Photo essay: Humans of CSUN

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Photo essay: Humans of CSUN

Photo credit: Emmanuelle Roumain

Photo credit: Emmanuelle Roumain

Owner

Photo credit: Emmanuelle Roumain

Owner

Owner

Photo credit: Emmanuelle Roumain

Emmanuelle Roumain

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I’ve always enjoyed flipping through pictures and quotes from “Humans of New York.” It’s a rare opportunity to get to peer into the window of a person’s private life. Whenever I allow myself to break that barrier, and truly get to know the person next to me, I’m often met with a better understanding that I am not alone. I wanted to explore more of that through this photo essay by shedding a light on some of the lives on campus.

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“My mom has always been the driving force of my family. No matter what she was always there for us. She has taught me to be a better person. A lot of people would confuse my behavior as being ‘too effeminate’ or something but I think it’s more along the lines of I know how to treat people with respect, and I think that that’s one of the more important things to learn from your parents is how to respect people. My mom is the most kind hearted person I know and that’s how I aspire to be.”

- Noel Hernandez, 25, CIT major Photo credit: Emmanuelle Roumain

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“I’m living in Los Angeles for the first time. I’m from Germany and I love it here. Everything is different, especially the school system. Here we’re doing more practical things like interviewing, taking pictures and videos. In Germany we mostly just sit in class and listen to the teacher. I like the weekly assignments they give you here which makes you study during the week. In Germany you just have an exam at the end of the semester but no one forces you to do anything. Here I have to do everything during the week. You have to be a lot more disciplined in Germany if you want to do well.”

- Melina, 24, journalism and business communications major Photo credit: Emmanuelle Roumain

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“I don’t really have a well-structured study life. I’m on the CSUN ice hockey team and we have practice two days a week, and then travel to wherever our games are so I usually will study on the plane or on the bus, or right before my classes like I’m doing now. I’ve been playing ice hockey since I was nine, but I’m keeping it a hobby. Most players start when they’re five or six if they’re wanting to do it professionally. I have a couple of jobs in mind. I was looking at being a coast guard, or a physical therapist, or I could be a beach lifeguard. I feel like there are a lot of opportunities I can choose from.”

- Quentin Abaya, 21, kinesiology major Photo credit: Emmanuelle Roumain

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“I've always had a passion for acting. I love entertaining people and making people laugh and smile. I just love watching shows and thinking 'I can do that.' When I saw the show ‘A Different World’ it made me realize how different African-Americans are from other races, what they go through. The show made people open their eyes and realize, ‘Oh this is going on in our world,' it taught that we have to take a stand for what we want, and that made me want to be an actress more because it makes me feel like I can change the world.”

- Kyla Owens-Woods, 19, theatre major Photo credit: Emmanuelle Roumain

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“When I was nine years old both of my brothers died the same year. My younger brother died first from leukemia. He was three years old at the time, and then six months later my older brother got into an accident. He got hit by a fast car. I was the middle child. I stopped going to school for almost a year. My parents, especially my mom, helped me cope with it by talking to me a lot. It has shaped me in a lot of different ways. I’m more compassionate toward other people. It doesn’t make me feel emotional when I think about it now but, before, it was terrible. It’s a long process, I’ve kind of moved on, but it’s still there.”

- Nico Rome, 24, CIT major Photo credit: Emmanuelle Roumain

Jessica Alonzo

“My father came here from Mexico pretty much with nothing. He started from the bottom and I’ve seen him prosper a lot in his work. I look up to him a lot, he makes me want to be more like him. My ambition grows every time I see him grow and it makes me just want to finish school and make him proud and be able to say, 'Thanks to you I made it this far.' I’d like to give back to him eventually. Sometimes a part of me tells me he probably wishes I was a guy. He puts me down sometimes, and I try not to let him see that. It just makes me want to go out there and do something with my life and prove him wrong. He always tells me life in his times life was so hard at my age and I’m like ‘Okay well we’re not in your times, and I’m a girl, so things are different.'”

- Jessica Alonzo, 22, health admin major Photo credit: Emmanuelle Roumain