C.A.S.S: Hey Alex! Thanks so much for agreeing to do this!!
Sure Brian, I really think this is a great idea.
C.A.S.S: Thanks!!! Ok, so can you tell me a bit about your hometown and family?
Yeah yeah! So my name is Alex Sowell, from San Marcos, Texas and I’m currently majoring in Electrical Engineering. My family is a bit interesting. My family is partially white, a quarter Native American (Lipan Apache) and a quarter Spanish.
C.A.S.S: Oh Wow, that’s really diverse.
Uh huh, my dad is white and so growing up, all my mum’s side spoke Spanish. But as a kid, my mum never spoke Spanish to us. I was a little salty about that especially whenever I was around family. But right now, I am getting really immersed into the culture; I’m trying to learn Spanish and I’m gonna go abroad to Madrid.
C.A.S.S: Nice!!! Which quarter are you going?
Next spring, next quarter. My family has had difficult times; my mum brought us up and so I attribute most of my success to my upbringing.
C.A.S.S: What can you say has been your most challenging moment here at Stanford so far?
Hmm. During my freshman year, finals week of winter quarter, my mum had a Ruptured Brain Aneurysm. She was in the hospital for about two months and then about a week after she got released, she actually passed away from what they say was heart failure. I didn’t really get it and I didn’t want to ask questions. So uhm, that really was difficult for me especially being my freshman year and having all that happen. I went home that summer and had thoughts of not coming back to Stanford and wasn’t motivated to do anything.
C.A.S.S: I’m really sorry to hear that.
It was one of those points in your life you really test yourself. You gain perspective on what it is like to be in the deepest, darkest points of your life and search for some form of inspiration and you find the grace of God.
C.A.S.S: I’m really sorry to hear that. Looking back at the moment, what would you say was the turning point?
So about midway through the summer, my girlfriend at the time and her family were really supportive. They are really into the faith and they have deep relationships with God and so they saw where I was at and uhm… they were a bit pushy, I would say, especially whenever I kinda wanted to be by myself, they always kept trying to come over to be there for me and for my family. Looking back on it now, them being pushy and inviting me over to their house and inviting me to church to pray with them helped me see the bright side of things. They also helped me make the decision to come back to get my degree and what my mum and family all wanted in the first place.
“You gain perspective on what it is like to be in the deepest, darkest points of your life and search for some form of inspiration and then you find the grace of God.”
At the end of the summer, my girlfriend and I went our separate ways but we are still really good friends. We talk a lot and update each other on our lives. I still talk with her parents and her family is like a second family to me. Relationship-wise, the romantic part didn’t survive and I feel it’s partly my fault because I was leaning on her as a crutch. We decided it will be best to go our separate ways .
C.A.S.S: I see… Are you dating someone now?
It’s in the process… (We both laugh)
C.A.S.S: Good luck with that Alex!!. Ok Alex, what do you do for fun and what’s your usual hang-out spot?
That’s a no doubter. I will be at the gym. That’s basically my life. I think I did the math and I spend about 1/7th of my life in the gym.
C.A.S.S: Wow!! Some dedication there!
I mean I work at the gym and compete in powerlifting. So those two things combine put me in the gym area a lot. Yeah, lifting weight has been kind of my outlet when I am stressed. I let out my emotions and focus and take my anger out buy lifting the weights. It really has helped me; it’s that place where I go to kinda focus on nothing.
C.A.S.S: Ok Alex, this will probably be my last question. For someone going through what you did, what words do you have for them.
My favorite verse is John 13: 7. It says
“ what I am doing to you now, you may not understand. But later on you will.”
There’s different translations but that’s the gist of it. My advice is, you never know what your future will hold and you may be in one of the deepest, darkest and the most depressing situations in your life. But there’s always something on the other side and there’s always a reason to it. God has a plan for every single one of us. Whether or not it’s a loved one being lost or losing your job or having bad grades at school, there’s something more to it and as long as you realize that, you can stay positive in these situations.
C.A.S.S: Thank you so much Alex, this has been really inspirational.