Making Invaluable Connections
Fernando Coronado ’23 was encouraged to apply to Purchase by one of his favorite high school teachers.
“She said it ‘matched my vibe.’ I’ve always had a strong sense of identity, of who I am. So after I read up on Purchase and heard stories of the campus culture, I knew she was right. It fit who I was—but more importantly, it fit who I wanted to become,” he says.
Turns out, the fit was just right.
“I saw Purchase as the place where I could foster the personality and identity I wished I had in high school. Four years later, I see that I couldn’t have been more right.”
Being immersed in the Literature program, Fernando discovered his love for essay writing to the extent that he “would get chills from raising [his] hand and contributing to the class discussion.”
Additionally, Purchase’s unique and diverse environment helped Fernando connect with people from different perspectives and backgrounds, allowing him to bounce ideas off his classmates and make lifelong colleagues.
Finding Your People
Fernando’s favorite thing about Purchase is the people he met during his undergraduate career.
“When you find those (sometimes hidden) gems of personalities among your peers, your entire world opens up,” he says.
“I’ve had conversations with students my age that have opened up my mind a thousand times more wide and expansive than a textbook could ever do. My undergraduate career at Purchase, this garden of knowledge I’ve been cultivating during my time here, is flowered by the invaluable connections I’ve made and continue to make.”
Loving Your Roots
Fernando’s favorite class, Latin and International Dance, is one of his most challenging.
The class allowed him to overcome longstanding fear and insecurity.
“It allowed me to connect through artistry, through expression, and most importantly, through heritage. I’m Dominican—so Bachata, Merengue, Salsa, it’s in my blood,” he says.
The music connected through his heritage and back to his family.
“Dancing to the same songs my parents would blast from their speaker at our house parties—I can’t describe how fulfilling it is. It made me feel full, like with every step I took, I could feel my parents step with me, my aunts, uncles, cousins,” he recalls.
“After that class, my body evolved past the insecure blob I once saw it as. It became what it always was: a gift from my family.”
Sharing the Knowledge
Fernando yearns to follow in his professor’s footsteps, helping students gain a passion for reading and writing at the high school level.