Humans of SCSU: “You learn not to let the world keep you down”

Max Bickley – General Assignment Reporter

By looking at someone, there is never a definite way to be able to see their life story, or what they have experienced over the years. Normally, one can walk by another without ever speaking, but by the same token the stories are never passed on.

The United States has been referred to as a “melting pot” since the early 1900s, due to the fact that there is a wide mix of cultures and ethnicities here. The US is also known as the land of opportunity. For Alexander John Nelson Laura, a sophomore at southern, his family took that opportunity and the idea of America and made it their own.

“I was born in Columbia, man. You might not expect it, but yeah, born in Columbia, then I moved up here to New Haven when I was, like, five or six,” said Laura.

For Laura, moving to a whole new country was not something easily accomplished. There were many new challenges that he faced, such as the language and system that America runs by.

“Yeah, I moved to a whole new country without knowing how to speak the language. I grew up speaking Spanish,” said Laura, “It really took me a while to get the hang of the language, but I got used to it and the schools eventually.”

As many know, New Haven is a city with a distinct difference between its areas. Yale is very upscale and neat, while other areas can be quite dangerous.

“Man, as a kid I grew up seeing a lot in Columbia, but when I moved here it was just perpetual,” said Laura,  “But I made it out, you get stronger for that sort of thing. You learn not to let the world keep you down.

“Every summer I head back down there to my family’s ranch,” said Laura, “and I work on farming equipment down there. It’s nice, I spend part of the year where I grew up, then the other part where I’ve had my life.”

It is actually this history of working on mechanics that inspires Laura to work towards his future ambitions.  Growing up working on farm machinery every summer gave Laura a skillset he wishes to make use of.

“Working on the machines all day made me a serious mechanic,” said Laura, “Right now, what I do is work construction jobs and other odd jobs on the side. What I want to do is work with international diesel trucks, turn regular trucks into mud trucks, that sort of deal.”

To Laura, there is nothing more satisfying than not only completing a project on a truck, but also taking them out on a ride.

“So these trucks can only go about 60 [mph] on the highway, it’s just how they end up running,” said Laura, “but when you get onto the mud…I can pop a wheelie in that sucker and keep it going for a good long while.”

With all this in tow, Laura had a piece of advice for students, especially for when things get tough.

“Life sucks sometimes,” said Laura, “it’s true, but when it comes down to it, you can always fight back, and when you do make sure you come out on top.”



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