Graduating to a new chapter, reminiscing an old one

By Cielestia Calbay

The end is finally near.

After two years, hundreds of articles and endless nights in the
newsroom, I am signing off as Lifestyle Editor, and emerging as a
better writer and person.

It’s been a whirlwind year, to say the least, as it was my
busiest and most demanding year.

On top of my responsibilities to The Post, I was simultaneously
committed to another job, took a full load of classes and worked
multiple internships.

With sleepless nights and a daily overwhelming workload, I
yearned to reach the finish line each and every day.

Now here I am, literally steps away, and I don’t even know if I
want to cross it.

I understand that all things must come to end, but it’s
difficult for me to accept the lasts in life, as goodbyes were
never something I was able to face.

The days are winding down, and I’m scrambling to find things to
do to make the most of my undergraduate experience, as there are
only so many things you can get away with as a student.

As I join my fellow graduates and take my final walk down
University Quad, I’ll look back and see how much I’ve grown.

Saying goodbye to Cal Poly Pomona is going to be an obstacle, as
it was my home.

Flashback four years and you’ll find a girl fresh out of a
mediocre tenure in high school, striving to find herself and
looking for a fresh start.

Call me a late bloomer, but much of my growing up was done on
this campus.

I entered this university without much of a voice and without a
definitive goal of what I wanted to pursue.

I was declared a journalism major, but my goals were always
abstract, as I was uncertain if I had it in me to achieve those
goals.

But it was here where I realized my potential.

The university showed me The Post and other opportunities that
helped me find my voice, shape my goals and introduce me to the
person who I wanted to become. Though I firmly believe it is solely
the individual who can determine their own success, I attribute
much of my accomplishments to the environment that allowed me to
grow.

I leave this university with faith and confidence in myself, and
enough friends and family to last me a lifetime.

With each step I take around campus, I find myself thoughtfully
taking in my surroundings and the memories that I have created
here.

To numb out the grief of saying goodbye, I thought about the
things I wouldn’t miss: the more than $200 I’ve spent on parking
tickets, my needing a Fastpass for the lines at the cashier’s
office, the nauseating rides on the shuttle and the paper-thin
walls at The Village.

Sadly, it didn’t work.

The campus served more than just its educational purpose, as it
holds a sentimental value in me.

I look around and see the faces of my fellow Broncos who truly
define this university ” where no two faces are alike, where
everyone is their own artist and where aspirations are pursued.

I may be graduating in less than two weeks, but the Bronco
spirit will always thrive in me.

Thank you, Cal Poly Pomona, for the memories and for paving the
path to my future.

Here’s to you, and the leaders you have raised in the Class of
2009.

Reach Cielestia Calbay at lifestyle@thepolypost.com

Lessons learned from the red carpet

Lessons learned from the red carpet

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