Time to Fly

This week, I’ve been walking around campus feeling a sense of pride and sadness in leaving that I never thought I’d feel. This university has really grown since I arrived four years ago and I’m glad to have been a part of that growth. In my first three years I’m pretty sure I said, “I can’t wait to be done” at least 50 times a day. Now, in my last 24 hours as a student here, all I can think about is how much I’m going to miss this place once I move on. This has been my home for the last four years, and it’s always sad leaving home. I finally understand the crazy emotions that lead people to donate a million dollars to their Alma Mater, or, dare I say it, put a university bumper sticker on their car. *Gasp*

I recently watched the film Sabrina, starring Audrey Hepburn. I actually had to watch if for a class but it turned out to be a really good movie. Anyway, there was one quote that I think really applies to this stage of my life.

“La vie en rose.” The literal translation from French to English is: “Life in pink.” The way it used in the film, and by most of us today is; “Seeing life through rose colored glasses.”

That is exactly how I feel right now; a starry-eyed young man filled only with hope, dreams and ambition. It’s a beautiful thing. I truly feel that I’ve learned and experienced as much as I can here, and everything is in place for me to take the next big step.

Here are top five lessons I’ll take from college:

  1. Surround yourself with people that truly care about and will celebrate your success. These same people will also tell you when you’re making a stupid decision. These are your angels.
  2. Find out what resources are available to you and gain experience! My biggest regret in college is that I did not study abroad. KSU has an entire department devoted to helping you do that.
  3. Build solid relationships with the professionals in your life. You can never have enough people that are willing to write letters of recommendation for you.
  4. Time management is everything. Seriously.
  5. Just enjoy yourself. I promise you, this is by no means the worse part of your life.

That being said, this is my final message to the class of 2015.

Congratulations! Are you celebrating yet? Well you should be because you absolutely earned it! God knows that none of this has been easy. For some of you, it’s been four, five and even six years in the making but you are at this point today and that’s what matters.

Throughout your life, never forget that compassion towards others will be your greatest attribute. We all want to achieve our own goals, just make sure that when you achieve those goals, you haven’t forgotten those who helped you along the way.

Strive to become a global citizen, because the world needs help. You are the solution.

You will achieve success, you will find happiness, you will find love and you will make a difference. Never back down and never give up. You have all the tools you need to spread your wings and rattle the stars.

Congratulations, Kent State University Class of 2015. Time to fly.

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This is that part of the speech when I thank everyone; so you’re free to exit if you feel that you’ve been here too long. It wont hurt my feelings I promise. 😉

To God, thank you for continuously blessing me with safety, opportunity and stability. All things are made possible through you.

To my family, for being the best support system that I could’ve asked for, especially Mom. You’ve listened to me cry about everything from my crazy work schedule, to the one time I freaked out on the phone for 20 minutes when I realized I needed a bigger pant size. You’re a phenomenal woman.

To Tywon, for teaching me professionalism and how to stand up for myself. You’ve inspired me so much over the years.

To Leah, for giving me passion without limits. There are no words to describe our relationship. Thank you.

To Carrie, for coming into my life when I really needed a friend to get me through a rough time. You are my soul mate.

To Anna, for being the best roommate/travel buddy/close friend I could ever hope for! NYC was amazing!

To Sandra Perlman, for being so much more than a professor. You taught me that different is good, and that certain behaviors are a very slipper slope. Thank you.

To Jenna, for always being in my corner and believing in me. You are an incredible, special human being.

To Stephanie Smith, for being the toughest professor I’ve ever had and igniting a passion in me for PR by never letting me off easy.

And to Theo, for making my senior year everything that I never expected it to be, and so much more.

The list could go on, there are so many people that have contributed to my college career in some positive way, I couldn’t possibly name them all here – but from the bottom of my heart, I appreciate all of you.

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