Graduation day came and went and it feels so surreal.
As we were walking through the halls to the arena, we were kind of thrown into everything. The music, the big crowd of people, seeing my family; it was all wonderfully overwhelming. Although the ceremony was painfully long with the ~3500 graduates, I was so excited throughout the whole experience and I will always remember it.
I only teared up twice during the ceremony: when hearing the traditional graduation music as we were all walking in and then when the speaker, Kirk Perry, gave his speech. I really took to heart his three pieces of advice for us to take home; they were: run with a pack, be uncomfortable, and don’t live a resume life, but a eulogy one. I’m an emotional person as it is, but his words really hit home for me as I think about who I want to be as a social worker.
In a nutshell his advice consisted of to never do anything alone; all of his success has come from surrounding himself with friends and family who have supported him. To live uncomfortably because he learned the most about himself and had the best life experiences when he was uncomfortable. And lastly, to not live a resume life, but rather a eulogy one. He said, of course, resume building is important (it’s what they tell you all throughout college), but that we should live our lives so that even the undertaker would admire us. Because when it all comes down to it, people are only going to remember how you made them feel, not what you did (Now you see how I can get all teary-eyed at something like this). That’s some of the best advice I’ve heard in my life thus far… the majority of which has come from my parents (duh!).
I do want to say shame on the person who tweeted the hurtful comment about Kirk. It was something along the lines of “Some people get presidents or famous people to speak at their graduation, but we just get a lowly businessman from Google.” I thought it was great that he included that in his speech because I’m sure the student was sitting in one of the ceremonies. I believe you should never say hurtful things to someone while hidden behind a computer screen, or phone, because you never know where someone has been or what they’re going through. So again, shame on that student. Most people think of graduation speeches as boring and uninspiring, but his was certainly neither of those things. Not only was he a good speaker in front of thousands, he had meaningful words for me to personally remember throughout my life.
As my college career isn’t over since I’ll be starting graduate school this summer, I don’t quite feel a sense of finality yet. It’s definitely the end of a chapter of my life, but I’ll still be in classes with many of the same people this summer. Hopefully after I graduate again I’ll finally feel like I’m finished!
Along with my utter excitement comes sadness, too. Although I’ll be in classes with many of the same people, there are others who are not going on to grad school or are moving away to a different university. I will definitely miss seeing and talking to someone in particular who is moving away to Boston this summer (after she comes to my wedding of course). We became friends junior year and even though we go a little while without talking sometimes, I have always felt like we can pick up wherever we left off. Always a good listener, a good advice giver, and someone I can laugh with…. I’ll definitely miss you!
I will always hold the people and experiences from my undergrad close to my heart and I don’t think you’d expect anything less from a social worker who wants to change the world.
Class of 2015 —- WE DID IT!