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Daisy Paez ’19

Daisy Paez portrait

Smith was not in my original plan. When it came to considering college, I thought I would stay close to home and study psychology at UCLA, which is a 30-minute drive away. Now I’m at Smith, which requires a six-hour plane ride and is definitely not just down the road from home. But it’s great. How did I get here? I heard about Smith in September of my senior year. I visited through the Women of Distinction program that fall, and I was committed to Smith by December. I was convinced by the open curriculum, the small size of the school, the generous financial aid, and not having to worry about SATs because they were optional.

I’m the first generation in my family to attend college. I come from a Mexican heritage, and my Dad is very traditional. When I applied to Smith, my father didn’t want me to go to a school that was so far from family and home. But as mail started arriving from Smith—everything from scholarship information to luggage tags—he asked me, “When do you leave?” Now he is very okay with my going to Smith.

“When I applied to Smith, my father didn’t want me to go to a school that was so far from family and home.”

My double major is history, with a concentration in women’s history, and Portuguese-Brazilian studies. I went to Brazil for a semester of study abroad, and I studied at St. Petersburg University of Economics in Russia during January interterm. I love the ability to explore other countries and share my experiences. The love of travel broke through once I got to Smith.    

What would I advise prospective students? Take the risk of applying and don’t be afraid—even if you’re coming from across the country to get here. It will definitely pay off!

Two students in a dining hall


About Daisy

Inglewood, California

History and Portuguese-Brazilian studies, double major

Latin American Students’ Organization leadership board, First-Generation Student Alliance, Gold Key tour guide