Graduation is an end and a beginning

Pierson Cepeda, Assistant Web & Social Media Manager


As my time as a student of CSUSM comes to an end, I continually struggle with what graduating from college means.

I believe these thoughts manifest themselves in other questions. Did I waste my time? What am I going to do after college? Where is life going to lead me?

This does not apply to every person who graduates though. I know people who have their life figured out. However, for people like me who are in flux and are still searching for an answer, I would like to provide you with some food for thought.

During my first couple of semesters, I found myself thinking that college was pretty much the same as high school. There are some differences, like realizing you are officially in debt and paying for parking that set them apart, but they were pretty much the same thing.

Admittedly, my reason for going to college was the notion that it was simply the next step in life. Other truths I eventually learned about myself were a debilitating lack of motivation and a low self-­esteem, all making me severely ill-­prepared to make use of my time.

All of these self-­admitted flaws were not magically given to me, they were hard lessons learned and they were lessons from a true college experience.

College is usually seen as the final step before life happens and that is not true. All too often, I hear my peers talk about the pressures of life and how those trials intersect with the work from college.

In getting to know the struggles of other people and learning their stories, we are partaking in one of the best aspects of college: building relationships.

By getting involved and realizing that the connections with the people around me are what make college special, I found my enthusiasm for everything, even myself, getting a boost.

In my opinion, college is an experiential process and graduation means the end of that process and the beginning of another.

Looking back, I see things that I could have done differently. A class or two that could have gone better, a person that means more than I had initially thought and a moment that I can’t get back.

Looking forward, I see that things are not so bad and I am prepared for what comes next. As I make my way towards commencement and reflect on my experiences, it is my hope that you all do the same and allow yourself the gift of a happy ending and a new beginning.