“You’ve got the potential to exceed your dreams,” is what I said to my ’07 graduating class back in high school in my valedictorian speech. “For it’s better to try and fail, than for fail trying at all,” were the last words spoken in that speech. There have been many successes and failures since then, but all in all, I am here to say I have overall exceeded my dreams; done things I never thought I would have the opportunity to do. But I believe because of the failures, I became more determined to bounce back and achieve these opportunities gained.
Do you remember what it was like stepping foot on campus for the first time? The feeling of suspense and uncertainty you had about roommates, classmates, and other university students you would meet? Would you fit in? There were so many questions we had going through our heads before taking the next step to post secondary education. It has been exciting getting answers to these questions as each day has passed. In the last four years here at Laurentian, there has never been a dull moment. I know for many of us at Laurentian who have graduated or are graduating this current year, there is a bit scare as to what the future holds; what it will be like living “the reality” as many people call it. Uncertainty. Many times this year I have reminisced about my four years here – the good and the bad. I have spent a lot of time looking at pictures from festivities in residence, out in the town, or at the best place on earth – the Pubdownunder. After sitting back and relaxing with some friends and reminding them about them – each picture has definitely been worth a thousand words. I have so many memories at Laurentian that it would take forever to give each one the amount of time it deserves. Take a moment and just think of some of the best times you have had here at Laurentian, and with who you have shared those times with. Those are the things we should embrace and leave this place thinking about; not the times when we were down but rather the times when we stood strong and lived “the dream” to the fullest.
These past four years have been years of growth. Placed in the “wilderness” I think it is safe to say we have gained the skills to get through anything we face. Living on your own tends to do that. I would like to openly and sincerely apologize to those I have wronged over the years. I am big enough now to admit the mistakes which I have made over the years. Friendships and relationships have come and gone but with every loss, there are gains; you just have to be patient and believe that something better is coming. We have met many people at Laurentian – some of which will be apart of our lives forever. I am extremely thankful and lucky for some great friends I have gained in my four years. Not sure what I would have done without them in certain situations. You know who you are.
To those currently at Laurentian and for prospective students, have an open mind. Know that not everything is going to work out or go the way you want it to. Don’t let it get you down, keep your head up. You have heard it before – these are the most important years of your life. Embrace each and every moment and use it as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. For those graduating – “Graduation is only a concept. In real life every day you graduate. Graduation is a process that goes on until the last day of your life. If you can grasp that, you’ll make a difference.” Quote was made by Arie Pencovici. We are all educated and our degree is our certification. It is true that it can be viewed as a ticket to living the good life but it can also be viewed as a ticket to change/make your mark in this world. It is your life – choose the right paths. Be careful for every step you tread will show. I hope your dreams and your highest of hopes come true; that you receive an abundance of opened windows for opportunity and that you go to the most special places your heart has ever known.
So long to the early morning classes, crazy exam schedules, Pub nights, outdoor rink shinny with the BRIANS, varsity games, the “Just Lucky Invitational,” the epic birthday celebrations, the hockey nights in Canada with the BRIANS, and to many other experiences/memories. Laurentian and many people will forever be in my heart. Love you guys. The best has yet to come! I’m sure this isn’t goodbye – more like a see you later. Good luck! Thank you for being apart of the “dream!” Bring on the birth of living “the reality!”