Sunday, June 13, 2010

back when I was in college...

I'm now going to sound super old when I say that. Weiird. And I now have a B.A. in International Studies in Political Science and Sociology. Hooray for finishing college! Thank you to everyone who was a part of the great memories, friendship, and support through the years-- you're what made my college experience wonderful and unforgettable.

What makes a commencement speech resonate? Is it funny? Honest? Realistic? Hopeful and optimistic? Of course it would make sense for it to take the glass half-full approach, but I think that when its overly optimistic and theatrically sentimental, it takes away from the real meaning of graduation. Commencement has a different meaning for everyone, and when you politicize it or personalize it to yourself, it takes away from how special the experience is for everyone in attendance. In case you haven't detected, the student commencement speech at my graduation was less than stellar. It made me wish that I had taken the time to submit my two cents to share with the entire 2010 UCSD Muir College graduates.

I've had the opportunity to read and listen to many commencement speeches in the past years, and honestly, a whole bunch of them are cookie-cutter. But then there are a good few that hold your attention without effort, because they are general but yet personal enough to resonate in everyone-- take the life lessons and advice how they will.

I attended the USC College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences commencement in May, and the commencement speech I heard for the ceremony has stuck with me ever since-- it was not brimming with optimism or overrun with worldly wisdom, but real and brutally honest- no, Imight not succeed in everything I try, and my coursework realistically did not prepare me for anything in life- and did I mention full of humor? It takes a lot to write a great speech-- and not all who write them are good writers, let alone speakers. But when you do hear one, it sounds so easy and effortless, a diamond in the rough. It reminds me how words really do have the power to encourage and give hope to the masses- just like how that song of a speech has stuck with me.

Goodbye, UCSD. It's been a great 4 years, and the things you've thrown at me have me looking forward to the bigger (and hopefully better) things that follow.


~House of Rho~ said...

congrats again on graduation Jen!!!
and LOL you did decorate your hat haha... good shit!!!

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