Writing a Graduation Speech

I decided to enter our school’s graduation speech content. It was due last night at midnight. I started around 10:30pm and finally submitted my speech at 11:58pm. They will go through all of the speeches, pick a select group to audition, and then pick the final speaker.

Last night as I wrote my speech, I channeled all sorts of memories for inspiration. First, I started with the minimal information that the committee provided. They wrote:

In the past, speeches have ranged from humorous to reflective and successful ones typically incorporate the following qualities.

  • Focus should revolve around your experiences as an undergraduate at NYU Stern
  • Embody the sentiments of your class
  • Be appropriate and enjoyable for the entire audience (your peers, families, friends, faculty & administrators)
  • Length should be between 3 to 5 minutes

I also brainstormed about what I think college is all about. Here are some brainstorming notes that I came up with:

What is college all about?

1.) Getting accepted.

Nervous. Competitive. Selfish. Anxious. Scared. Waiting. Anticipation. Essays. Recommendations. Applications. Disbelief. Support. Lack of support. Soul-searching. Journey. Life. Road. New beginning. Getting away. Escape. Savior. Stability. Loans. Tuition.

Big envelope / small envelope. Confetti. Big buildings. Big envelope. Congratulations. Excitement. Calling everyone.

2.) Freshman Year.

Packing up. Leaving home. Buying tons of unnecessary dorm supplies. Advertisements for college dorm supplies. Pink and orange. Moving in. new beginning. New roommate. Small refrigerator. No kitchen. Plastic bed. Odd wood furniture. Tall buildings. Cheesy RAs. Cheesy orientation leaders. Cheesy everything. Group activities. Going out. Pizza. Pizza. Pizza. Falling in love for the first time.

3.) Exploration.

Learning more about yourself than you ever have. Falling out of love. Staying up way too late to write papers about how the Bible compares to the Communist Manifesto and The Republic. Group projects. Being late for class. Being late for group projects. Being the only one that shows up to a group projects or class. Studying abroad. New perspectives. New insights. Learning more about life and the world than ever before.

4.) Missing.

Missing your family. Missing class. Missing out b/c you have homework. Missing your friends. Missing pets. Missing parties. Making decisions. Choosing paths. Leaving things behind. Seeking new opportunities. Missing out on sleep. Procrastinating. Facebooking.

Of course, there’s more to college, but those were the key things I wanted to hit on. In the end, the speech related my childhood dreams to the completion of college. My main advice was to keep dreaming. Seems a little cheesy, but hey, it’s what I was feeling.

Now, let’s hope I get accepted as one of the finalists!

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