By Safie M. Gonzales

HAVANA TIMES – Living in the countryside and being intelligent seem to be very incompatible, especially in recent years. I’m telling you this because of a close experience. A young friend, from Matanzas province, has had to ask her relatives in Havana for help and accommodation so that she can settle in the city and look for new opportunities.

She studied at a pre-university in a Matanzas municipality. As she was a brilliant student, she was sure she’d be able to enroll onto a university degree after taking her entrance exams. They were a tough few months leading up to these exams, as her parents paid private tutors to help her go over material.

An intelligent and well-educated young woman could easily get onto the degree of her dreams (which in the case of this young woman, would have been Dentistry or Psychology). This was basically what her parents thought, as well as the parents of her closest friends; however, that didn’t happen, much to the girl’s and family’s disappointment.

The few spots on Psychology and Dentistry degrees never made it to her pre-university, but were offered instead at the Vocational Pre-University Institute of Exact Sciences (IPVEC) in Matanzas City, or they just got lost along the way, never reaching students who had studied so hard and deserved the opportunity.

However, there were 700 Medicine spots for the whole province. This would have been a great degree, there’s no doubt about it, had the young woman wanted this, but she didn’t, she didn’t want to become a doctor.

The woman’s question, which lies on the lips of so many young people, is still impending. It’s sad to see how so many young Cubans give up on their dreams because something gets in their way, it doesn’t matter how much they study and sacrifice. However, there are others who manage to get to the goal post without any effort whatsoever.

Life has given this young woman another opportunity, or better yet, she went and hunted it down. She is now in the capital, working and anxiously waiting for the opportunity to take the exam that will allow her to study the degree of her dreams.


Safie M. Gonzalez

I was born in the 80's. I love nature and animals, as well as my country. I admire the sacrifice of a people. I consider myself a simple and honest person, therefore I detest injustices. I have a taste for the arts in general, but especially for literature, photography, and cinema. I believe in the power of the word and in the ability of the human being to change the world.

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