How Walking The Stage Changed My Life

It has been a year since I’ve graduated from San Jose State University. Time truly does fly! So, in honor of my one-year anniversary and graduation season; I thought it was a good idea to share my thoughts and experience as a new grad. Something a little different from my usual posts but I reassure you, it’s going to be a good one. Well, where do I start? First off, it is such a blessing and an honor to be the first in my family to graduate from a University. A First generation college graduate. I hold such pride when I tell people this. I remember the first day at San Jose State. Standing in front of a campus map feeling lost and unsure where I was going. Little did I know that the building where my math class was in was literally in front of me. I was a timid but curious student. Attending a school with such large diversity and in the middle of downtown San Jose. Coming from a small town where most of the people I grew up with looked like me. Skip to five in a half years later, and I was handing my graduation application to the dean of social sciences. Covered in sweat, my anxiety starting to kick in, everything was becoming into reality. I was about to graduate, I was about to be done with one chapter of my life. When I left the dean’s office, a rush of air blew my hair back and I suddenly tasted salty tears. I cried. Not of sadness of course, but of relief. I finally did it, I submitted my application for graduation and was only a semester away from walking the stage. 

That last semester, I was nervous, afraid, and anxious. Why? You may ask. Well because I knew time was going to fly by, and it did. Next thing I knew I was prancing around campus finishing up my last projects and finals. It was all coming to an end. I remember purchasing graduation tickets for my loved ones and friends. When the day came, I was mostly stressed because I didn’t know how the ceremony was going to be like. I remember sitting on the third to last row and waiting for my name to be called. Then the time came, my row was next. I could feel my anxiety building up, it was more like a rush. Something I’ve never felt before. It was a mix of feelings, and then they called my name. I heard my name, Lupita Barragan and the room went silent. The blood in my body was rising, I could feel my face getting hot. Then I suddenly heard my loved ones and friends cheering for me. As I glanced back over my shoulders I waved back at them. I did it, we did it.

Every person that was standing there and cheering for me played a part of my college career. They were there for me when I needed a companion because I was going to stay late at the library. When I was hungry but was too lazy to cook. The times I needed to vent of how stressful my semester was going, someone was there to listen to me. They were all there, standing and cheering for me. But you know, walking the stage wasn’t a reality check. No, it wasn’t. You know what was? When I received my diploma by mail. I held the envelope in my hands not knowing what it was. As I ripped the fold open I froze. I knew what it was, everything became quiet. It was just me and the envelope in an empty room. I began to pull out a piece of paper, turned it around and it was there, my diploma. Then suddenly the room became noisy again. My dad was standing next to me and asked “que es?” (what is that). I started crying, I finally felt like I was done. I finally felt like I graduated. That paper reassured me that all the sleepless nights, visits to the library, and countless amount of coffee cups were worth it. 

We often attend graduations and never think what the graduate is feeling or what their journey was like. It’s nothing to be ashamed of but something to think about. I know that I grew, a lot. Became more mature, learned a lot of new things, and accomplish more than I could think of. That timid and curious student grew to love its culture and be prideful. Learned to cherish my education and beliefs. But I’m not done yet, this journey has made me realized that I was made to be in school; learning. My next goal is to get into a masters program and learn some more. 

P.s. To my loved ones and friends reading this post thank you for the support and love. Thanks babe for the countless bags of chips that helped me with my stress and anxiety. I couldn’t have done it without you all. On to the next chapter in my life. 


En español…

Ha pasado un año desde que me gradué de la Universidad Estatal de San José. ¡El tiempo realmente vuela! Por lo tanto, en honor de mi aniversario y la temporada de graduación; Pensé que era una buena idea compartir mis pensamientos y experiencias como una nueva graduada. Bueno, ¿por dónde empiezo? En primer lugar, es una bendición y un honor ser la primera en mi familia de graduarme de una universidad. Recuerdo el primer día de escula en San José. Estuve enfrente de un mapa perdida, buscando el edificio indicado. Poco sabía que el edificio donde estaba mi clase de matemáticas estaba literalmente delante de mí. Yo era un estudiante tímida pero curiosa. Estaba asistiendo a una escuela con tanta diversidad y en medio del centro de San José. Viniendo de una pequeña ciudad donde la mayoría de la gente con la que crecí se parecia a mi. Cinco años  despues, y estaba entregando mi solicitud de graduación. Cubierta de sudor, mi ansiedad comenzó a patear, todo se estaba convirtiendo se en realidad. Estaba a punto de graduarme, estaba a punto de terminar con un capítulo de mi vida. Cuando salí de la oficina, una ráfaga de aire voló mi cabello hacia atrás y de repente probé lágrimas saladas. Lloré. No de tristeza, por supuesto, sino de alivio. Finalmente lo hice, presenté mi solicitud de graduación y estaba a sólo un semestre de caminar por el escenario.

Ese último semestre, estaba nerviosa, asustada y ansiosa. ¿Por qué? Tu puedes preguntar. Bueno porque sabía que el tiempo iba a volar, y lo hizo. Todo estaba llegando a su fin. Recuerdo comprar boletos de graduación para mis seres queridos y amigos. Cuando llegó el día, yo estaba más estresada porque no sabía cómo iba a ser la ceremonia. Recuerdo estar sentada en la tercera a la última fila y esperando ser llamada. Entonces llegó el momento, mi fila era la siguiente. Podía sentir mi ansiedad aumentando, era más como una prisa. Algo que nunca había sentido antes. Fue una mezcla de sentimientos, y luego me llamaron. Escuché mi nombre, Lupita Barragan y todo se quedó en silencio. La sangre en mi cuerpo estaba subiendo, podía sentir mi cara caliente. Entonces de repente escuché a mis seres queridos y amigos que me animaban. Cuando miré hacia atrás por encima de mis hombros, les devolví el saludo. Lo hice, lo hicimos.

Era un momento tan maravilloso. Quiero agradeser les a mis padres por todo el amor y apollo que me dieron. Gracias por creer en mi, por animarme a seguir con mis estudios. Los amo!

 

San Jose State University Graduate

Graduation Cap Decoration

San Jose State University Graduate

San Jose State University Graduate

San Jose State University Graduate

 

San Jose State University Graduate

San Jose State University Graduate

San Jose State University Graduate

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