The Bittersweet Finish Line

Andrea Delgadillo is from San Francisco, California and will be graduating in less than three weeks. She will be receiving two degrees, Marketing Communications and French. She’s trilingual, speaking English, French, and Spanish. She works in retail part-time and she recently started working for an event company which has been one of her life-long dreams; she wants to be in the event business. She will start working there full-time after graduating. Andrea is a first-generation student, and has an older sister and younger brother. Throughout her four years at CLU, she was a Presidential Host, Secretary for French club, member of Student Support Services, and studied abroad in Washington D.C. her sophomore year. Read on to learn more about Drea and her time spent here at Cal Lutheran!

HCCLU: How does it feel knowing that you’re graduating in less than three weeks?

AD: I am overwhelmed with happiness but it’s bittersweet. Honestly, it’s hard to think that my college years will be gone, in general, my education. It’s very tough to realize. I haven’t decided if I want to go to graduate school yet. I’m very thankful. I explode with gratefulness for the many people who have helped me to get to where I’m going to be one day. All of this seemed very far away when I was young, but now that I’m here, I am just trying to process it all.

HCCLU: What does being first generation mean to you?

AD: From the beginning of this journey, I have had to rely on other people who knew the process. I couldn’t ask my parents because they didn’t know. My high school counselors, they had so many kids to help, it was very stressful. To reach this far, and to see myself with my cap and gown is such a blessing. This isn’t just for myself, but for my family as well. I have two hard-working parents who work two jobs each, in order for them to provide their children with more than what they could achieve, I think that itself just explains why I did this and why I wanted to finish. I hope that I could be a representation to a lot of other kids who are on the same boat because we are the future. This is a lot of emotions, just in one, mostly good. Overall, I’m just very thankful for each and every person, and all of my experiences. Without them, I couldn’t have done it. Student Support Services was a huge part of my journey, they were actually my emotional support.

HCCLU: Who inspires you the most?

AD: My whole family. My sister is older than me but she needs one more semester to graduate, so I am literally the first one to graduate from my family. My younger brother, who’s 20, is a sophomore in college. So I am an example for both them. I am the work of two parents who work tirelessly, morning and night. Knowing their work schedule versus my school schedule just alone is a motivation. What I do, I do it for them.

HCCLU: What will you miss the most about CLU?

AD: All of the people I have met, from friends to faculty and staff. Admitted Students Day just passed, and I remember my first ASD, the reason why I chose CLU was because of all the smiles and kindness. Everyone was so welcoming and supportive, just that one day. Even when I attended my Admitted Students Day, I was crying because it’s originally just the whole aspect of family, community, their focus on diversity, equality and equity, which is what I fell in love with about this campus. Just knowing that I have that support. In my tours, I express to everyone the love for one another and each other. I won’t have that in the real world, I will not have this environment that I relied on for four years.

HCCLU: What was the most important thing you learned throughout your time at Cal Lutheran?

AD: I learned and gained a lot of personal growth. I am a six-hour drive away from home, home sickness for me was huge and I learned a lot about how to go through my emotions and to rely on other people. I learned about patience. It was a lot about realizing my own personal skills as well as my flaws and working through them as a young adult.

HCCLU: What staff member inspired you the most?

AD: Diana Hernandez, a counselor in Admissions. She’s an alumna from CLU from a few years ago. Diana was actually my tour guide and because of her personality and invitation to the campus, I fell in love with this school. She was my roommate sophomore year and through her I became a presidential host. Because of her, I have been able to help her lead the Spanish tours which were just added this year. We did a program in Spanish for Admitted Students Day. She has really been my beginning and end throughout this whole journey she has been my older sister at Cal Lutheran. I have received advice on professors, school, relationship, and life from her! She goes above and beyond, even now that she’s an employee for CLU. Diana Hernandez has been an amazing mentor here! She hosted me for Inclusive, and I hosted Karyme, who’s now a first year student here and a Presidential host, and she hosted Diana’s sister for ASD recently! All of it has been beautiful and that’s the perfect definition of family, of community. 

HCCLU: How would you describe your time here at CLU?

AD: I think it exceeded my expectations. I’m not used to the sun and the beautifulness of the environment. The generosity, welcoming, and the inclusivity of people. All of the faculty and staff want to see you succeed. They’re here to help us grow, academically, spirituality, in any aspect. I remember my sophomore year, I wanted to transfer, I think I was homesick, but I am very happy that I stayed and that I will be graduating from here. This place became my second home. When we all apply to college, we’re all trying to find our second home, and I found mine. It’s a beautiful journey. It will forever be a part of my life.

HCCLU: What advice would you give to current or soon to be undergraduate students?

AD: To find an internship because finding a job is really difficult. Get involved in as many things as they can to help themselves whether if that means working on campus, making connections, volunteering, anything you can add on your resume can build your life long career. And that’s a good way of getting recommendations and connections. Don’t be afraid to ask people. This campus has a lot of good connections and I don’t think we are aware of that.