y name is Hillary Irwin and this is My Beach!
My Beach Experience has not only rewarded me with wonderful memories and friends from California State University, Long Beach, but also a valuable education and the confidence that I can be successful after graduation. Five years ago, I "jumped in with both feet," and immersed myself in a campus which has been the center of my life ever since. I started out like many CSULB freshman, in Los Alamitos dorm, where I made tons of great friends. Two years later, I found myself moving out of Parkside, but I wasn't ready to let go of campus life.
So, I made sure to bring the campus with me. The great friends that I made in Parkside became my roommates off campus. Even though I was no longer living where I went to school and worked, I stayed involved on campus through the Food Service / Hotel Management Association, the American Marketing Association, and the Leadership Academy where I met other people who shared the same passions and interests that I had.
I also worked on campus at the Isabel Patterson Child Development Center and the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden. Working at CSULB, I fell in love with the Japanese Garden and would spend time there every Sunday. Last July, I even had my wedding there! It was a beautiful ceremony that I will remember forever.
Less than two months left! I can't believe it's almost time to graduate!
Looking back on five years, I can't forget all the unique ways I was engaged on campus and how they enhanced my work as a Liberal Studies major. I really appreciated the way my favorite professor, Dr. Savoiu, really seemed to care about each student and was always willing to go above and beyond to make sure that we understood the material. My favorite class had to be Civic Issues & Values where we discussed current issues and debated different viewpoints. This class gave me the confidence to freely express my opinion and engage other students.
As I look past graduation, I know that these classroom experiences will help me in whatever I decide to do. It's crazy that in seven weeks, I will be done with school and on my way towards a career in the events industry. I'm confident my time working at the Japanese Garden has prepared me well for a career beyond The Beach.
Whether it is lasting memories of friends, working with my favorite professors, or just grabbing a smoothie at Robek's Juice, I know My Beach Experience is something that I will never forget.
Before we head off in our own directions, I want to wish everyone good luck on your final exams and success in whatever you plan to do after we graduate. Now, we can show our beach pride as alumni!
-- Hillary Irwin '07