Bulldog Bugle

The student news site of Animo Jefferson Charter Middle School

Bulldog Bugle

Bulldog Bugle

April Olalde’s experience graduating from UCLA

April posing with her sash.

I interviewed my sister asking her what her experience has been like as she raduates from UCLA. These are some of the responses to my questions.

How does it feel graduating college?

It doesn’t seem real. I feel happy but sometimes I get really sad. College is something I’ve worked really, really hard far, I dedicated my whole life to get here. For that milestone in my life to be over, I worried I might feel like an emptiness to my life for a while. However, when I sit down and think about my time here, I realize, I’ve done a lot. I made lifelong friends, I learned so much, and I gained unique experiences. The life I’ve had in college was a privilege that I am forever grateful to have experienced. I feel a little be grown up, but I will always feel the urge to learn.


What did you study during your four years in college?

I majored in political science with a concentration in race and ethnic politics as well as a minor in urban and regional studies. I learned a lot of old western political theories, American politics, and international politics but what I found the most valuable and the most interesting were the courses dealing with a critical conscious mindset about race, intersectionality, space, and community. These decolonizing frameworks really transformed my life.


What emotions are you feeling?

It feels relieving. To finally be done, to no longer stress about discussion posts and essays. I surprisingly feel accomplished. To do the “impossible.” As a first generation, Chicana from South Central Los Angeles, the numbers weren’t in my favor. Yet I’m graduating from the #1 public university in the country with an 8% acceptance rate with a full ride. I’m happy. This milestone wasn’t just for myself, it was for my mom and my older sister who sacrificed so much to get me here. It’s for my little sister who has so much potential and deserves an easier life. This accomplishment is the first step in thanking my mom and my sister, as well as an encouragement to my little sister, that she can do anything she wants as long as sets her mind to it. Lastly I feel sad, the college experience is a very unique experience and I’m sad that ill never relive this again, but the friends I’ve made here make me feel confident that college will definitely be relived with them.


Are you excited to graduate or scared?

I’m scared honestly. All I’ve ever known is to be a student full time but I guess its time to put what I learned to use. I’m scared for the difficulties up ahead when I begin to establish my adult life. But I’m also excited. I’m excited to finally give back to my family and community. To teach and to encourage the next generation of Latines. I’m excited because I know what I want, and that is to help strengthen my community.

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Andrea Gonzalez, editor

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