As the spring 2018 semester begins and the wondrous pause of winter break gives way to new classes, new challenges and the familiar bottleneck of traffic pouring into campus parking lots, I find myself reflecting on my personal journey to this moment.
I have been an undergraduate for a total of 8 years. Eight very long and difficult years.
I stumbled out of high school into a brief stint at CSU Monterey Bay, then an extended enrollment at Hartnell Community College, followed by a string of online courses.
Until finally, here I am a junior transfer student beginning my second semester at Fresno State. And while I believe it is a significant milestone, I also know in many ways this is just the beginning. College is only a gateway to the future, a stepping stone to a career, one potential pathway to success.
These days, it is also an act of bravery. In the face of a volatile job market and without any solid guarantees that life will get easier after graduation, you can still find students diligently sacrificing sleep and sanity for that piece of paper just hoping for the best.
I can honestly say that I am proud to be here studying journalism, but I am more proud of the obstacles I had to overcome first. Struggle brings out your strength, tests your limits and pushes you to become a better version of yourself.
As we settle into a new semester, I want to challenge each of you to take a moment and acknowledge your achievements up until this point.
As college students, we all have one thing on our minds: graduation. Of course it is important to stay focused, but there is value in celebrating even the smallest victories.
I know from personal experience that it is easy to get discouraged, but if I learned anything from 8 years of struggle it’s that progress is progress no matter how slow.