Ana Gutierrez is a first year student here at TCNJ majoring in Communication Studies. Ana is part of the EOF Program, Senator of the Arts and Communications school, and she used to be a belly dancer instructor.
If by any chance, you don’t know who Ana is, she will probably go out of her way to introduce herself to you, because that’s the kind of person she is. She is someone who is afraid of the dark but tends to be a source of light for everyone else. For some people, the way she is outspoken and vibrant can be intimidating, but I find it to be very comforting and Ana is probably one of my favorite people on campus.
I had the chance to ask Ana a couple of questions about herself and her time here at TCNJ so far and here are her responses!
I know you moved from the Dominican Republic not very long ago. Looking back at who you were when you first moved, how do you think you have changed since then?
Ana: I feel like the transition from a totally different culture to another really made me evolve as a person. I had to learn how to survive and adapt in an environment that I have never experienced before. However, I recognize I changed for the better, and the obstacles I had to overcome made me the unapologetic independent woman that I am today.
You made a short film, Dandelion, which gives insight on who you are as a person. Describe what the film is about and what made you want to make it. Do you think you will make more? Ana: Dandelion was my first short documentary. It portrays the several hardships that immigrants go through when they leave their homeland in order to pursue the American Dream. It is a visual piece that consists of a voiceover narration and images that manifest its meaning. It starts by describing the country I come from and then transforms into what it was like when I first moved here. I turned my story into something empowering and the process solidified my passion. I made this film, not only to satisfy my desire of making my emotions visible but also to inspire and move those who may be hopeless. Hopefully, in the near future, I am able to produce more.
What has been your favorite part about TCNJ so far? Ana: My favorite part about TCNJ is the community and how, despite of our differences, I feel included. It is true that we still have a lot to teach and learn about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, but this place has shown me that our goals are achievable if I put my effort into it.
How would you rate your first semester as a first-year student?
Ana: My first semester was definitely a ten out of ten. Despite the ups and downs, and the many challenges I had to overcome as a first-generation college student, every experience taught me something that I will value for the rest of my life.
If you could give your younger self advice about what you know now, what would you say?
Ana: Never doubt your potential, there is light whiting you despite all the dark outside.
Self love is not selfish or egocentric, it is necessary.
Your gift is how you bless others, your mental health is how you are able to bless yourself.
Ana is someone who will make you feel right at home, even if she seems like a complete stranger to you. She is kind hearted but determined and she is someone who stands out on this college campus.