Sunday, 31 January 2016
Pro-Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen and Fellow Graduates thank you for all being here on such a special day.
To my fellow graduates I would first like to say we are here, we did it.
Today is a day for us to celebrate the hard work and dedication we have put in over the last few years.
Though we all went through some ups and downs today shows that it all paid off.
So now we are ready…right? Some days I think so and others I am scared of what’s to come.
But what I do know is that just over 3 years ago when I made the decision to come and do this degree I made the right choice by choosing ECU.
I left high school quite a few years ago now and that is what made my choice so daunting.
What if I didn’t understand any of the material or do I even know how to write an essay anymore.
And while not everyone came to university in the same circumstances I think all of us had some questions like this.
But that is what is special about ECU, it’s a community, it’s a web of support when you need it most.
The students and staff I have met and interacted with over the past few years have inspired me.
If I needed help there would always be someone willing, even if it was to just tell me that I could do it but I just needed to keep going.
And now I am leaving this community to seek out a career, but my aspirations have changed due to my time here and with the volunteer group Enactus ECU.
I think all graduates here can agree that we are not the same person we were when we first started our degree… hopefully we are all a little smarter but more than that we have grown as individuals in the way we interact, in our willingness to take chances and do more then what is expected of us.
So to my fellow graduates I will say that as we all move forward with our different paths don’t be scared to take a risk, to take a leap because in the wise words of TS Eliot “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go”.
I would like to now turn our attention to all the people who have helped us graduates to get to where we are.
Firstly, I think I speak for all graduates here today when I say thank you to the incredible staff from ECU.
Our wonderful teachers who have taught us, the administration staff and learning advisors who guided us through referencing and working out our timetables, and to those staff who volunteered their time to student projects.
To put it simply thank you to all the staff who make ECU the extraordinary place it is.
Next I would like to send a very special thank you to all the friends and family of my fellow graduates who may or may not be here today but who supported us through our journey.
We simply could not have done it without you.
My husband and my parents have put up with all the tears and possibly a tantrum or two to see that I got here today and I hope they and all of you understand just how much we need and appreciate you.
And to my fellow graduates – thank you!
We all needed each other to make it through those assignments, exams and all the rest.
I have made some lifelong friends at ECU either through my studies or my Enactus ECU family and I have loved every moment of it!
It has been a privilege to be the student speaker today and I hope I have represented you well.
Please leave a comment about your rating so we can better understand how we might improve the page.