by Karina Quiroz
Today is not about the diplomas that we all get
But about the journey we took to get these stoles around our neck
We got dropped off with hopes, dreams, and uncertainty
We leave with pain, love, growth, and agony
… and probably too much information on astrology
The hardest part wasn’t failing a class we couldn’t believe
but explaining the disconnect and depression to our family
We painted the white walls of this institution with our passion
yet they still forget our names and somehow erase the accent
I’ve been searching for validation for the last couple years
But each of my needs went through all my advisor’s ears
Have you ever seen their face when you wanna talk about social justice?
Forehead all crinkly, acting like they’re disgusted
“You need to calm down, you’re being too emotional”
“There you go with those comments, you’re so unapproachable”
What they don’t tell you is that they WISH they had your knowledge
One of those things they don’t tell you when you graduate college
This education system has never known what we’ve been about
Even as we hold our heads high trying not to drop out
You are the walking embodiment of all statistics in your odds
Funny what some caffeine and late hours can cause
Look at your degree and tell me what you see
Do you see your name alone?
Or your entire family?
Your backs must hurt from carrying all the weight
Just the things we do to see our culture graduate
But now you are an alumn, something they promised you would never be
Now fuck this institition cuz we finaly got our degree
Karina Quiroz is poet and a graduate of Western Washington University who loves to cook. She grew up in Burien and attended school in Mexico. She currently lives in Federal way.
📸 Featured Image: Original photo by Nirat.pix/Shutterstock.com. Photo transformation by Emerald Staff.
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