Four months before graduation, I reached out to my loved ones to save the date. As a Community Engagement Award recipient, I was excited to be recognized for my hard work and success as a Titan.
Three months before, I created a spreadsheet on possible companies and positions I wanted to apply for once I got my degree. I outlined their benefits, missions and work cultures to see which places I felt I would belong to. I was driven to discover the endless opportunities ahead of me.
Two months before graduation, all my classes became virtual, and commencement was postponed until further notice.
I realized that although I wasn’t able to experience a proper and traditional graduation ceremony, I could not be more grateful for the opportunities and experiences that Cal State Fullerton allowed me to have.Quincy Gonzales
COVID-19 was something the world did not expect. This pandemic put life into perspective. This was a time to be safe, cautious and aware. I realized that although I wasn’t able to experience a proper and traditional graduation ceremony, I could not be more grateful for the opportunities and experiences that Cal State Fullerton allowed me to have.
I looked back on the many things I’d accomplished as a Titan. I was involved in executive positions in student organizations; had incredible professors who allowed students like me to participate in real-world projects that related to my major; and obtained internships during my junior and senior year.
I also reflected on some key takeaways that faculty members at CSUF had taught me. My college writing professor, Amy Mills, taught me the importance of having a growth mindset.
My capstone professor, Ken Hagihara, emphasized the value of the [public relations] profession and encouraged students to stay motivated and persevere.
Mike Mahi, my internship supervisor, saw my potential and gave me opportunities to gain the hands-on experiences that would benefit me professionally.
I entered Cal State Fullerton as an incoming freshman with high hopes and determination. As I isolate with my family at home now, it has been a struggle to keep my motivation and determination. Most companies have little to no interest in recruiting new employees, and walking across the [commencement] stage was going to be the icing on the cake. As a first-generation college student, I looked forward to celebrating my accomplishments with my family and moving into the real world.
But looking back at my college memories, I began to change to a positive and optimistic perspective. Freshman year, I saw potential. Sophomore year, I saw persistence. Junior year, I saw polish. Now, I see myself as powerful.
Quincy Gonzales is a freelance digital content creator and certified online marketing professional. He was a former intern at the university’s social media team and will be graduating with his bachelor of arts in communications and public relations. Instagram @quuiincy.