Emotion filled the CSUN Campus Store during GradFest on March 14 and 15 as graduating seniors made one of their last stops before graduation. Students lined up to rent their caps and gowns, purchase tassels and take their graduation photographs.
GradFest is also a moment of realization for a lot of these students now that graduation is 2 months away.
This realization has struck many students including, Arian Tadle, a Cinema and Television Arts student. Tadle, 21, describes grad fest as a surreal experience representing the growth he’s made in his college years. Grad fest has also allowed him to reconnect with his peers.
“I’ve been running into people who I’ve had in my classes 3 or 4 years ago. It’s insane but we’re all graduating,” said Tadle.
Similarly, Cinema and Television Arts student, Yaiza Sanchez is slowly coming to terms with graduating. Sanchez, 22, enjoys grad fest because it marks the commencement of physical preparation for graduation, involving things like the purchase a sash and finally being able think about how to decorate it.
“It’s all hitting you once you get here, the artistic feel to your vibe of graduation and how much money you’re going to put into it but also how your family’s going to feel when you walk down,” Sanchez said.
Grad fest symbolizes the beginning of graduation season, but what does life look like after CSUN?
For some students, this could mean starting a new job. For students like Salman Mohammad, 20, life after CSUN means returning to his home in Kuwait until starting his master’s program in September. He is attending the master’s program for Marketing at the Queen Mary University of London. Mohammad is an international student and shares that his mixed emotions about graduating after starting his life in LA.
“I’m going to be letting go of a lot of people but it’s exciting at the same time because I’m going to be able to share all these celebrations with friends who I’ve made here,” said Mohammad
Crystal Hartar, a Global supply chain management student, is ready for graduation and ready for the travel opportunities her major will bring her.
Hartar calls grad fest a very emotional but exciting moment. Hartar, 23, is graduating alongside her childhood best friend and admits tears were shed as they watched each other put on their final cap and gowns. Despite not knowing where life will take her, Hartar is ready to face real life experiences.
“I’m ready to be out there in the world, life isn’t textbooks,” Hartar said.