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Idda Colcol – Full of Life, Love, & Joy

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Irvine chapter.

Name: Idda Margritt Colcol

Age: 21

Major: Anthropology Major, Civic and Community Engagement Minor

Hometown: Buena Park, CA


Idda is a 21-year-old passionate, creative, and receptive student on campus. She will be graduating next week. 

Idda has been heavily involved on campus. Some of her contributions include being a Mesa Court programmer for the Sierra hall, a Resident Advisor (RA), an active member of the Pilipino Pre-Health Undergraduate Student Organization, co-public relations coordinator, PUSO intern, the Assessment Group Transfer Interview research, speaker and debates commission intern (ASUCI), and was director of the Hunger and Homelessness Anteaters in Action. During her senior year, she created and worked on her senior thesis under the Anthropology department where she developed a research project that analyzed the medias role in perpetuating public fear of the recent Ebola outbreak.

Excitingly, Idda was part of the first Costa Rica Global Sustainability and Cultural Immersion Trip. “During spring break of my first year, I was given the opportunity to participate .. where I learned that a major feature of the Costa Rican culture is practicing a sustainable lifestyle. Throughout the trip we participated in national hikes, a chocolate farm tour, community service projects such as renovating the local church and building a greenhouse out of bamboo for the elementary school, homestay program with local families, and mangrove tours in the coastal area. To count for academic credit, we also completed a research project and presented to stakeholders and community members at various meetings after the trip.”

How would you describe your journey as an RA?

“My journey as an RA was a transformative year. I gave, I received, I taught, I learned, I loved, and I struggled. I struggled a lot with balancing the values and beliefs I was raised with versus the values and beliefs I internalized while away at college versus the values and beliefs of my residents. I see it as a three-way struggle because college is an identity transformation and solidification, so as I tried to retain my family values I was coming to terms with my own values and at the same time trying to understand that of my residents. I struggled because if I had been in a different position, it would have been hard for me to coexist with some of my residents. They challenged me deeply. I felt vulnerable, conflicted, and doubtful many times as an RA, but over time, I started to really understand that you can’t change the way someone thinks or acts. You can develop them as good citizens and better individuals through your personal experiences and wisdom, but you can’t change someone. Because, changing certain people restricts their individual freedom of expression and denying their right to be themselves. Since I came from a position of skills training and more patience, I challenged myself to understand their intentions rather than the impact they made on me. Sometimes, people behave a certain way as a defense mechanism for what society has stereotypically perceived them to be. It takes someone to fight for them and understand who they really are internally. I can proudly say that I was able to understand and make a connection with all 54 of my residents, especially with those who really challenged me. I understand now that being able to live in diversity means being able to co-exist with others you wouldn’t normally agree with.”

Do you have any advice for current students or incoming freshmen?

“I have two pieces of advice: expect the unexpected and ultimately love yourself. You can plan so much for your next four years in college, but honestly you just can’t exactly predict the next few seconds, next few days, next few weeks, or the next few years. You can never really anticipate who you meet or what you experience. You can’t emotionally prepare for the good days or the bad. But, I hope you can embrace the mystery of the future. It’s a beautiful thing to behold whatever the future has to offer you. I’ve had my fair share of negative experiences, but I realize now they weren’t rejections of life, but redirections and they have shaped who I am now. So, trust in the process, embrace the mystery, and dare to be open. Love yourself. That is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned in college. It’s important to invest in the relationship in yourself because you are just that much worth it. You don’t need someone else to validate you. Too prevalent among our college students today is the need to be validated by someone else, and unfortunately we attribute that behavior to social media, technology, and peer pressure. One of my male friends after a bad break-up decided to go on a date to the movies by himself, and he absolutely loved it and felt so good doing it on his own. I dare you to treat yourself to alone time. It is actually a beautiful and empowering thing being in solidarity with yourself, because you need to love yourself before you love someone else.”


Congratulations Idda, you are off to do amazing and great things! 

Ana Rodriguez  UCI Campus Correspondent  anarodriguez@hercampus.com Her Campus Media HerCampusMedia.com | HerCampus.com 1089 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215