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Editor’s Note: Graduation Issue

It took me five years to get my degree in Journalism. I started school in the Fall of 2017.

There were countless setbacks, like my first year getting kicked out of the dorm because I didn’t make payments. Consequently, I could not return to CSULB until I paid my debts.

Then, by the end of my spring semester in 2019 I was put on academic probation because I failed all of my classes. I remember that semester being the hardest because I didn’t have the drive to go to school.

I was tired all the time from working 30-plus hours at a grocery store. I was also depressed from not having friends in a new town and being away from my family.

Learning to be an adult and a full-time college student in a completely new city was a huge adjustment. It was also hard adjusting to the city life. I’m from the desert valley where it’s quiet, open and slow. In Long Beach it’s loud, a bit crowded and moves extremely fast from sun up to sun down.

My Spring 2019 semester did not go as planned and I really wanted to stop pursuing my B.A. I remember telling my father that I wanted to drop out and go to a community college because I wanted to get my A.A. and start working.

At first, he said something like “okay, if that’s what you want.” And at first, I was confident that was what I wanted.

One day, I woke up to an email from him addressing me by my blog name. He started the email by saying, “Dear Tuesday Raine, I’m writing to you as a fan but also as your father.”

He went on to tell me that I may think getting my A.A. and working right away is the right choice, but I’m cutting myself short because having a B.A. will put me ahead of other applicants in the job field.

I cried after reading that email but then I got to work. He was right. I needed to finish my degree because the life I wanted to live was not one where I’d struggle or get denied because I didn’t have B.A.

So I stayed at CSULB and got my grades right. Within a semester I was off academic probation.

My dad passed away this past October. I remember a few months before he passed I deleted that email because I thought why do I need this? I’m going to graduate and he’ll be right there to tell me “Rainey you did it. I’m so proud of you.”

My heart hurts because he was the only reason I finished getting my bachelor’s. If he never sent that email or stopped encouraging me I would’ve dropped out. It hurts a lot that he won’t see me get my degree, but I know I’ve made him proud and this is only the beginning.

I am undeniably proud of myself for continuing school even though it was difficult. I’m proud of everything I have accomplished this past year! I cannot wait for my future to begin. Let this be a reminder to not give up when times get tough, you got it!

This is my last editor’s note, so thank you for giving me a good year y’all and GO BEACH!

-Ashley Ramos

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