- by Mount Saint Mary College
Mount stellar senior Mateo Antonio Lopez poses with a microscope

Mateo Antonio Lopez recently finished his undergraduate studies in Biology, and now he’s off to graduate school in the University of Tennessee’s Health Science Center in Memphis.

It’s a new adventure for the lifelong New Yorker. But like his parents before him, who emigrated to the United States from Mexico, Antonio Lopez is ready for the challenge. As a first-generation college student, this is far from the first time he has needed to step outside his comfort zone. For example, anytime he needed to get online to continue the Mount enrollment process, he’d need to walk two miles to the local library. And that was just a prelude to his busy college years. 

The days started early for Antonio Lopez, who hopped on the 6:40 a.m. train to Beacon and then took a bus to the Mount. The process took between 45 minutes to an hour each way. That was in addition to working about 70 hours a week. As a result, the gifted student mastered the art of time management.

“I served customers and thought out my projects at the same time,” he explained. “I really had to use my time very wisely.” 

The Mount opened up a new world of learning for Antonio Lopez, who participated in the Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURE), the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program, and more.

“When I came to the Mount, I became fascinated about how much you could learn about Biology,” he explained. “And the more you learn, the more you don’t know, is what you realize.”

Looking back, his advice to new college students speaks to what made his time at the Mount successful. 

“Seek discomfort and try new things,” he said. “If you have the passion, you can always make some time. There’s always time to learn new things.”

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