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By Ruben Renteria

SAN ANTONIO—For the last month or so people have congratulated me on reaching what so few achieve: a Bachelors degree. My response, “Thank you, but I’m not there yet.”

When I say this, most people are a bit confused and at times a little offended by my remark. But in all honesty, I never give myself credit for an accomplishment I haven’t earned yet. I believe in working hard through basic fundamentals; I prefer the lengthy process to a shortcut.

Anyone who knows me knows during my time at Our Lady of the Lake University I made sure to read every page of every chapter because, to me, it wasn’t enough to simply learn off of notes on a PowerPoint. Doing things the right way is how I was raised and it gives me the opportunity to succeed without leaving any room for error. Like my hometown hero, San Antonio Spurs Power Forward, Tim Duncan, I just want to do whatever I can to be successful. Being the popular guy on campus, having the most friends, sitting at the lunch table with the most people, attending weekend parties don’t do anything for me. It’s the late night studying, the constant reading, working and learning that really give me the satisfaction.

My journey hasn’t always been bright and filled with smiles. I have experienced both success and failure through my time. I’ve passed and failed classes, I’ve struggled to learn and, in some rarities, stood out. But among them all, I remember what those experiences felt like. When I am succeeding or struggling I recall on the experiences opposite of that particular time. I remember the struggle of mismanaging my time and I know how rewarding it can be when you manage it effectively.

I want to give thanks to the people who’ve helped me the last four and a half years. My friends, family members, peers, professors and bosses. I could not have done this alone. I am truly grateful for the advice, time and unconditional love each of you have shown me.

To everyone on the outside, I am lucky to be receiving a Bachelors of Arts in Mass Communication. But, from my perspective I have been lucky to breathe the same air, share the same experiences and one day recall on these memories that have shaped me into the person I am today. Thank you.

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