An Open Letter to Class of 2016


I sit here an hour  before my college last paper , excited but nervous for this new chapter in my life. I think about my freshman year, and it’s the same feeling of not knowing what to expect, the fear of the unknown. However, I do know that I’m graduating with incredible people, not only from my college, but from colleges all around the world.
To my fellow seniors, this letter is for you.


To my fellow graduates of the class of 2016:

Can you believe it? The day we’ve been working so hard to get to is finally here. Four academic  years of learning in the classroom, hours spent in the library and all those all-hikes and bashes ; the hard work has truly paid off, and has lead us to this moment — graduation.

I look back and think where did the time go? September 2013, some of us were leaving home for the first time and getting ready to move into a college hostel  room preparing to live with someone new. Others were planning their commute for their first day of class. People always would say cherish your time in college, but looking back it’s crazy to think how fast time has actually flown by.

Take a moment and look back at the person you were on the first day of your freshman year and realize how these past four academic  years in college have shaped you to become the person you are today. Are you still friends with the people you were freshman year? What has changed since then? What remains the same?


Even though our undergraduate college career is ending, it is also the beginning of a new chapter — the rest of our lives. Some of us may be heading to corporate positions, others are taking time to travel and others will continue their education. And for those of you who don’t know what the next step is, it’s okay. Freshman year we didn’t really know what we were getting into, and it turned out okay. I’m a big believer that some of the best things in life that happen are unplanned.

The thought of not having the security and comfort of college is scary. And even though we don’t know where we’ll be in 2 or 4 years, I encourage you to never lose the sight of your dreams. And I hope through every new page you turn in your book, that you continue to dream and dream big. Don’t be afraid to take risks, you’ll never know, if you don’t try and you don’t want to constantly wonder “What if?” Always believe in yourself, even through your challenges, don’t forget that you’ve already accomplished a huge milestone and that you are capable of achieving all of your goals.

President Obama said in a powerful speech that he gave in Selma, Alabama in 2016 “And it is you, the young and fearless at heart, the most diverse and educated generation in our history, who the nation is waiting to follow.” That quote is talking to us, the class of 2016. We are the young and fearless. There are opportunities that await us. We all come from diverse backgrounds, and each of our story’s are waiting to be heard. We are leaving college with a wealth of knowledge, leaving more educated than we started.

And we are the generation that everyone is looking at, we are the ones the nation is waiting to follow. It is up to us to continue to break barriers, to make a difference, to leave long lasting impressions and lastly to inspire others to do the same.

Class of 2016, we are the future. We are the movers and shakers. We are the next generation of leaders who will go on to change the world.

To the class of 2016, congratulations! We did it! Remember the world is yours.


A fellow 2016 graduate.


One thought on “An Open Letter to Class of 2016

  1. I have not studied Africa at all really because I was so tied up for so long in Japan. BUT I am interested in learning more! I wanted to ask a human question. You said wrote that you cannot or don’t always speak the truth but can express better through writing. Is there some cultural reason for this? I mean of course working in a company as I do now I cannot always say my truth either because it is a collaboration and I have to hold back some things. So maybe this is what you are speaking of? Teach me!


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