Yes, this is going to be one of those sentimental posts, so grab a tissue and stay with me. To many of us, Friday or Saturday represents an important milestone in our lives, an end of a chapter, and the beginning of a new one. I find myself to be ambivalent, as on one hand I am very excited and on the other terrified. There have been good, bad, ugly and amazing days during my education at RIT and regardless of the occasional downfalls that occurred I wouldn’t even change a bit of it.
Many of you and I are going to proudly walk that stage this week, and I do not know about you, but I am going to feel relief and accomplishment, and most importantly freedom, one of the most beneficial aspects of that degree in our hands. I am not saying that this freedom should be used carelessly (except the night after graduation, then you should enjoy yourself completely, as a matter of fact you deserve it). By earning your degree you destroyed barriers that previously might have prevented you from accomplishing something great. Go and travel the world, open your own company, learn how to sail a boat, do what makes you happy and what you always wanted to do. Now is the time to find that calling from which you can reap happiness during your whole employment life.
Don’t be afraid! Resilience is something we are all born with, some of us have more of it, and some less, but nevertheless it can be learned. You may recall numerous times in your education when you thought to yourself I can’t do this, this is too much, or when you thought bad times would never pass by, but you did it and those times are behind you. Your resilience, willpower and strength are exactly what brought you here, and it is vital for you to remember that during your life, wherever you are, you need to be thankful for what you have and appreciate every moment of your being. Those hard moments, which you will certainly face during your lifetime, might actually make you a better person or even the best version of yourself.
What I want you to remember, and this stands for me as well, is that you need to continue working on yourself, whether that is through continued academic education or something else that makes you stand out from the crowd. After you stand on that stage and look at all of those people that have arrived to Rochester to celebrate it with you, I want you to feel thankful. Thankful for what you have been provided with, an experience of a lifetime, a great education, and all of that within the RIT community. Some of the best times of our lives occurred during our time here, and I will always have a nostalgic feeling when thinking of Rochester and RIT.
Furthermore, looking back at my education at RIT, and all of the friendships and accomplishments I have I made, I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to be a part of it, especially to experience a different culture by studying on this campus as a global scholar, as I loved being here with all of you. Finally, with my final post as a part of the ‘Behind the Bricks’ team I want to congratulate you all on your outstanding accomplishments and I wish you all the luck with your future ventures. Let’s all do something great, make an impact, and be the proudest RIT alumni out there!