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One Goal At A Time With Sergio Esquivel

Sergio Esquivel is twenty-two years old and is a Marketing Communications major with a minor in Spanish who will be graduating in May. He is part of Student Support Services, plays for the soccer team here at Cal Lutheran, works at the Student Union and works the front desk at a hotel. Before coming to Cal Lutheran he went to Northridge for his first year and transferred to Ventura College and Oxnard College for two years and then transferred here. While at Oxnard College he played soccer and was part of the winning State Championship team there. This year at CLU, the team won the SCIAC tournament and then went to play the NCAA tournament. Esquivel has an older sister and two younger brothers, both of his parents are from Mexico. Read on to get a glimpse into the busy life of Sergio!Her Campus Cal Lutheran: How has this year been different than last year when you transferred?

Sergio Esquivel: The first year is always tough, from getting used to a different campus, professors and their different way of teaching and the people around you. It was tough at first especially with classes because they were a lot harder than at community college; they expect a lot more from you. This year has been a lot easier and smooth; I’m used to the classes, campus and I know a lot more people this year. The transition from community college to Cal Lutheran wasn’t too tough; people in SSS helped make it easy and smooth. My coaches are always willing to help. There’s really a lot of people here willing to help make it easier for me.

HCCLU: Why did you decide to transfer to CLU?

SE: It feels like home; you get to know people one-on-one. The environment makes you feel safe, you know you’ll graduate on time, and you know you are taking the right classes. You can walk around campus at 3AM with no fear of anything. The family environment was what helped me decide to come here the most. The school is open about religion and such, and really about anything in general that you believe in. I liked that when Trump got elected, we had a lot of walks and it made people feel safe, to know not to be afraid, it was huge for me. It made me proud to be part of this university.

HCCLU: How does it feel knowing that you’re graduating this year?

SE: I’ve been excited for about a year now; I am more excited than scared. I’m looking forward to having interviews and applying to real world jobs. I want to travel a lot, and I’ll have more time now to work and travel since I won’t have school. But right now I’m debating on if I should get my masters in Marketing. I’m going to be a graduate assistant for the soccer team, so they’ll help pay for it.

HCCLU: Who is someone who has inspired you at CLU?

SE: Monica Madrigal and Elena Jaloma. I’ve always been a person that likes to help others even when I am not getting anything in return and that’s how they are too. Even though that’s their job, they go above and beyond to help everyone, not only me, but everyone in the office and really, just anyone who walks into their office. They help with whatever they can. They inspire me so much; I want to be like them when I grow up. I want to help people. I feel that in this world now, a lot of people expect to get things in return and the two of them are some of the few people that are left who are willing to stay an extra hour to help with classes or even work an extra day for you. They remind me of my parents; they’re always there.HCCLU: What do you plan to do in the future?

SE: I want to get my masters. I really want to travel the world. I went to Nicaragua last spring with the alternative spring break group and I realized how many people in the world are in need of help and sometimes it’s not money or food, it’s someone who can go there and just talk to them. The trip made me realize there’s more in life than your cellphone, television, or anything that’s materialistic. They don’t take anything for granted there; they’re grateful. It even made me want to start up with a nonprofit in North America for people who need the resources: water, food, or even a ten-minute conversation about how they think or live. I really want to coach soccer and go to places where they don’t have resources to play and help them out by taking them cleats and soccer balls so the sport of soccer is alive in any corner of the world.

HCCLU: Who do you look up to and why?

SE: My parents. They have always worked hard to give us what they didn’t have when they were younger in Mexico. My dad Sergio and my mom Silvia have always been there for my siblings and me. Ever since they got to the U.S., they’ve worked hard and not even for themselves, but for my siblings and me. Since we were young, they always did whatever it took to get us whatever we needed for school. They sacrificed a lot of their free time and money to drive us to practice and games. They work hard for their kids and for what they want to do. My sister graduated from UCSB, my brother goes to UCLA, and my other brother goes to Ventura College. And even though sometimes we didn’t have the money or resources, my parents always made it possible for us to follow our dreams and go to school. Now we’re all in college, and my mom’s dream of all of us going has finally came true. They’ve have both been working for this for their entire lives.HCCLU: I know that you’re on the soccer team, can you talk a little bit about that?

SE: Being a student athlete gets you priority registration, although the soccer players don’t get that. It’s just a matter of wanting to play and being part of the team. This year, as my senior year, a lot of my teammates and coaches are have become my brothers. I knew it was my last year playing and it has honestly been one of the closest teams I’ve been part of. Everyone is willing to help each other; whether it’s with money, somewhere to stay, advice, etc. At the beginning, I was trying to decide if I should play because of money and school but I’m glad I did because I know I would’ve regretted it. The athletic program works hard for us to have our food and buses ready; it makes you feel wanted. I really appreciate them as well.

HCCLU: How is playing soccer at a university different than playing soccer at a community college?

SE: At a university like this, there’s more people backing you up; people that care about you and try to help you with everything you need. At Oxnard college, Greany, is someone who cares so much about his players; he would give up his family time to coach our team. And here at Cal Lu our coaches care about us as well, but it’s more than that; we have an entire program of athletics that’s backing us up and helps out with whatever we may need. They make you feel special and make sure you know that you’re important to everyone. We have a huge stadium, athletic room, and trainers that are willing to help; some things that we don’t have down in Oxnard.

HCCLU: How did you feel winning the State Championship when you were at Oxnard College?

SE: We were the first team in Oxnard College history to win and it’s the highest thing you can win at a community college. At first it was weird, we kept winning. We played the final four in Cupertino in San Jose. It was just a bunch of guys who made a lot of sacrifices to get there; everyone had so much to do but somehow everyone came together to make it work. We kept winning and winning for four months. The day we won we knew that all the sacrifices were worth it, for ourselves, our families, the community of Oxnard, and the good soccer players and athletics they have. A lot of the time the families in Oxnard don’t have the time or money to take their kids to practices and such. We have people who want to succeed and now we have a lot of scouts coming to Oxnard to see the players. Now that I look back, I realize now how big it was; it’s crazy knowing we did thatHCCLU: When did you start playing soccer and why did you continue on with it?

SE: I started when I was about five years old and it was tough to continue because of my family. I always had to be working and going to school at the same time, although my parents always found a way to help us, to take us to practices and games. I feel like I owed it to them to play, they would come to watch me and I’d see them on the stands. It was more for my family; I knew it was going to be worth it by me playing college soccer. My parents love soccer, my mom especially, she wakes up early to watch the games.

HCCLU: What have been your favorite soccer memories?

SE: One of them would have to be this past month when we won the SCIAC tournament in Redlands, California, it was a game that everyone knew and thought we were going to lose. We won with a golden goal. While in Nicaragua, I was playing soccer with a lot of kids for about an hour and a half and they were coming up to me after and were asking me if I could stay with them and play longer. It’s amazing how you get to know and relate to people just by playing with them, you don’t even have to know or talk to them. And of course winning the State Championship from Oxnard College.

*all photos provided by Sergio Esquivel*

Leslie Madrigal

Cal Lutheran '20

Hello, my name is Leslie Madrigal. I am a senior at Cal Lutheran double-majoring in Criminal Justice and Spanish with a minor in Ethnic Studies! Besides being a part of Her Campus, I am also the Co-President for the Latin American Student Organization, Vice President of My Generation My Fight, and Secretary for the Criminal Justice Student Association. I work on campus at the Office of the President as well as having an off campus job in retail. And I volunteer for the Safe Passage Program through the Criminal Justice Department.
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