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Experience

What happens after we graduate?

Beatriz Hernandez, bhernandez@lmcexperience.com

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By this time in your life you are likely being bombarded with the expectation to do something fantastic whether it’s caring for your family, starting a new career or transferring to a 4-year institution. I mean, you have a degree and that’s an accomplishment, but where do we go from here? Fears loom over us with questions of: is this the most I’ll ever accomplish in life? Or is what my degree entails even what I want to do? What do I want?

There’s something called “Imposter syndrome” which many people feel as they graduate from college. For these people they feel like frauds, like one day we will find out they’re not actually as good as others think they are. And thus, they feel the constant pressure to achieve and seek validation for their personal accomplishments.

When I first enrolled in the fall of 2014 I, like many others here, dreaded the thought of going to a community college. However, the more and more I became entangled in the programs here from journalism to honors and drama, the more I began to find myself and my own identity. At some point in your college career, this school manages to somehow work its way into our hearts and change our journeys, hopefully for the better.

From the moment I took my first journalism course I was convinced I was going to be a writer, and although I’ve retained this dream, along the way I’ve gained new passions. There are opportunities and skills I have gained along the way would never have been possible if not for the support this community has given me.

My fascination with photography began while working with LMC alumnus Anthony Ferrante, most notable for being the director of the “Sharknado” films. It was working on the newspaper here that has taken me all the way to being granted first place feature photo in the state by Pulitzer prize winning photojournalist Kim Komenich at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges convention. The experiences I’ve had have taught me that going to a big name school isn’t everything, it’s about making the most out of the environment you’re in.

Although my newfound skills have brought me joy, my curiosity has complicated what I want as far as my career path. We’ve made it this far, but our voyages are far from over.

It’s okay to graduate with a degree and still not know what you want to do. It’s okay to graduate and feel like you’re still not skilled enough — obtaining your degree doesn’t mean you stop learning. This worrying and terrifying feeling is important, because it means you care enough about your future to be scared.

For once, instead of hiding behind a reporter’s notebook or camera, I’m here to say how proud I am of the stories I have witnessed here at LMC. Thank you for all of you who shared your journey with me. Here’s to our next chapter in life.

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The student news site of Los Medanos College
What happens after we graduate?