Commencement: It’s the Beginning, Not the End

CAHNR Commencement 2014
CAHNR Commencement 2014

With graduation right around the corner, it’s starting to get very real that our undergraduate careers are nearly over. Despite the constant warnings from family that college would fly by, it didn’t change the fact that it did. If you’re like me, you tried to make the most of your time at this amazing university; nevertheless, there are always those quick moments, such as after a long day of writing a paper or during a difficult exam that you wished the time in school away. As we look towards the next chapter, it might seem as if the best years of our lives are now behind us. However, you cannot buy into that myth! Of course, everyone knows college is an awesome opportunity, one where you can try out new things at any time and meet people just by walking out of your dormitory door. Before we don our caps and gowns to join our friends in celebrating great memories and new beginnings, we should take a moment to appreciate the wonderful school we’ve attended the past few years. Nevertheless, our time spent as undergraduates cannot be used to define some peak in our lives, as it is just a stepping stone to much greater heights.

What lies ahead will be different from what we’re used to, yet whether we head towards further education or a career, the future is bursting with exciting opportunities. In fact, you may not realize that commencement literally means “a beginning”, and our ceremony should be treated as such. We have been training our whole lives for this next step. It is time to strive for greatness, and to make our mark upon the world that we have been given. Of course, it will have its trying moments and you won’t have all the answers, but you’ve handled that all before in school. Some things never change. No matter what, we have been prepared better than most because of the distinguished education we received here at the University of Connecticut. I hope you leave this place both inspired and challenged by the footsteps we are following in the remarkable alumni that have graduated before us.

Congratulations to the Class of 2015. I cannot wait to see what you all accomplish and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors!