My Graduation Speech On The Event Of Graduating From College

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So after all these years, this wonderful adventure has come to a close.

It has been an experience to be sure. I arrived at ASU Lake Havasu in the Spring of 2015 with nothing but a suitcase and backpack. I hadn’t met anyone on this campus, nor had I taken a tour. I had never even been to Lake Havasu, and my only knowledge of the city came from a few choice google searches. For all intents and purposes, I came here as blind as bat to the university that I would eventually call home.

My background before college was a mixed bag: I was a former tour guide, a Boy Scout, and a proud city boy. I spent nearly my entirely adolescent life in Los Angeles, and the term “small town” was relatively new to me. I distinctly remember being nervous when I was dropped off by my grandfather at the old dorms, which in my freshman year, weren’t even on campus. When I met some of my fellow classmates, I experienced the huge cultural shift. I spent the majority of my life in Los Angeles, and small towns were a relatively new concept to me. Initially I was frightened at the prospect of sharing my campus with so little students. However, I soon embraced this campus and I came to love how small it was.

I made friends here that are basically now my family. I’ve forged connections that will most likely last a lifetime. I’ve learned skills that I’ll use in my professional year for years to come. My professors, especially Dr. Mann, have guided me to become more than just a college graduate. They, and everyone I’ve had the privilege to work with on this campus have imparted me with an invaluable resource: confidence. Here at ASU Lake Havasu, I’ve developed the confidence to do things I would have otherwise thought impossible for someone like me. I’ve developed the confidence to help my peers as a Residence Assistant, and the confidence to lead a fantastic club such as Outdoor Pursuits, and the confidence to work within the community of Lake Havasu City to improve this campus.

As many of my poor friends know, I love poetry. Specifically, I love to write and read poetry on occasion, and this quote has stood out to me since high school. To strive, to seek, to find, but never to yield. Alfred Tennyson wrote this in the poem Ulysses to describe Odysseus’s journey from the Odyssey. I won’t be so bold as to compare myself to the famed Greek hero, but I will say that my college career has been a great adventure worthy of this quote. It is not our duty, as students, to simply come to learn our desired degrees. Rather, I believe it is our duty to strive for greatness within and outside of our desired fields, and strive to do better than the bare minimum. My past four years have been a testament to this, and I will continue to strive to do the best I can, wherever I am.

I will also assert that we should, as individuals, always seek new opportunities. Here at Lake Havasu, I have been lucky enough to find new opportunities even in the most unlikely of places. These opportunities, whether they come from my finest friends, my encouraging professors, or everyday workplace—have come to define my time here. Thank you all for letting me seek these opportunities.

It is also important to find the good within any situation, and especially within people. I will admit this has been one of the hardest things to do over these years, but I have, with this second family in Havasu, learned to do so. Thank you all for helping me find the good in this campus.

Lastly, and most importantly, we must never yield to the everyday struggles in life and especially in college. It was hard not yield; at times, college seemed impossible. Ask my old math teachers; they’ll tell I’ve failed. But I never yielded, even in the darkest times. This was not just because of my attitude: this was because of my mother, my sister, my coworkers, and my best friends who supported me even in my darkest moments. Thank you all for helping me persevere. Thank you all for giving me a chance.

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