An Open Letter to UGA16

Dear UGA16,

Our time is coming, the time to turn our tassels and transition into the next phase of our lives. Whether the next phase be pursuing office jobs, starting businesses, jumping right back into school, or figuring out exactly what and where we want to, our time in undergrad is slowly coming to an end.

The class of 2016 has seen and done so much with in a (relatively) short span of time. We have gone from bringing in the school year at Aftermath, to seeing the name of New Earth change to Live Wire. Some of us came in one major and have stuck with it for four years.

Others of us, including myself had to guess a few times before getting it right. Our class started off trying to find exactly where we fit in the grand scheme of college and now, we have taken over in our own special ways.

From SGA Presidents to geniuses (shout out to those with 3.9’s and above), UGA16 is full of talent that the world is not ready for, but will greatly appreciate.

UGA graduation

However, there are some things I want all of us to keep in mind as we finish the last leg of the race:

  • Live for today.

Keep gradation in your sights, but do not forget to enjoy the days we have left. If you allow the pressures of being the “perfect” graduate by May, you may miss out on an experience that you will never have again. Yes, stay focused, do your work, apply to jobs. We wouldn’t be #Excellence without it. Just remember this is the last year we all be together under one roof and within 15 minutes of each other.

  • Pay it forward

Don’t forget that not too long ago we were underclassmen too. Yes, it would easy for us to do our own thing and worry about ourselves, but we all know that’s not what UGA is about. Share the wisdom you’ve gained over the years. Reach out and become a mentor. Go to programs. Support new organizations and provide guidance. We were all new to campus, an organization, or group once. Pay it forward.

  • Live your truth

They always told us that college is when we discover ourselves. Whether you have found yourself, bit and pieces, or still looking, live it. We don’t have to fit into whatever mold society has created for our generation, gender, career path and whatever other ways they try to categorize us.

This statement may be corny, but it’s true: “Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drowned your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” –Steve Jobs

UGA Graduation3

  • What ceiling?

We have all heard of the glass ceiling, but I would like to charge you all by asking, “What ceiling?” During our years together, I have seen each of you do amazing things when you set your mind to it. You don’t have to follow the path others have walked.

Create your own.

A perfect example is edible arrangements. Who would have thought that cut fruit in baskets would have become so profitable? If you truly have a passion to do something, nothing and no one will stop you. That is not to say it will be easy, but you determination cannot be stopped.

Well guys, that’s all I have for you. I can’t believe we already in September. Before we know it, we will sitting on the field of Sanford Stadium or in Stegeman Coliseum.

So I’ll you with this: “Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” –Christian D. Larson


Jasmine Johnson

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