Xander DeLos Reyes- From the Marine Corps to Princeton University!

Full Name: Xander DeLos Reyes 

Anticipated graduation year? 2023 

Hometown: San Clemente, CA 

Fun Fact About Yourself: I did not immediately transition from the Marine Corps to college. I worked as a bartender for a little, and then I became a barista and freelance photographer. I still work in coffee and as a photographer. They’re great hobbies outside of school. 

Intended Major: Psychology or Public & International Affairs 

What did you do in the military? I spent about two-and-a-half years guarding nuclear missiles and was an infantry squad leader for another two-and- a-half years. 

What was your proudest accomplishment in the military? I always cared for my Marines and tried to put them before anything else. I still have relationships with many of them and some still seek mentorship from me. Out of everything I did in the Marine Corps, I am most proud that I was able to positively impact my Marines. 

How did you hear about S2S? From a fellow Saddleback College student veteran. Thanks, Aaron Buck! 

What was the best part of S2S for you? Getting personalized, encouraging help. Jim Selbe and James Spradley always guided me in the right direction. 

Why did you decide to pursue college? I choose to pursue college because I needed a new challenge. I knew college would provide challenge and personal growth. 

How has the transition been from the military to civilian life? Seamless. I started bartending for my last six months in the Marine Corps, so I had a job and social circle when I separated. I later got a job as a barista at Bear Coast Coffee, a popular, mom-and-pop café, which connected me with fellow outdoorsy, morning people. I’ve spent my adult civilian life hanging out with new friends, camping across California, and travelling internationally. It’s been amazing. 

What are you most excited about in regard to starting college/the school you are going to attend? I am excited for how rigorous Princeton’s academics are. I am also really excited for the chance to conduct research. Mainly, though, I am excited to be surrounded by brilliant people. 

What’s your favorite part about the school you chose to matriculate at? Princeton’s transfer program is extremely close knit. I’ve already connected with so many other transfer students who have been nothing but welcoming. I am looking forward to meeting them all in the fall. 

What advice would you give to future applicants? Be yourself. Always. That goes beyond college applications, too. 

What are your goals post-graduation? I am still figuring that out, but I’m very interested in law school. Regardless, I know I want to settle down somewhere sunny with a lot of outdoor activities.

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