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First-generation college student shares friendships and professors at BYU–Hawaii have helped her navigate college

Alexis Jimenez stands by colored rocks in the middle of the desert.

Alexis Jimenez, a recent graduate from California who majored in psychology, shared how the experiences she has had at BYU–Hawaii have helped her learn about more cultures, create friendships that felt like family, and figure out what path she wants to take for her future.

Jimenez shared some of her most profound experiences she had while attending BYUH were “being able to meet people who are from vastly different places of the world than I am really showed me what kind of bubble I am in.

“I grew up in Southern California, and it is very diverse. I grew up with people from all different cultures, so I am definitely used to diversity.

“I think moving here allowed me to realize just how big the world is and realize how many people from different backgrounds there are.”

Jimenez commented on the friendships she has created. “I have met really amazing people, friends I know I will have for a very long time. [My friends and I] used to be called ‘the family’ because that’s what it was for me.”

Mia Boice, a senior from Georgia majoring in psychology, explained why Jimenez has been a good friend to her throughout their time together at BYUH. “I feel like Lexi is so dependable and consistent as a friend.

“She is the person who is always there, and she is literally one of the most thoughtful people I have ever met. She is always thinking of other people and how she can support them.”

She is the person who is always there, and she is literally one of the most thoughtful people I have ever met. She is always thinking of other people and how she can support them.
Mia Boice


Jimenez shared how she was able to decide on the major she is receiving her degree in. When she came to BYUH, she said she followed her initial interest in the field of communications and graphic design, but she later figured out what she wanted was different.

She explained, “I jumped around majors for a bit. It was not until I came here that through taking my graphic design classes and communication classes I ... ultimately [figured out] where my place was.

“I had to really think about my place in those majors. I did not completely feel like I should be there, which ultimately pushed me toward psychology, which has made all of the difference for me. It has allowed me to figure out what I want to do in the future.”

Hailey Huhane, a junior from Utah majoring in communications, shared how her relationship with Jimenez has been special. She commented, “Lexi and I have gone through so much together. I consider her more of a sister than a friend.

“Lexi is the type of person I can call in the middle of the night and know she will be there for me.

“She has helped me through some of the most difficult times in my life and still chooses to love me through them. I consider myself blessed to call Lexi a best friend and know my life is forever changed for good because of her.”

Boice shared what she will miss about Jimenez. She said, “The first things I think of are the little things, like going to McDonald’s and the movies. Even though these are small things, it is a lot of what built up a friendship, giving time to one another.

“I’m going to miss everything about her. I think most importantly the unconditional support and love I will really miss.”

Jimenez shared what her plans are for the future. “The plan right now is I want to be a clinical psychologist. I have gotten accepted into two graduate schools for my master’s in clinical psychology, so I am looking forward to it. Afterwards, I plan to get my Ph.D. and then get licensed.”

Huhane went on to share what she is going to miss after Jimenez graduates. She said, “I think the better question is what am I not going to miss about her?

“Lexi is wonderfully charming and quirky. I’m going to miss our movie nights and our long discussions about ‘Harry Potter’ and Timothée Chalamet.

“I’m going to miss our inside jokes, and I’m going to miss her constant encouragement.

“Lexi is always one to help me feel loved, confident, and supported. I am so lucky to have a friend like Lexi and will miss absolutely everything about her.”

Jimenez commented on the individuals who have helped her along her path toward graduation. She recognized her psychology professors as being these individuals.

She said, “I am a first-generation [student] and I have had to figure everything out on my own, and they have been a lot of help in guiding me.”