The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Let college be a great experience

The past few weeks, I’ve been a water works. As an emotional chick that grew up in a house that encouraged crying for therapy, I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that because I cry at the drop of a hat, I will never be an ideal mascara consumer. So what’s the big deal, you ask? The big deal is that in about two weeks, I’ll be walking across the steps of the Oviatt library, my black gown billowing behind my rapid pace. I’ll try to hold it together as I muster up a smile for the photographer, but the reality is that my eyes will be so red people will assume I tried to celebrate in other ways.

I’m going to say something that might shock a lot of readers – I genuinely loved going to college. Even though people like to rag on and on about how CSUN sucks, I can stand up proudly and say it’s not true. Sure, there are many things that are infuriating about CSUN – the parking, bad registration dates, the annoying solicitors, the upper division writing proficiency exam, how water costs $1.30? I don’t want to deny you any of your complaining rights, but in my “years of experience” I can honestly say that despite some negative factors, college is largely what you make of it. It’s not going to be like you see in the movies, and if you honestly expect that, it’s probably not the right place for you anyways.

As a high school student, I just assumed I’d go to college, but I had no idea what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be. I wasn’t the sort of person that cared about prestigious titles or having a $100,000 education, because I knew that in the end, it really just came down to a piece of paper.

What I did want was an education in something I loved, something that mattered to me. Making money would be nice, sure, but what I wanted more than anything was to learn something that would make my life better through doing something meaningful. I found that in writing and journalism.

One thing I definitely learned is that my college education didn’t entail just going to class and writing papers. It meant having long nights at bars, unbelievable stress, a bank account balance of $17, failing my first final, feeding squirrels, listening to inspired lectures, meeting awesome people and realizing that I was incredibly, blissfully happy.

During your two, four, five or eight years at CSUN, you’ll have plenty to complain about. But try and think about the good things. The professor who didn’t give up on you, or the professor who let you out early everyday. The test you failed, and the next one you aced. How you realized that for the first time, you didn’t call your mom in a panic when something in the kitchen was burning. These little things add up to one huge, awesome experience.

When I actually started to listen to my “elders” and their wisdom, they would often remind me that an education doesn’t just consist of the things you learn in college. Every day that passes, you are growing stronger, older and wiser. It can be hard to believe when you wake up with your head in the toilet or realize that you locked your keys in the car again, but that’s life. CSUN wants to offer you everything – clubs, entertainment, education, and yes, fee raises.

We are fortunate to have some profound professors who really, truly care about their students and work. Listen to these people, even when your ears are sick of hearing. Help your friends when they are in need, even if it means listening to them sob for the fiftieth time about their breakup. Absorb yourself fully in your education and don’t be afraid to speak up when you want to be heard.

On May 21, I’ll be getting a bachelor’s degree in journalism. That degree cost a lot of money, hard work and heartache, but it was worth every penny. I’ll never forget my days at CSUN, which include the hilarious friends I made, the professors who inspired me to make a change, the 45-minute loop around the parking garage, and the awful, terrible term papers I wrote the night before they were due.

Don’t be timid about the education you’re getting at CSUN. Be proud of it, because if you let it be, it will be one of the best experiences of your life.

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