Wow… what a ride! A couple weekends ago was graduation at UMD, and I got to walk the stage, grab my diploma, and shake Chancellor Black’s hand. With commencement come and gone, it is time for me to turn to the next chapter in my life, and I am very excited. Over the last four years, I have been proud to call Duluth my home, and the appreciation I have for our community here at UMD seems impossible for me to put into words. Overall, it has proven to be some of the best years of my life, and I am forever grateful for that.
Before I officially tip my hat, I think it is best to pass along some of my own wisdom and advice for fellow Bulldogs! So, here it goes.
This time in your life is all about being involved! Find an on campus job, volunteer in the community, join academic clubs, participate in intramurals, and start planning that trip to study abroad. All of these things have been a part of my story as a student here at UMD, and they have truly been what have made it something special. By involving yourself outside of the classroom, you are able to meet new people, try new things, and most often learn more than you would from any textbook. Remember to look for these activities and seize the opportunities.
Sounds ambiguous, but it is very simple. You should always be looking for new things to do. How else do we keep life entertaining? Whatever your commitments are, classes or work, remember to schedule time to go to that hiking trail you have never been to, that comedy show you have always wanted to see, or even start laying the foundation for that trip to Europe you have always wanted to do. If you don’t now, will you regret not taking those opportunities years from now? No matter the case, make time to be adventurous and outgoing, and explore places you have never been before.
Find Challenge & Change
Growth happens when you push yourself. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone, and I promise good things are bound to happen. Stress will always be a part of life, so don’t let smaller things get in your way. Not only that, but there are excuses for everything, so don’t let those minimal arguments deter you from doing something you have always wanted. Excuses are usually to avoid failure, but failure is what helps get you to success, so don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Challenge and change should always be a part of your life. It’s what gives you independence and confidence for the future.
Reflect and Plan
With all this chaos, always remember to stop and take a deep breath. Life is busy, life can be overwhelming, but life is great! Find your favorite spot on this planet, outside or in, and take a break. Leave your phone and laptop at home, and just do some good ol’ fashion thinking. Where have you been? Where do you want to go? How do you get there? They are definitely things we think about everyday, but do you ever take the time to build yourself a personal road map? Goals are better achieved when there is a strong plan and path to get to them.
Above all, I want to say thank you. Thank you to those that have helped shape me into the confident young lad I am today. I will miss UMD greatly, but with the skills and tools the university has given me, I am confident I will make a positive impact on this world!