Ciao, I’m Shantel, Welcome to my Life!!
Being born into a small town sets the beautiful context of my life story. I was born to an amazing father named Rick, and an incredible mother named DeAnn. They raised myself and my little brother Jeff in Lockeford, a country town in the Central Valley just at the foot of the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. For those of you reading who imagine California as sandy beaches, sexy surfers, and palm trees – this is not Lockeford. I tend to describe it as a town with more cows than people.
While neither of my parents had the chance to study in college, one of which didn’t make it past junior year of high school, they have built a beautiful, secure, and loving life for my brother and myself. Growing up, my father played a huge role in molding me into a fisher-woman, a hunter, a camper, an athlete, an animal lover, nature lover, and a people lover. My mom sculpted me into being an independent thinker, capable of making my own decisions. Through them I learned the value of all things simple and how to appreciate them.
Up until High School, my friends had always been those I met when I was four years old. High School was a bit of a jump in population for us country kids, it was also about a 20-30 minute school bus ride away (yes, that big yellow school bus-that is where I learned the skill of napping on command). My 8th grade class had about a hundred or so kids in it, while my Senior class had about 450.
I had never thought about college before my Junior year. It wasn’t something my family and relatives talked about considering hardly anyone had ever gone. But Junior year came along and I had to do a project comparing Universities, and randomly chose UC Santa Barbara and Princeton (mind you my reason for choosing Princeton was because I saw Hilary Duff go there in the movie A Cinderella Story).
Who would have thought UCSB would actually be where I ended up! All of my AP units in high school paid off which have helped me tremendously in my endeavor to pursue a triple major in Global Studies, Psychology, and Italian Studies. Two years in Santa Barbara and now here I am in Bologna, Italy for a year.
Let the blogging begin! 🙂