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It’s been a long time coming
Posted May 18, 2007

Katherine Hillier
Managing Editor

Finally, graduation! I can’t believe it is actually here. I’m finally graduating.

It’s been a long road and I must say that I am good and ready to put on my cap and gown.

I’m 23 and have been in college for the last five years.

During high school I never thought about college, moreover ever tried to make the grades to get in.

I thought I wanted to be an actress and didn’t feel as though college was an important step in my life. Man, was I wrong.

After basically flunking out of a local junior college in San Diego I came to a crossroads.

I know, I know – how cliché.

But really, I had to make a decision about my future: did I want to spend my life working for someone else for meager pay, or did I want to get serious about my life?

The truth was that I did want to be successful, and I wasn’t going to be a great actress, so I had to turn to other passions up my sleeve.

I’d always loved fashion. I remember dressing up in my mother’s clothes at the age of four, so maybe my destiny was fashion design.

With a new hope for success I signed up at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) and began working on an associates degree in fashion design.

In a miraculous twist of fate, I all of a sudden began to love school.

Everyday I would wake-up and look forward to class.

From fashion sketching to patternmaking and the history of costume, I was actually enjoying the process of learning.

By the time my first semester’s grades were in I was surprised to realize that I was getting A’s and B’s.

I had become a good student, and all it took was a little interest and a lot of motivation.

I loved FIDM so much that instead of the regular two years to an associate’s degree, I went to school through the summer and graduated in a year and half.

At that point I knew I wanted to work towards a bachelor's degree.

I applied to La Verne, without even having visited the campus; I was pleasantly surprised to get accepted.

Since I already had a degree in fashion design, I, like many other girly girls, wanted to be like Carey from "Sex and the City," so I decided to be a journalism major. Who knows, maybe one day I could have my own fashion column.

Now I am finally graduating with a bachelor’s degree and as I look back on my long and twisted road to this achievement I see it as a learning experience.

Anyone can go to college if they really want to.

It took me a while to realize that college was the place I wanted to be, but without the grades I had to find an alternative path into an accredited university.

College is hard work, it’s supposed to be, but I honestly feel as though I’ve actually learned something.

I couldn’t say that upon high school graduation.

In high school you learn a lot about many different things, but in college you get to become a semi-expert in a field of your choice – that’s what’s made this experience wonderful.

For everyone that’s graduating this year, I just want to say congratulations – you’ve earned it!

Katherine Hillier, a senior journalism major, is managing editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at khillier@ulv.edu.