Thank you, Dr. Dahleh. IMSA Board of Trustees and staff, parents and family members, ladies and gentlemen, and Class of 2016! Welcome! Before I formally accept the Class of 2016, I’d like to offer a few remarks.
Today is the culmination of years of hard work. Over the past few years, you’ve learned to live independently: to wash your clothes, manage your time, study on your own, get up early in the morning all by yourself (although I hear that a few of you are still working on this last one—your roommate or RC, or perhaps your mother called you this morning to wake you!).
Over the past three years, you persevered through disappointments—your first "B" or "C," a lost or ruined friendship, or a broken heart. Knowing all that you know now, I wonder what you would have said to your younger self three years ago.
Perhaps you would have said, don't sweat the small stuff and keep your perspective.
You might have said, Look, you're going to face some difficult challenging classes, you're going to have peers that are smarter than you, that work harder than you, that have better academic backgrounds than you.
You might have said, Don’t give in to the temptation to compare yourself with others. Compare yourself to yourself—notice how much you will grow, mature, and learn. Above all, keep your perspective with what life may bring your way.
Torres, José M., "Commencement of the Class of 2016" (2016). Keynotes, Speeches, and Lectures. 11.