The countdown to graduation is officially on.
A sea of eager students flooded the Matador Bookstore on March 16-17 for California State University, Northridge’s Gradfest.
The annual pre-commencement event serves as the expo where students purchase graduation paraphernalia and other materials, such as diploma frames, class rings and photos.
Grins spread from ear to ear on students’ faces as they tried on their caps and gowns, and adjusted tassels for graduation photos.
“It’s surreal. I can’t believe it,” said Alejandra Mata, a health administration major.
Mata said her main challenge throughout the past few years has been balancing her schedule — maintaining grades, work, social life and family responsibilities. “(Gradfest) put everything in perspective. It’s real,” Mata said of her upcoming graduation.
Gradfest wasn’t just a celebration for students, but for some parents as well. Rita Garcia, a communication studies major, brought her parents to experience the event. Trying on the cap and gown for graduation photos is what really made graduation seem closer, she said.
“It’s coming to an end,” Garcia said. She is the first in her family to graduate from college.
“I’m very proud and excited,” said Garcia’s mother, Patricia. “I always told her that it’s better to get a degree and get a chance.”
The 2016 Commencement and Honors Convocation ceremonies will take place May 20-23.