Student overcomes obstacle with positive attitude

by Desiree Lopez

For Jonathan Rangel, being involved is an important aspect of attending college.

Rangel, a first-generation college student from Littlefield, Texas, is a sophomore pursuing an Associate of Arts degree in radiology.

He said he chose to attend South Plains College because he enjoys the student-teacher ratio and the affordability.

“I lived in Littlefield, and we have small classes, and that’s where I felt the most comfortable at,” explains Rangel. “I knew SPC was close to home and affordable.”

He enjoys the comfortable environment that is provided at SPC and is proud of his decision to attend classes on the Levelland campus.

Rangel finds most science classes intriguing, such as biology and anatomy and physiology. His love for science quickly became one of the reasons why he chose to major in radiology.

In his hometown, Rangel shadowed a radiologist and became more interested in the field.IMG_0389

“I just loved what he did, and I asked him for his pay,” says Rangel, “but he just said that he was very fortunate. And hopefully I can achieve something like him.”

Rangel also gives credit to his parents for constantly encouraging him to get into the medical field.

He says that his biggest role model is his father, who couldn’t have set a better example for him.

“My dad worked so hard doing outside labor,” explained Rangel, “and he said it made him a hard worker. But he didn’t want me to go through that because he struggled.”

Rangel is very involved on the Levelland campus. Last year, he was voted to serve as president of Catholic Student Ministries and was just recently voted president for the second consecutive year. As president, Rangel was allowed to make changes to CSM to attract students and improve the organization.

“When I went to the first mass, they didn’t really have music,” says Rangel, “and to me, music speaks to a lot of people. So as president, I took the executive decision to make music binders and have a speaker to create an atmosphere where students here know that this is something they can look forward to every Wednesday.”

Rangel wants to encourage students to join CSM and to not get the misconception that all they do is pray.IMG_0390

He is involved with intramural sports on campus as well. He plays kickball, volleyball, and flag football. According to Rangel, being involved in intramural sports has given him the opportunity to meet many new friends.

Last year, Rangel was also a nominee for SPC’s Homecoming king.

Rangel plays in the SPC band and is a member of the Meraki saxophone quartet. He has played the alto saxophone for almost eight years and decided to join the SPC band because he didn’t want to let his talent go to waste.

“I auditioned for the SPC band and I got in,” Rangel said. “My instructors have pushed me to be the greatest I can be, and they’ve pushed me hard enough to let me know the potential I have. They remind me of that every day, even when I don’t see it.”

While on campus, Rangel spends most of his free time hanging out in the Student Life Center. He enjoys making new friends and hanging out with his old ones. He considers himself to be very extroverted and is always finding ways to create new friendships.

“You never know who you’ll meet and how they can help you and influence you when you come here [Student Life] and vice versa,” says Rangel. “But that’s only if you let it happen.”

Rangel also enjoys spending time at home with his family and friends. He explains that keeping his friendships alive is among the many priorities in his life.

Rangel currently works as a waiter at Nopalitos restaurant in Littlefield. He enjoys his job and the environment it provides. He works on weekends and during the summer.

His commitments also include his family. Having a close relationship with his family is something that he tries to sustain on a daily basis.

Rangel considers time management to be one of his biggest obstacles in life. He has learned to sacrifice his time of having fun and replace it with studying and being productive.

Last semester, Rangel applied for the 22-month radiology program at the Reese Center campus. Unfortunately, he did not get accepted, but took that opportunity to respond to failure and not let it bring him down. He said he strongly believes that failure should not define who anybody is, and that all you can do is respond to that failure in a positive manner.IMG_0385

Rangel also explains that his faith plays a huge role in his everyday life. When things get tough, he likes to remind himself that Jesus carried his cross even with so much weight for such a great distance. Who’s to say that he can’t do the same?

Rangel encourages students to make the most out of their time at SPC.

“Put yourself out there,” Rangel explains, “because you never know who you’re going to meet, and you never know what you’re going to do or the friends you’re going to make.”

He met two of his best friends while being involved at SPC. He says that being outgoing and involved has allowed him to meet many lifelong friends, and he encourages others to do the same.