Goodbye, college — hello, real world

By Paola Cárdenas


It was in August 2010 when I settled into my dorm room in Dubuis Hall. It was my first time moving away from El Paso, Texas, where I was born and raised.

Although I was a year younger than all the other freshmen, I was ready to begin this journey. Independent and determined, I settled into my changing life in a new city and in a new chapter of my life: college. Little did I know in a blink of an eye, I would be writing a goodbye column three years later. Time flies when you’re having fun, so you have to make the most of it.

In high school, I was never really involved in school activities. I wanted to change that when I came to college, which is one of the reasons why I decided to join the Logos. I remember being very excited when Mr. (Michael) Mercer (the adviser) called me the summer before I started college. He was very enthusiastic about the Logos and made me feel like I could be a great addition to the publication. My first two years I was news and features editor, and ever since August 2012, I have been an assistant editor.

After three years, I’m still getting used to the fact I am living in San Antonio. Now, I have to get used to the idea I am going to be a college graduate. It is a big deal for me since I am the first in my immediate family to graduate college. Since the start, I always told myself, “I can’t wait until I graduate; I want to graduate already.” Here I am, near graduation, thinking how much I am going to miss this place. Graduation seemed so far away, but before I knew it, I was ordering my cap and gown and watching how the countdown quickly went from months to weeks, and soon it will be only days before I walk the stage.

I’ve always been very independent. I wanted to do it all. At first, I felt like Superwoman because of how successful I was despite my hectic schedule; taking 18 hours every semester, working with the Logos, having a part-time job and a work-study job, paying for everything including my living expenses, car, food, gas, etc., and managing to try and have a social life somewhere in between. What I have learned from all of it is this: You can do anything, but not everything. I am only human, or better yet, I am still only a young college student and sometimes I forget I need a break. Being successful doesn’t necessarily mean you have to saturate your schedule with work. So current and future college students: don’t forget to make time for yourself and enjoy your college experience because it really does go by faster than you realize.

I used to think graduating would mean I would know exactly what I wanted to do and where I wanted my life to be headed. All I’ve ever known is school, and now that I am near my graduation, I can’t help but feel some uncertainty. I know it is only the fear of not knowing what’s next. However, now is the time to really scope out the world and take advantage of all the opportunities that come my way.

I am really going to miss being a college student, specifically, a student at UIW. On a side note, how cool is it to be a December grad? That means you get to experience the beautiful Christmas lights one last time!

Here’s to the next chapter of our lives, December Class of 2013!


E-mail Cardenas at

Leave a Reply