A. Quote: “Take a risk, be a rebel, ignore the conventional wisdom, take a stand and make a change, if something is wrong say it and say it loud, you have no idea what a difference you can make. Today you have earned your degree. Congratulations to class of 2013 ” B. These were the bittersweet words I heard as I moved my tassel from the right to left. My name is Taylor Carson and I am a Gaucho! C. Some of you may not know what that means to be a Gaucho and when I am finished I think you will have a better understanding. June 13th 2013 marked a day in my life that I would never forget; it was not just an ending to an amazing chapter, but also just the beginning.
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A. Background information
1. The UCSB/Isla Vista bubble is one of the weirdest places in America and to think I had the privilege of living there for four years. UCSB is its own little paradise and in that paradise I had to figure out how to balance my academic life with my social life. 2. As you can see this graduation cap represents all the hard work that I have done to earn my degree and all the embellishments represent all the fun memories I have had, the exciting people I have met, and the memorable experiences I spent in Santa Barbara. B. In this speech I hope share with you my experiences at UCSB and my transformation I underwent in working towards earning my degree from starting off as the
a) Freaked out freshman
b) Becoming the scholastic sophomore
c) To having the mentality of “Wow, I go to an awesome school like this, this is a joke” junior d) And finally into a smooth sailing senior ready to embark on a new venture.
1. Looking at my first year in college I was that very confused stereotypical freshman who was walking on the bike paths because I didn’t realize that pedestrians no longer had the right away in, bicyclists do. Finding it nerve racking when trying to figure out what classes are just right to take, as well as trying to navigate around a campus that may have well been like a foreign country to me. I was always freaking out and felt pressure from everyone around me who seemed to know exactly what they wanted to do while I was still undeclared and had no plan. I defiantly went through many trials and tribulations but my freshman experiences and memories are priceless.
2. During my sophomore year I really over-committed myself… a lot. If any of my professors could hear this, I’m sure that they would agree. I was taking 5 courses each quarter, doing lab research, switching my major multiple times and trying to maintain a job all at the same time. There are a few nights that I can recall where I would sleep in our 24 hour study lab just so I can wake up the next morning to study and avoid all the distractions. Unfortunately, I did not end up with the all A’s in some of the core classes that count now as I apply to grad schools. I personally can recount many nights I contemplated dropping out. Hell, if Jobs, Gates and Zuckerburg did it why couldn’t I? Something about staying in a place that evokes progress and meaning meant that I would have to work hard to earn this privilege of graduation so I spent my that whole summer taking a year of bio along with organic chemistry all so that I could graduate on time.
3. As junior year rolled around I realized I was at half way mark to graduation. All the work I did my sophomore year really paid off. I was more confident then ever. For once I had direction and a declared major that I loved; Biopsychology. I couldn’t believe I went to such an amazing school where it is summer all year long, and my backyard was literality the ocean. I was fortunate to live under one roof with 12 of my best girl friends where beachside activities were an everyday necessity. I enjoyed many late-night Freebirds run, the fun cab rides down town, the embarrassing karaoke performances at OTT and country line dancing at Creekside. I was embracing the everyday t-shirt, shorts and flip-flop kinda weather, the brezzy walks along the beach in between classes, constant learning and as a result newfound wisdom.
4. Finally senior year was here and there is nothing I could ask for in exchange for the things I have both learned and been through here at UCSB. Throughout my four years I found new perspectives, new friends, new ideas and new places to explore.
A. And there I was on June 13th 2013, graduation day. I did it! I survived four amazing years at UCSB and undoubtedly changed and became better through my collegiate experience. My graduation cap is important to me for it represents my transformation from who I was to who I am today. My mistakes and successes are equally a part of who I have become. I have learned not to settle and do what makes me happy; and that way I will never regret following my dreams. B. So I will say to all of you, as the chancellor said to my graduation class “treat your life serendipitously. Stop taking the path that you feel has been assigned to you, and create you own journey from here on out.”