A Greater Purpose
When answering a questionnaire for my Writing course, I was stumped by the question What do you want to accomplish before you graduate?!
My inability to articulate what I want to accomplish before I graduate disturbed me. Of course, I know this time in my life is very turbulent and stressful — not knowing where I’ll be living or working post-grad, leaving all my close friends and memories at U of M, being financially on my own from my parents, and entering an entirely new network where I have to create new relationships and circles of trust. Not to mention having to get rid of my M-Card…no more student tickets to football games. Yikes. This is all scary. But what do I want to do before I leave the best place on earth? How will I leave my mark at Michigan?
When thinking about these questions, I remembered how passionate I was about leaving my mark at my high school. During my senior year, I was on the state championship speech team, was student body vice-president, gave one of the three graduation speeches, earned an outside scholarship, played in the senior class rock band, and produced a video for Senior Night. But hey, I’m not trying to brag, I’m simply reflecting. Everyone at Michigan accomplished great things in high school. That’s why we go to Michigan. But what now? How do I leave my senior year in college?
I’m not asking myself to win any awards or give any speeches before I graduate. I’m simply asking myself: how can I channel my passions into leaving a legacy at the university that has given me so much?
One of my favorite pieces of history to share as a tour guide is that President John F. Kennedy announced the beginning of the Peace Corps on the steps of the union on October 14, 1960 at 2:00AM. Despite his late arrival, 10,000 Michigan students were waiting to hear him speak. Toward the end of his speech, he shared this:
“Let me say in conclusion, this University is not maintained by its alumni, or by the state, merely to help its graduates have an economic advantage in the life struggle. There is certainly a greater purpose, and I’m sure you recognize it.”
So even though it’s easy to get caught up in the stress of graduation, it helps to remember that I go to the University of Michigan because I am a passionate, ambitious individual. I may not know for sure where I’m going, or what I’m doing, or who I’m going to become, but I know that after four years, this wonderful university has prepared me serve a greater purpose, to pursue my passions, and to try to make the world a little better each day.