Welcome to the Dirty T: RA Alejandra Hinojosa finds passion in oncology and travel
Strolling through Colonia de la Paz Residence Hall, you might spot physiology sophomore and Resident Assistant Alejandra Hinojosa, with her purple hair and a passion for people.
Hinojosa also has a minor in public health, with the intention of entering the medical field.
“Children’s oncology strikes me because it’s really sad to me, to see cancer affect someone who doesn’t even understand what cancer is," Hinojosa said. "Kids don’t really understand how one cell can take over your entire body, so I think it would be amazing to be that last person to try and help them. I feel like it's such a rewarding job because children get so happy, you can actually see the reward as opposed to a regular doctor."
Hinojosa said that her compassion for others led her to become a RA for Colonia de la Paz, and if she doesn't find work as a doctor, she wants to work in the medical field in some way so she can still help people. One of her favorite things about being an RA is interacting with each of her residents and learning about their difference.
In addition to medicine, Hinojosa also has a love for travel. She spent her childhood traveling with her mother who works for Education First, a company that holds education and cultural exchange programs and tours around the world.
“Travel is my biggest passion — I’m half Mexican and we would always travel to Mexico when I was little," Hinojosa said. "My parents love travel, so when I was eight, my parents decided to take my sister and I [sic] to Europe. We are all about new experiences and trying new things, like foods or cultures, or doing something totally out of the ordinary.”
Out of the many places she traveled, she said the beauty of Machu Piccu in Peru enchanted her the most. Hinojosa said South America seems as if it isn't civilized, and she feels like she's back in time when she's there.
"You always see the pictures, but when you are actually there it’s insane, you realize how small you are," Hinojosa said. "These mountains are just surrounding you and it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen."
Hinojosa cherishes the lessons travel has taught her and the way it has shaped her perspective about life. She said traveling, especially to another continent, changed her perspective on life and believes that people need to travel to understand the world the same way those who travel do.
“You see how other people live and how people are different than we are," Hinojosa said. "So people that boast about America being the best country — I question if they’ve gone anywhere else, because you won’t know until you actually go and put yourself out there."
She remains determined to continue her travels in the future and made it a personal goal to see the seven wonders of the world.Hinojosa said she's interested in Asian countries because there are so many of them that all have their differences. She plans on going to China and Thailand someday to experience their culture.
Aside from leisurely travel, Hinojosa hopes to incorporate her passion into her career and start an oncology clinic and take it around the world after she retires.
“I want to go Africa and places that don’t have resources for oncology or focus on cancer because they are worrying about other diseases," Hinojosa said. "But it affects so many people, so I feel taking the clinic to them and it being free, for example, would be the most amazing thing. And I would get to travel at the same time so I think it would be the perfect combination of all the things I love.”
Hinojosa describes herself to be always in search of new opportunities and said if she had all the money in the world she would spend the rest of her life traveling.
“I don’t like being in the same routine," Hinojosa said. "I love music festivals and things like that because you are surrounded with so many different people and it’s different every single time. Same thing with traveling — everywhere you go is going to be different. To me, the most important thing is to try new things because that’s the only way you’re going to grow as a person.”
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