The Andrews Experience: Looking Back

The Andrews Experience: Looking Back

Darien Santana
Alumnus of Andrews University
BS in Psychology with a Minor in Spanish
Interviewed by Maya Nelson



Why did you choose the major you pursued?

I always knew that I wanted to help people, but I wasn’t sure how. Many people have their opinions about psychology and how it is an “easy” major which, to an extent, it is. However, what you choose to do with the major is what matters. This major can lead you down many paths.


What made you come to Andrews University? How did you hear about Andrews?

Honestly, I didn’t want to attend a Seventh-day Adventist school because I knew many Seventh-day Adventists and let’s just say they weren’t my cup of tea. When I was sixteen I worked at a Seventh-day Adventist summer camp, Camp Lawroweld, and there I met people who attended Andrews. They raved about how good the school was and how I should apply. But when it came to college applications, Andrews was my back-up until I visited the school my senior year, and then it became my number one. What also helped make my decision to attend Andrews is that I didn’t get in to half of the schools that I applied for. I guess God really wanted me at Andrews.


What were some of the highlights while you were here? What were some challenging experiences you had?

I had a great experience at Andrews. They say high school is the best time of your life, but I would disagree and say college is the best time of your life. At Andrews, I met many wonderful people who are still in my life. I learned about many different cultures, received a degree and my relationship with God flourished. Playing for the praise team at PMC on Sabbaths and presenting a research project at a psychology conference were some of my highlights at Andrews. Some of my challenges were, besides all of my science classes, the friendships that I had. As you grow in your college years so do your friendships. The person you were best friends with freshman year may become an acquaintance your senior year because you two decided to go on different paths. Growing and becoming an adult is challenging.


How has Andrews helped you become the person you are today?

Well, first of all Andrews gave me my degree, so thank you, Andrews! Second, by the time I entered my final year at Andrews I was motivated to do something meaningful with my life. I knew that I did not want to become a researcher like my psychology professors. Instead, I wanted to be a psychologist that helped people; I wanted to have an impact on someone’s life. What I learned at Andrews was to continue to seek God, go out and change the world. Andrews gave me the foundation of determination and acceptance. I’ll never forget my graduation weekend when one of the speakers told us graduates to “soar on, soar on, soar on!”


How has your relationship with God changed since you have attended Andrews?

I say it has gotten stronger. My relationship with God is not perfect and I swear God shakes his head at me 99.9% of the time, but I know He still loves me. I really believe that you cannot have attended Andrews and forget all of the sermons you heard. I mean, sure, there are preachers who put you to sleep, but then there are sermons that resonate with you. One of the ways I learned about God was through those sermons.  But the most important thing? Jesus loves me, enough said.


What are you doing now and what are your plans for the future?

I’m currently work as a clinician at a psychiatric day treatment center for adults who have mental health diagnosis. After I graduated from Andrews, I went on to Lesley University where I received a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in music therapy. I also try to implement music therapy at my job. My plans for the future are to receive my board certification in music therapy and my LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor) so one day I can open up a clinic that helps teens and young adults. So as of right now I’m seeking God and hopefully changing the world, one person at a time.


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