Existential Crisis: An Introduction By Me

Personal picture of me before cutting my hair
Hola! Hello! That's me on the left, Antonieta Hernández, but everyone calls me Anto. I am from Caracas, Venezuela, which means I am an international student. I am here at OU in my junior year to get my bachelor's in psychology and a sociology minor. 

Something everybody always asks is why I am here at OU, well, that is an interesting story. In 2015 I applied to something called the United World Colleges, a two-year international program where students from all over the world attend to. I was fortunate enough to be selected by the Venezuelan national committee, and I spent two amazing years studying in Italy. After that when it was time to apply to college I went looking for schools that support international students, and OU happened to have a great scholarship program for UWC alumni, so I applied and here I am!

As I mentioned, I am studying psychology and sociology. I love my major and I am incredibly passionate about mental health activism. My dream is to have my own private practice where my counselors offer free therapy to people that need it but cannot afford it. If you ever want to talk about mental illnesses, hit me up. 

Personal picture.  From the left: me, boyfriend, mom, dad, and brother
I have a great family that I sadly don't get to see often. My mom and dad still live back in Venezuela, whilst my younger brother is currently going to university in Madrid, Spain. I also have a boyfriend named Luis Mario who is Venezuelan as well and goes here at OU too, so if you see him around you can say hi. 

I have two pets, a dog and a cat. My dog is an eight-year-old french bulldog named Tapón, which means cork in Spanish. We named him that because he is short and stubby but also very big and wide, kinda like a cork. He lives in Venezuela with my parents. My cat is called Milo, he is a nine-month-old orange tabby that I recently adopted, and he has made my life very happy. 

Personal pictures. Tapon my french bulldog (left) and my cat Milo (right)

I love to sing and dance, so if you want to learn how to salsa dance, or learn other Latin styles, let me know. My favorite foods are mostly Venezuelan dishes, like chupe and arepas, but I also love Chinese food, especially dumplings. I am a bit of a Greek mythology geek, and also love Latin American indigenous legends, so I am really looking forward to reading some cool myths and writing stories. Hopefully, this will be a fun way of learning about other cultures whilst still practicing my writing.


  1. Hi Anto!

    I've never been to Venezuela, but it looks beautiful! It is really cool that you got to study in Italy and now Oklahoma. Those are two very contrasting places culturally, so I am sure you have learned a lot about living in different cultures. I can't say I have ever had a Venezuelan dish, but I am sure it is quite tasty. I am always looking for new recipes, so if you have any recommendations hit me up!

  2. ¡Hola Anto!

    Soy AshLynn y yo hablo una cantidad decente de Español. Now back to English so everyone else can understand. I have been immersed in the Spanish language and aspects of culture since middle school. I have completed my minor in Spanish and I am looking forward to future interactions with the Hispanic/Latin culture, especially in my future career (I want to be a lawyer that represents marginalized or voiceless groups).

    I am also a psychology major and am very passionate about mental health and understanding human behavior in order to improve society. I have always wanted to try some authentic arepas, if you know of any good places, let me know! I absolutely love French Bulldogs and cannot wait to have one of my own someday soon.

    Best of luck this semester!

  3. Hi Anto! It is so neat that you have been able to study in various countries! I hope OU has offered a variety of opportunities to you and you have fallen in love with the university. I am so excited to hear that you plan to have your own practice that will essentially serves as a safe haven for so many. Your pets are adorable. Oh my gosh you know how to salsa?! Please teach me!! I was studying abroad in Costa Rica last spring and a few friends and I asked random strangers to teach us LOL.

    Good luck on the rest of your semester!

  4. Hello Anto! Its awesome you have visited Italy and now you're here in Oklahoma! I hope to one day be able to travel the world. It is also great that both you and your boyfriend are studying here at the same time. I love that you're so passionate about mental health and that you wish to implement that into your own practice. I don't think i have heard of many people giving free treatment to those who cannot afford.I unfortunately have know people in that circumstance and they feel trapped, neglected, and disheartened for not being able to change the system and get the care they need. So its amazing that you plan to help those who need it. :) Great job on your intro! Your pups are so cute by the way! Best wishes in all your endeavors! Hope you like OK and OU!

  5. Hey Anto! It is really cool that you have studied in so many different places and get to explore the world! I like how you want to offer services to people that cant afford it! That will really help the ones who need it the most! I also love arepas and Chinese dumplings! You sound really interesting and I would love to see more of your post! Good luck in this class!

  6. Hey Anto! I am so jealous that you have been able to go to several different places around the world. I have never gotten the chance to leave the United States but I am hoping to go to Europe after I graduate in May. I also have two pets at home, however both of them are cats. My brother was the one who got to name them and chose the names Blue and Red because that was the color of their collars. Like you I enjoy Chinese food. Good luck to you this semester!

