The Mac Miller lyric, “there was never a better time to better myself,” has been a drumbeat in Erik De Arcos’ head for the past couple of years.
When he was exploring colleges as a high school student in Schuyler, Nebraska, he originally planned to become an accountant. De Arcos was good at accounting in high school and it became second nature. After getting involved in engineering competitions, he set his sights on nuclear engineering and started attending Central Community College. He later switched back to accounting, but he dropped out to take care of himself and focus on his mental health.
Around this time last year, he was inspired to go back to college, both for himself and his parents.
Going to college is also a way to honor the legacy of two of his friends, Ramon and Juan, who passed before they could attend college.
“I’m going through this journey for them as well,” he said.
Now he’s started as a junior majoring in psychology at Nebraska, a university he said he’s wanted to attend since middle school. And he’s also discovered a new path for himself: finishing college and then attending graduate school to become a guidance counselor.
“I’ve always been the ‘therapist’ for my friends so that inspired me to go into psychology,” De Arcos said “I wanted to become a guidance counselor because more often than not, I found myself helping friends and coworkers with resumes, scholarships, applying for colleges and the FAFSA as well.”
As someone that strives to help others and to better himself no matter where he’s at in life, he feels like being a guidance counselor is the perfect fit. Aside from helping students navigate school, he’ll be able to help families.
“There’s also not a lot of bilingual guidance counselors so I know it would help some parents of students to know what their child is going through it when comes to school,” he said.