My Commencement Speech

I was cleaning out some stuff from college when I came across a copy of my commencement speech that I delivered to a small group of peers who were a part of the committee that chose the student commencement speaker. Unfortunately, I was not chosen (although I was told I was the second best). Coincidentally, I took a course with the student that was chosen. We both minored in civic leadership. Great person, great story. You can watch Tamam’s speech here.

Since graduation season is upon us, I thought I would share a snippet of my speech:

That part of my life made who I am today. Every time I step onto campus, I recognize the road that had brought me here. Times of anticipation, times of sorrow, times of survival. All of us have experienced times in our lives where nothing seems right, where you just want to press the rewind button to change the past. Unfortunately, there’s no rewind button. There’s only a record button. A button that records everything you’ve experienced; all the good times, all the bad times, and everything else in between. Those are the experiences that brought you here today.

This…what’s happening right here, right now…is a start of a new chapter. New places, new people, new experiences. But realize that everything in your past have enriched who you are today. I encourage all of you to reflect back and look at how far you’ve gone.

Today…we are here to celebrate our accomplishments. Tomorrow? Who knows what’s going to happen tomorrow. You can’t record the future, but you can record the present.

I want everyone to look around you. Here we are! Whatever the future holds, remember today…record today. Today…is when we let our knowledge serve the world. Today…is when PSU is no longer a 3 letter acronym, but a symbol that represents our journey together. Today…is when each one of us can say, “I graduated from Portland State University, Class of 2008!”

Photo courtesy of Flickr, cab234.

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