Chris Gateley/Mustang News

On Dec. 17, Cal Poly will send another class of graduates into the world to begin their futures. But before these soon-to-be graduates throw on their caps and gowns, some thank yous to their past are in order.

It’s necessary to thank your younger self, the one who showed up on campus a few years ago and persevered in the face of major change. It’s the least a graduate can do.

Show “grad-itude” to your professors

Gratitude can be expressed in various ways, such as a visit to a beloved professor.

“The first [lecturer] I’ve ever had at Cal Poly [history lecturer Jason Linn] will be my last professor, as his Thursday afternoon class is my last. So it’s kind of a circle effect,” graduating history senior Keegan Koberl said.

Whether it was a professor who pushed students to their limits, a professor of a GE course who inspired students to pursue a certain subject or even a professor who made students laugh during a 7 a.m. lecture, professors and lecturers can be immensely influential in students’
college careers.

“[Linn] is very energetic and fun in his lectures,” Koberl said. “You can tell he really cares and he was always able to tie things back to big ideas to see the importance of what we’d been talking about.”

Remembering your freshman year residence hall

Another important stop is a visit to your residence halls. For many students, it was the first time living on their own, a milestone that can’t go unnoticed.

“Every time I drive through that part of campus I’m immediately overwhelmed by nostalgia. While I hated living in a Petri dish, I met my closest friends there,” graduating psychology senior Shelby Lozada said. “I remember all the little things, like running into my friend in the bathroom or walking to VG’s.”

Take a photo in front just like your parents made you do that very first day of move-in. Only this time, it’s not embarrassing. This new photo is proof of your time here at Cal Poly.

Freshman perspective on graduation

December graduates are not the only ones who can feel sentimental about this moment in time. Many current freshmen look ahead to their graduating selves in awe, imagining what it will be like to have their present be their past.

“I would walk past it and try to ‘relive’ the memories, like all the late night talks among all the third floor girls,” history freshman McKenzie Leeds said about how she imagines visiting the residence halls as a senior.

While it’s bittersweet for graduating seniors to get ready to leave Cal Poly and begin a new chapter, the memories they’ve made from freshman year and their entire college experience will last them a lifetime.

Commencement is a day for family, friends and graduating seniors to celebrate their accomplishments. Graduating seniors, reminisce on your times at Cal Poly by thanking your freshman self.

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