Congratulations! You are about to embark on one of the most life changing experiences. You will begin to live and learn. You will laugh and cry. You will discover, you will overcome, you will seek and you will find. You will finally be you.
That is not to say that you never were, but rather that you always were. I can guarantee that you will find you, a more refined you, a new you. The new you will be who you always were. Your dreams will be realized—you will be surprised.
I encourage you to take risks, to challenge yourself, to challenge others. I urge you to branch out and to meet students who do not look like you or think like you, speak like your or act like you. Get to know them. Become friends with someone who sees the world through an entirely different set of lens. Embrace this person. Do not doubt yourself when you have a firm conviction, even when feel that your opinions may make you unpopular. Run with this feeling.
This is the place, ladies and gentleman, my peers, my collegiate colleagues, my sisters and brothers, if you will allow me to call you that. And no better a time than right now. This will be your community, your home for the next four years. I will be here for one of these years. And with open arms, I welcome you. Congrats!