I am closely approaching my last year at UCLA and worried that I do not quite have everything figured out, but guess what? That is OK! It took me years of hard work, dedication and tenacity to get me through my years at community college. As a transfer student attending my dream school, I am incredibly lucky to be studying at UCLA, but I also know that I worked very hard. Endless hours of studying, missing hangouts with friends and giving up sleep to work towards my dream school has been nothing but worth it for me. I have faced utterly challenging times, rejection and uncertainty but it has all given me strength to be motivated and achieve greatness. If you are passionate and have a dream, use that light to help guide you in life. Passion is a good thing that should not be taken for granted. It’s the force and drive that motivates you to succeed. Passion is what gets you back up and motivates you to try again, no matter how many times you have failed.
There is never going to be a perfect roadmap of how to navigate life. We are all figuring it out as we go and those who tell you they have everything figured out probably don’t. They’re just better at hiding it. Just keep uplifting yourself and never let that passion, the light, inside of you dim. Remember why you are doing this all in the first place. Recall why you chose your major, what you want to do with it and how you want to make a difference in this world by utilizing the skills you learned from your time at UCLA. Don’t be scared of what is waiting for you on the other side of graduation. With every page you turn comes endless opportunities waiting for you.
A goal of mine has always been to give a commencement speech during graduation. I mean, what an honor that would be. It’s the kind of speech that you remember for a lifetime and it’s a time for your peers to acknowledge all the hard work you and your classmates have put into the academic journey. It’s the time to acknowledge educators who have made a difference in your journey. I guess this is sort of my mini commencement speech to you.
I had to include one of my favorite quotes that I always refer back to when I question what it is that I want out of my career and it is a quote by the character Mr. Feeny from the series, Boy Meets World. He says it to his students when they were graduating – “Dream, try, and do good.”
Remember to treat yourself kindly. The chapters in your life that you wrote or are still writing at your time here at UCLA are stepping-stones to help prosper, nourish and grow your skills.
Remember that it does take time and everything will work out, you just have to keep at it.
Remember that you are strong and you can do this, even when it is 3 a.m. and you are up studying for a final that is at 8 a.m. that same morning.
Look at all that you have accomplished.
Keep going and always strive to achieve your goals.
Whatever you do in life, do it with passion so that you motivate others. Use passion to help fuel you. Do it with passion and you will be a million times more successful.
We have the option to bring change, to make change.
As the legendary Kobe Bryant once said, “The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.”