  7. Hi Anto!

    Your journey thus far sounds amazing! I would dream of going to school in Italy or Germany. French bulldogs are my absolute favorite kind of dog, and I giggled out loud when you said your dog is named "cork" in Spanish. So cute! I've never tried Venezuelan cuisine but super eager to try. You're making me hungry! Dumplings, yes please.

  8. Hi Anto!

    Your journey sounds amazing, but I am sure it has been bittersweet too. Traveling to different countries must have been exciting, but not getting to see your family often sounds hard. I got to study abroad in Italy through OU, but I only stayed for one month during the summer. However, I had an amazing time and got to see 5 or 6 different cities on free weekends. I think your passion for mental health will do a lot of good for the world! Good luck!

  9. Hello, Antonieta! ¡Hola! (such cool punctuation... I wish we used that style in U.S. English too!). You are the first student I have met from Venezuela, which is really exciting. And it sounds like you are seriously multilingual: Spanish, Italian, English... that's wonderful, exactly what the world needs right now IMO.
    And your pets are so adorable; I am glad you have Milo close.
    I hope this class can give you some storytelling reading and writing experiences that will be helpful in your future mental health work. I'm really interested in things like that: journal writing as therapy, bibliotheraphy, therapeutic storytelling, art therapy of all kinds, and hopefully this class can be a way to explore topics like that to see what you can learn! Some people call it "expressive therapies," like in Wikipedia here: Expressive therapies. I'm a believer, as you can probably guess from how this class works.
    And of course I am hoping to learn about stories from Venezuela this semester. :-)

  10. Hi Antonieta,

    I have lived in Oklahoma for 14 years now but I was born in Colombia. The thing I miss the most from back home would be the amazing food that we have. Arepas are on of my favorite foods and I do not get to eat them as often. Your dog is so cute and I love the name. Before changing my major it was originally psychology and since I changed it I did my minor in psychology. I love learning about psychology and how the mind works. I feel like I understand myself and others way better after having taken many psychology classes.

  11. Hi Anto!

    It's great to meet you! It's always awesome getting to know people from other countries, the experiences and cultures that they represent are one of the most fascinating things for me! I'm glad to see another psychology major, especially one that is excited to dive into the field of mental health and mental health advocacy. My focus has been on research, but I have a healthy respect for those going into the counseling profession. Mental health is becoming increasingly important and I'm glad that there are people ready to take up the mantel!

    Great to meet you!

  12. Hi Anto! This is probably the dumb American in me talking but I don't think I could do the international student thing. My hat's off to you for taking on that challenge! How different is the day to day life in Oklahoma compared to that in Venezuela? What do you like most about OU and Oklahoma in general? Also, I love your idea for your practice and providing mental health therapy for those who couldn't otherwise afford it. That is very admirable and I wish you the best of luck with it and everything else!

  13. Hi Anto!

    Thanks so much for such a detailed introduction, I really loved reading it. I always love meeting international students (even through a blog) and hearing their stories. I think the UWC program is SUCH a cool opportunity for students and I'd love to have lived in Italy for two years. I hope you're enjoying Oklahoma, USA just as much.

    I really don't know how you go without seeing your family for so long. I don't think I could do it, but I'm glad your boyfriend goes here.

    Well, it was nice to meet you and I'm excited to see what else you do on your blog!

  14. Hi Anto!

    I think your goals to open up your own clinic are very admirable. Mental health is a segment of public health that has definitely been getting more recognition lately, but the quality and availability of car is not close to what it could and should be. I hope Oklahoma is treating you well and that you enjoy this semester here at OU!

  15. Hey Anto,

    That's so cool that you've been able to visit so many different places! I hope that you're enjoying your time at OU. I think that providing mental illness therapy to those that need it is a very altruistic cause, and I admire that. I'm glad that you've been able to find a field of study that you're so passionate about. Hopefully one day soon, you can see Tapón and your family again! Best of luck on the rest of the semester!

  16. Hi Anto! It’s so cool that you’ve gotten to study so many different places! Psychology and sociology go so well together! I’m criminology, which is basically sociology (kind of.) Mental health is so important. I hope that you get to open up your practice someday! Your animals are so cute! French bulldogs are so precious. I hope that you’re doing well and staying safe!

  17. Hi Anto!

    So jealous that you've gotten to visit so many different places, and congratulations on being selected by the United World Colleges program! I'm actually an international studies major, and a Latin Americanist, and Venezuela has been one of the countries that has seriously fascinated me. I just did a report last semester on the contested presidency (which I guess is still going on), and I hope your family is doing okay with all of that tension and conflict. Your pets are also adorable; my dog is in Mexico with my boyfriend, and I'm missing her like crazy! Hope the rest of the semester goes well for you! Cuidate mucho :)


  18. hi there!

    i love your pets. adorable little friends and family for us. also your mentioning of dumplings has made my mouth watery. i haven't eaten out since this pandemic started and now want dumplings.
    finally i'd like to say thanks on the degree and practice that you are pursing. as a teenager i put myself through counseling/therapy and i became a better and stronger person after it.


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