was younger—even too young to read words—he would flip through the pages of those medical books and look at the pictures and diagrams. He said, "Ever since I was little, I've just been obsessed with medicine."

Q: What are you involved in at BU?

A: Matt and I went to Splash (a club fair) together during our first week at BU, and when we got there, I almost instantly lost him because he was so excited to sign up for as many clubs as he possibly could. I really admire Matt's dedication to making an impact at BU through his involvement in clubs and activities. In his fall 2020 semester at BU, Matt will serve on the E-board for the club, Partners in Health. He is also in the Global Medical Brigades and Public Health Brigades at BU. Outside of BU, he has an internship at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. The internship, called "YES for CURE," is a three-year research-based program for undergraduate students. During the academic year, Matt takes part-time classes through the program, and he does full-time research in Boston during the summer. Matt is continuing his internship remotely right now.

smart phone sitting next to laptop with google pulled up

Q: If you had to change one thing about BU, what would it be?

A: Matt said, "That is really, really hard...I literally love everything." However, I pressed him for an answer, so he said that if he absolutely had to change something, he would allow students to go onto the patio next to the large laundry room in Warren Towers. A little more outlandish, he added that he would like a rollercoaster on the patio so that students could "leisurely take a rollercoaster ride around BU."

Q: How has the COVID-19 situation affected your life? How has your transition to online classes been?

A: Matt said that at first, "it was devastating" because of "how much [he] loves BU and Boston," but after the initial shock of being back home, he has enjoyed reconnecting with his family and dogs. He added that the time away from Boston has allowed him to really think about himself and his future, and it has actually been really helpful for him. He noted that his transition to online learning has been "honestly really easy." He added that all of his professors have handled the transition to remote classes very well.

Q: If you had to choose one life motto, what would it be?

A: "You are not given anything; you only get what you work for."

Three things we can all learn from Matt: work towards your goal, be passionate and determined, and always surround yourself with good friends.

 

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