“You should see my SMC schedule of classes. It’s torn to pieces because I read all these profiles and keep them so I can study what others are doing to get to UCLA.”
It’s a different world when you’re a Marine, whether you’re establishing a forward perimeter, rescuing a fallen comrade, or just learning new skills. For Brian Pereyra—in search of a way to become an educated man—the choice of becoming a Marine was quite simple. “The recruiters just asked me if I wanted to be with the best, and I did. And that’s what I’ve been doing ever since. The Marines gave me
discipline, challenges, competition, and motivation. It’s taken me a while to make the transition from Marine to student,” says Brian, “because I still have some of that military mentality that makes it hard to open up to other people. But I’m learning.” For Brian, his need to open up to others—and study medicine—is inspired by very personal circumstances.
“I have a brother who has leukemia, and I need to be involved with healthcare professionals so I can help him. He’s in remission now, and my only question is whether I should become a nurse first—which is a quicker program—so that I can begin to care for him more quickly and one-on-one. But it’s always been my optimum goal to be involved in a profession where I can go home happily at the end of the day, knowing that I’ve done something good for other people.”
When asked about his ‘happiness quotient’ at SMC, Brian reports, “I’d say it’s basically nonstop. I’m happy to be here—right next to the beach—with beautiful weather and incomparable teachers. And I just met with the Scholars Program people, who are going to get me with a program of conference calls among possible transfer students over here. They’ll be advising us about financial issues, household issues, and all that stuff.” But at the back of Brian’s mind—and in the logistics he’s considering to help a brother in need—there’s always a bit of Marine mentality.
Semper fi, good buddy!