On Tuesday, August 21, 2012, William Peace University held Academic Convocation, the opening of the academic year, and a tradition at the school. The afternoon began with an opening from President Townsley and continued with remarks from Dr. Denlinger ’64, Dr. McLennan and S.G.A. President Jeanna Buck ’13.
The speech and remarks from SGA President Jeanna Buck ’13 were well received by the student body, and thunderous applause filled Kenan Hall; we wanted to share them with our community. Her thoughts and words are inspirational and wise, they continue to be talked about [and reflected upon] amongst students and are a point of thought for all as we open another exciting year.
Good afternoon! I hope everyone has had a great day of classes and is settled into campus life again (or for the first time.)
My name is Jeanna Buck, and I am your SGA President. The rest of the Student Government and I are excited to kick off the school year! The WPU Student Government is a small group of student representatives of the student body. It includes a variety of class years, majors and extracurricular activities. We meet once a week to consider new clubs and organizations on campus, plan campus activities, and discuss campus improvements. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to talk to us!
The WPU Student Government is excited to finally have everyone back on campus. As you can see, we have made many campus improvements to make your time at Peace the best it can be. I would like to especially welcome the first year students, who are coming to college and embracing change along with WPU.
Though never easy, the only thing constant in life is change. If you are like most and cringe when anyone mentions change, simply know that you are not alone. Even under a new name and a few “brothers” added to the mix, we are still a family. It is our responsibility to welcome and support each other, especially our new members. It is also important to remember a few other things when dealing with change.
Be open-minded. Part of growing and expanding anywhere in life, especially at a university, is being open to diversity. Diverse personalities, diverse races, diverse cultures, diverse opinions. But being open to this diversity is how you learn and grow as an individual. Diversity is what makes Peace graduates successful in the professional world. So make new friends and learn from those who are not just like you.
Learn to adapt.This was a hard one for me. I am used to a schedule and a PLAN… and heaven forbid I wrote a test date down in my planner in PEN and the professor decides to bump that test back a week.
I quickly came to find that even in college things are subject to change at any second. Nothing is permanent in life, and people that learn to “go with the flow” are much more happy and successful.
See it as an opportunity. If you are coming to college for the first time, or excited to graduate in nine months… you can embrace any kind of change and see it as a great opportunity.
First-year students – again, make new friends! Learn from people who are from different cities and states across the country. Also, get to know the upper-class students. They can provide a unique perspective about college life and can answer any questions you might have about professors, classes or just good places to eat close to campus.
Upper-class students – take change as an opportunity to grow. Open your mind, learn to adapt. Get to know first-year students. Remember that you were once in their shoes, and how great it felt to talk to someone who was a veteran of college life. And remember, once we graduate and get out into the “real world” we will see change everywhere.
Be patient. Understand that not everyone deals with change in a positive way. Help those who may have more trouble than you do.
This is really cliché, but very important. But be kind, because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
MOST OF ALL – have fun. This is college. It’s supposed to be some of the best years of your life. Don’t stress and don’t worry about things you can’t change. Make friends, make mistakes. Change your major and change it again. Cut your hair, pierce your nose. Experience life and experience WPU. You won’t be sorry you did.
Thank you and see you around campus!
This speech has not been altered or edited from lectern to website.