Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Incoming: Graduation…Here’s What I’ve Learned

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal State Chico chapter.

It’s come to my attention (sadly, as I’ve been trying to avoid this topic for weeks) that graduation is less than a month away. Thinking about that and even just writing that sentence down brings me so many emotions – excitement, worry, sadness, and curiosity about what’s to come, along with simply making me sick to my stomach. I’m surely going to start tearing up in the midst of writing this article. 

During my time here, every school year has been wildly different. I’ve learned so much about myself and reached immense personal growth. Let’s reflect on some highlights and lessons I learned from each year:


It genuinely feels like yesterday when I, along with nearly everyone in my graduating class, was virtually trying to find a roommate for a dorm experience that we didn’t have. Meeting people this way was so strange and inorganic, but we had to do what we had to do. It honestly surprises me as to how many people I did end up meeting and later becoming great friends with, due to us sliding in each other’s DMs back in 2020. Our class 100% got the short end of the stick when it came to having a normal start to college, but hey, we made it to the finish line and did quite alright.

I remember the first day I had in Chico, visiting who was supposed to be my roommate in the dorms. She had introduced me to a handful of people, some of whom I still talk to and am friends with today. Fast-forward to a few months later when I finally moved up to Chico, everything was extremely fast-paced. From joining a sorority nearly immediately, going to parties, meeting a bunch of new people whether that was by going out or through my sorority, to becoming best friends with my roommates who were mere strangers, the biggest thing I learned, and this is going to sound cliché, was to simply be myself, nothing more and nothing less. So that’s exactly what I did!


Sophomore year was interesting, to say the least. The summer break prior was insane – some of the best things happened that summer, along with the worst thing I’ve ever gone through. Coming back to Chico was dreadful, but it was nice to be back with my roommates and new college besties. This was the hardest school year out of them all, for a handful of reasons, and I’m extremely grateful that I made it through and got pulled out of my semester-long funk thanks to those around me. Sophomore year taught me everything and more, and it has, without a doubt, shaped me into who I am today due to everything I learned about myself and the world. My biggest lesson from this year was to be there for myself, listen to my body, and never take anything or anyone for granted. Pretty important stuff, right? 


Junior year was a year of redundancy, in all honesty – every week felt the same; go to class, do homework, go out, repeat. It was also, however, the year where my intelligence, patience, and diligence were tested the most, as I began interning for Chico’s student-run PR agency, and let me tell you, that was not easy. However, because of that, I finally fell in love with my major, became very close friends with others in it, and found comfort within one of my professors who helped me through thick and thin – I owe a lot to her. The biggest lesson that my third year taught me was to stay tenacious and never give up on myself, a lesson I’m glad I learned as I will take it with me everywhere I go in life.


Alas, we reach senior year. Again, that’s sickening to even think about, I can’t believe I’m already at this point. Senior year has been my best, happiest year. It almost felt like freshman year again, due to all of the new people I’ve met and friendships I’ve made. I really went full circle there, wouldn’t you say? The first semester was meh, as I was still interning and it got harder, but the satisfaction of doing tough work and doing it right is a feeling like no other. After I was done, I truly felt invincible, and I wouldn’t have been able to do it had I not stayed tenacious – thank you, junior year.

I live with 19 roommates in my chapter house, and that is 100% why this is my best year yet. Being able to become best friends with these women and hang out with them every single day is something I would not trade for anything. Out of the last three years, I’ve never felt this supported, loved, and excited. It makes saying goodbye that much harder, and goodbye is something I’m not quite ready to do or say.

Senior year flew by right over my head. I cannot believe it’s almost summer and that I’m about to graduate, basically for the first time I might add (shoutout to COVID). This year was a whole lot of stress, laughter, senioritis (it’s so real), work, rest, and fun. There will be times when I’m in my room stressing out and nonstop searching for jobs on LinkedIn for hours, to leaving my room and participating in the chaos that is my house with my besties, and I think that perfectly sums up this year. Ups and downs, as always, but there’s always a bright side. The biggest thing I’ve learned this year is to take it all in – and I mean all of it!

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants graduation scene
Warner Bros. Pictures

For those of you who are also graduating this spring, congratulations!! I’m sure each and every one of you are also reflecting on your journey here at Chico State, along with experiencing those feelings of weariness and wonder about what’s to come. Graduation is a scary, intimidating thing, but every chapter ends leaving room for a brand new one. I’m so proud of myself for making it this far, and I’m so proud of my fellow class of 2024 – we did it!! Farewell, Chico State. Thank you for everything and more.

P.S. I did, in fact, start tearing up.

Abbie Lee

Cal State Chico '24

Abbie is a fourth-year student at Chico State, expected to graduate in the spring of 2024. She is a journalism & public relations major with a minor in psychology and a pathway minor in gender & sexuality studies. She is very passionate about her academic interests and is grateful to continue her internship with Tehama Group Communications, Chico State's student-run PR agency. Within the internship, she works on two teams with two clients, one in which she is now an Account Lead on. TGC has helped her grow immensely not only as a person, but as a writer, editor, teammate and prospective PR professional. She was raised in Temecula, a city that neighbors San Diego. After graduation, she hopes to make her way back to Southern California, working in-house for a beauty or fashion company, as those are two things she holds a deep passion and love for. If she were to work in either of those industries, she hopes to find a company whose morals link with her own and are inclusive in all aspects. She is an active member in Chico State's Alpha Delta Pi, giving her the privilege of being surrounded by amazing, supportive women 24/7. Being in a sorority has taught her how important it is for women to stick together in any and all situations. That said, she is beyond excited to be working and participating with Her Campus and can't wait to watch it grow on Chico's campus!