Disclaimer: this post is cliché. if you have any allergies, please keep your distance.
Graduation is 13 days away. With this thought in mind, I have spent the last few days reflecting on the past three years and almost eight months now. I had so many memories and thought of so many special moments, but the only common element between all of these memories was the people, class of 2015.
I don’t think I can find the right words to describe how deeply proud I am for graduating with such a class. I think I have said it before to a couple of you, and as cheesy as this sounds, every time we’re walking together, especially when it’s us, girls, I feel like we’re about to rule this planet :’)
I know we still have plenty of time to share all sorts of emotions and feelings, but I just wanted to take the opportunity of writing this post to tell you guys, every single person in class of 2015, that it is a great honor to have known you!
And this is how I want to put it (I mean, again, CLICHÉ is the theme of this post, but I mean every single word of it) so thank you for being you (each one of you!):
Three years and eight months ago, we embarked on this journey with a bit of fear and stress, not really knowing how to deal with college life, its assignments, or its seemingly endless nights of work on deadlines.
That, however, did not last for long. We quickly figured that what we individually look at as “fear” would simply be a meaningless concern if we stand together as class of 2015. We went through ups and downs; we lived through moments of joy and we supported each other through moments of stress; we laughed, we argued, we worked, we studied, we even cried, but we did it all together, as one. We eventually created a very strong bond. We became each other’s support system, and we lived through the full journey of being a Northwestern student.
But today, four years later, that fear and stress return, as the journey comes to an end. And this is why I wanted to take this last opportunity to remind us, class of 2015, with three main lessons that we have learned through our time at Northwestern, to help us get over the stress of embarking on a new journey once more.
The first lesson is about footsteps.
We are young, ambitious, and full of energy, but we are only new graduates and we may lack experience. That’s probably one of the thoughts that many if not all of us have had in mind for, at least, the past few months. This might make us a bit stressed and might bring back the fear that we felt four years ago. But you know what? We should always remember that no one has ever started with experience or a predefined recipe for success. In fact, no one even owns such a recipe, not even Steve Jobs, and Hilary Clinton. They all started with a bit of stress, but they confidently shaped their own paths and made sure to mark their footsteps along the way.
Four years ago, I came to Northwestern not quite sure if I can even persist in the Journalism program. English is my third language and I was not used to speaking the language in my daily conversations. I used to even avoid talking to some of my, now, closest friends because they seemed to me like fast speakers, and I risked not to even understand what they were saying.
Today, I am giving this speech in front of you. So if getting over a few stressful thoughts is what it took to be in this room, then lets’ all remember to do that.
Let’s remember that only by following our own footsteps and surpassing our small fears that we will build our great stories of success.
The second lesson that Northwestern has taught us, and that we should always remember, is about kindness.
Last summer, I was part of a program called “Global Media Experience,” in Northwestern. I, and a number of other students, went to New York City where we visited some of the most prestigious media organizations in the country. One of these organizations was NBC where we got the chance to meet with some of the recruiters. The first question we asked them was this: what is the secret to get to work at such an institution?
All they said was “kindness and politeness,” what makes a difference between a first place candidate and a second place candidate is sending a thank you note after the interview.
So class of 2015, let’s always remember to give those “thank you” e-mails the time they deserve and we might find ourselves at NBC.
The last lesson that I want to remind us with is about passion.
Steve Jobs in the commencement address that he delivered at Stanford University in 2005 said at the end of his speech, and I quote, “stay hungry. Stay foolish. I have always wished that for myself. And now as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.” (end quote)
Lets’ remember that starting from today, the whole world is going to be our playground. Let’s go out there with confidence and mark our own footsteps. Let’s fail, and turn these failures into successes, and come back here to tell our own and unique stories of success. Let’s always be driven by passion and ambition.
Class of 2015, as Steve Jobs has recommended, let’s always be hungry, lets’ always be foolish!
Thank you guys for the wonderful memories, and thank you for being such a great class!