To the Class of 2017:
Despite the fact that many of you were AP superstars, SAT mavens and in the top 10% of your high school classes, I have words of inspiration for you. I have noticed that new college students question whether they are capable of handling the work at Wesleyan and contributing to a community that is abound with people who were “the man” in their respective high schools. There are people who believe that such doubts are well founded and that Wesleyan will kick your ass. It may kick you down; it will not, however, keep you down. Sure, on many days you will feel weak. You will feel tired, no doubt. The hundreds of pages of reading, essays and problems sets will drive you into the ground. In spite of that, do not surrender to adversity; only average people become overwhelmed. As Eric Thomas says, “You have to run from average like a plague”—the average ones will be forgotten, while the great ones will make their mark on Wesleyan. The difficulties while in the classroom or while working on an assignment are the only things that stand in the way of you and unbridled joy, relief, and success. You are all capable of being great, phenomenal students; you are all rare individuals with so much to contribute to this university. Being “smart” is not a prerequisite for success. We are all smart, so who gives a damn? It is all about effort. Effort. That’s it. Your war starts this week, so win the battle and ascend over the obstacles in front of you. And at the end of your time here, I hope that you will be able to say, Yeah I gave it my all, every bit of my energy, will and heart. Enjoy these great days; prove the doubters wrong.
I wish you the best,