Danny Rivera

Story by Danny Rivera/News Editor/@dannyriveralbcc

What started as a second chance after an unexpected layoff from work four years ago has finally come to an end. In just a few weeks, I, along with a few hundred other well-deserving students, will be graduating from Long Beach City College.
Leaving a place I’ve considered a second home for so long is bittersweet. In my time here, I’ve met great people, worked alongside some of the brightest individuals, and have gained a newfound appreciation for the dedication of this school’s faculty, support staff and administration in providing the best Community College experience possible.
Like many of my fellow graduates, I have accomplished a lot in my time here.  But to me, my greatest achievement at LBCC was finding the only clean bathroom on campus.
Bathroom breaks are my moments of zen. When the rigors of higher learning got me down, retreating to my porcelain Xanadu was my respite to regain my composure and be alone with my thoughts…Okay, my thoughts and my Twitter feed.
While this piece may seem like a cheeky bit for cheap laughs, my fellow students still working towards their goals at this great institution should take this as sage advice:
Do yourself a favor and find your happy place.
Higher learning isn’t easy. Just earning my AA degrees took two attempts with a seven-year lull in between. And all the studying, textbooks, essays, research, group projects and other knowledge you cram into your dome four days a week, you need to get away from it all while you’re here – even if for only a few minutes.
I found mine by luck, but finding yours can be as easy as getting a granola bar from the Health Services office. Just explore this amazing campus a little bit at a time.  Don’t trudge from the parking lot to your first class and back. Walk through the different buildings, get some lunch with a new classmate, join a club, see a theatre show or an art exhibit.  Heck, even have a conversation with one of your professors that doesn’t involve extra credit! Just keep your earbuds in your pocket sometimes and appreciate all this second home has to offer.
And if you happen to find your proverbial island in the sun, use it to your advantage and make this whole multi-year trip a little easier on yourself. But don’t ask me where that bathroom is. I’m taking that secret to the grave.
Peace out, LBCC. Thanks for all the air freshener.