The illustrations are bright and quirky. The text is filled with simple words a first grader could read aloud. But the deeper meaning behind the Dr. Seuss masterpiece “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” has sent many a university graduate on their way to a new chapter in life.
The book became a theme for showcasing the students in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at California State University in San Bernardino. Dean Rafik Mohamed ran the idea past Director of Development Stephen Arneson and they identified five students – Julie Leyba, Meghan Streeter, Richard Bark, Rocio Gomez and Joseph Egbule – to represent its diverse graduating class of 2017.
“We wanted to get the word out, in a fun way, that we’re doing all these phenomenal things,” Arneson said. “This book has been a graduation present for years. It’s a wonderful book and it’s a book that opens up the idea of opportunity. We know that life isn’t easy and all sunshine and roses like Dr. Seuss said it is. But it reminds you that I can do or be or accomplish anything I want.”
For all their differences, the five students also had lot in common. They each credit that special person that pushed, pulled and prodded them to go beyond what they thought they could. They leaned on friends they met at CSUSB, with study sessions that included copious notes, cups of coffee and sleepless nights.
They’ve paid late fees, lab fees and parking fees with a smile and gave their fitbit fits, logging thousands of steps a day navigating an ever-growing campus.
So, as Dr. Seuss would say, “Congratulations! Today is your day. You're off to great places! You're off and away!”
“And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 ¾ guaranteed)”
In his words: “I believe that Cal State San Bernardino was a big part of my success. I value the bonds I have made with the people here. As I go into the next chapter of my life at law school, I feel confident in my abilities thanks to the lessons I have learned at Cal State.”
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
In her words: “Attending CSUSB has been an enriching and rewarding experience. Particularly, the Department of Political Science’s student-oriented faculty and rigorous and comprehensive curriculum have both inspired and prepared me to pursue graduate studies in public policy. I have additionally been encouraged through my supportive network of fellow students who have helped me balance my academic, work, and personal life. I look forward to representing CSUSB well in Washington D.C. this fall.”
“You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”
In her words: “When I first stepped on campus two years ago, I was overwhelmed by how large it was, and how out of place I felt. Today, CSUSB is like a second home. The faculty and staff of the School of Social Work have always been there to support me, and my future educational and professional goals. I'm leaving here passionate about my chosen profession, with happy memories, and great friendships.”
“You’ll be on your way up! You’ll be seeing great sights! You’ll join the high flyers who soar to high heights.”
In his words: “I’m an Archaeologist who has been working in the cultural resources management (CRM) field for more than 20 years, and the Applied Archaeology program offered at CSUSB is the graduate program I’ve been looking for that entire time. As a two-year program, the coursework is demanding and students are continually challenged by the instructors to think critically in order to solve problems that are based on real world examples. However, for those willing to put in the work, the result is well worth the effort. In my case, I have no doubt that my being in the CSUSB Applied Archaeology program contributed heavily to me having recently been hired as an archaeologist by the Department of the Navy.”
“So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact. And remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.”
In her words: “Becoming a historian has taught me that, no matter where I am in life, I have a responsibility to remain engaged with the community that helped me become who I am. Whether I was doing work as a club leader, an Upward Bound tutor, or a regular student, there was always support and encouragement from some of the faculty, staff, and peers. If you want to make an impact, CSUSB is a good place to start.”