Being born and raised on the east side of Bakersfield, I never thought that the outside world would treat me so well and that saying goodbye to another place would be so difficult. Growing up in a small town, I didn’t expect to leave for college. I thought I would stay home and go to college here, but my mother had other plans for me. After high school, my mother gave my siblings and I the options of enlisting in the military or going to college. I took the same option my other sisters did and chose to go to college, but there was a catch to this. The catch was that I couldn’t go to our local junior college or the local state college. I had to go out of town and experience at least one year of college. Being that I didn’t want to go out of state, I opted to attend California State University Northridge, where I would become a Matador. My years as a Matador changed my outlook on life and helped me to grow into the woman I am today by introducing me to “the City of Angels.”
I started off my freshman year living in the dorms, where my life would forever change. I made lifelong friends; who were experiencing their first time away from home as well. Together we experienced the ups and downs of adulthood, and being that you can’t just go and sit down with your siblings or parents, you then lean on friends that you learned to trust. This is where you learn to try new foods and experiences, and even new opportunities. I got involved on campus and I made memories that will last forever. My time as a Matador were some of the best years of my life, and some of the worst years as well, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.
After falling in love with CSUN, I then fell in an even deeper love with “The City of Angels.” The place that stole my heart from the moment I stepped foot on its streets. I started off just visiting nearby cities with friends from college, and then it became a serious love affair when I started to intern for an NBA team. I met individuals from all over Los Angeles and not only was I surrounded by professional basketball players, I made connections that I could use even today. Being in the city was like home almost; you met individuals from all walks of life and everyone had a story no matter what. My outlook on life changed, and being a part of the city and being a Matador helped me to grow deeper within my culture, where I would decide to pursue a minor in Chicano studies. Despite all of these new and exciting experiences, however, I'm sad to say that I still haven't been to the happiest place on earth, Disneyland.
I will miss you, despite all the crime and the crazy traffic that I had to sit in on rainy and hot summer days. You taught me the importance of being driven and looking past the obvious. You opened my mind to a deeper understanding, and most importantly, you taught me to be strong. You invited me to places and got me to step out of my comfort zone, and for that I thank you. To my old college friends: even though we have all moved on, this does not mean our friendships stop there because no matter what, we will always be friends.This is me saying goodbye, Los Angeles and thanking you for all the memories and friends that I have made. After returning home, I continuously felt as if something was missing, as I would take off to L.A every chance that I got. Now as I continue my career and pursue my education again, I know that taking off every weekend to go visit you will become less and less of a realistic possibility. I am okay with this because I can’t yet focus on the future when I am still holding onto the past. I know where you are at all times and who knows maybe I will come back sooner than you think, but I know until then I must focus on the now and where I am today. I’ve held on to you for so long, wanting to go back and it was just never the right moment. Even though I continued to hold on, I now have to let go. It’s like that old saying ‘If you love them set them free and if they return, then it was meant to be.” Goodbye, California State University Northridge and thank you for introducing me to Los Angeles. More importantly, goodbye to “The City of Angels,” for it is now my time to fly too.