I’ve been reading about you..
I’ve been reading about you too..
I’ve been reading about you all in the New York Times..
Some of you can be described as sprinters: Sprinters start fast right out of the gate. They pick a major early on and stick with it, enabling a progression of internships that look more impressive with each year.
Others of you might be wanderers, you take your time making decisions. You are OK exploring a variety of academic programs before making a commitment. You have an uncertain path. You are OK with uncertainty.
Others of you might be stragglers—those who spend much of their late teens and 20’s looking for what they were meant to do.
Are you a sprinter, wanderer, or a straggler? Perhaps you are in between or starting your own trend.
No matter your pace, approach, or style, I am here to tell you that I am full of hope because of you.
This is the part where I offer you some advice about getting off to a good start in college.
Up, a simple word, a word that drives six principles to remember:
One, Get Up— people are waiting for you. Friends, co-workers, your family, opportunities. Get up every day ready to help others, create new things, solve problems, and more.
Two, Show up— amazing things are waiting to happen. When you show up, other people see you. Opportunities are there. Attend events on campus. Join a student organization. Get involved. Show up to class.
Three, Open Up— share your ideas with others. Open up and meet new people. Opening up will help you build your professional and personal network.
Four, Rise Up— help others when they’ve been knocked down. Rise up by taking on your fears. You can help people rise to a higher level when you are kind. Rise up with compassion. Rise up by living with grace.
Five, Buckle Up—Personal and intellectual challenges await.
Six, Dance it Up—have fun. As I like to say, work hard, play hard. You are about to enter some of the best years of your life.
I am going to close with a video message, a story from one of our most famous alums, John Goodman. Go Bears! I wish you all the best.
Watch THE MOMENT BEFORE (featuring John Goodman)