Jan. 6, 2020
Lamont Davis recently graduated with a degree in hospitality business from the Broad College of Business. He plans to work with the next generation of college students after graduation. He was one of two students selected to speak at December 2019 commencements.
Today I want to have a conversation about this process called the journey. While it is promoted that the traditional college career is done in four years, graduating in December is nothing to be ashamed of.
Last December, I received a call making me aware that my graduation would change from May to December 2019. I didn’t do what I needed to do. I made mistakes along the way, but that is why as young adults, we learn from our decisions.
I am graduating after five and a half years and I wouldn’t have it any other way. All of you have had different journeys, but the same end goal. No matter what life threw at you, here you are, and that’s what makes December graduation a unique honor to be a part of. It was the journey in itself.
Your journey is specifically tailored to construct you for your tomorrow. You might be starting your full time with your fortune 100 company, applying to medical school or still figuring it out. Look back to your freshman year — it was an adjustment, but look at the person you developed into today. I would like to give you three pieces of advice on how you can succeed in your next journey.
1. Know your worth
Graduates, understand your value and contributions not only to MSU but to the world. You are the next best this world has to offer. In those moments that others don’t see you, love yourself, appreciate yourself, congratulate yourself. Repeat this every day if you have to. Be your own greatest fan and affirm who you are. Just because a $100 bill gets crumbled up doesn’t mean it's not worth $100, it’s just been through some trials and tribulations. Your value does not change! Know your worth.
2. Write your own story
I understand there are many things in life that we cannot control, but I challenge you to no longer say, “It is what it is,” but control what you can control. Life is about how you respond to it. Your attitude is everything. Live and lead a life of integrity. Your name, character and brand are the most valuable currency that you hold. Create an opportunity for yourself or perform an act of altruism for someone else.
3. Community matters
In many ways, communities are created through shared experiences when we are inclusive of one another. For some, it was joining a program in your college, an organization or Greek life where you met a lifelong friend. Maybe you grabbed a passport to study abroad and experience the world for what it has to offer. Who knows where this world will take us, but wherever you go, meet someone new.
That is what will make you excel in your journey — building genuine and meaningful relationships with those around you. That is why community matters. Look for what brings us together and not what separates us.
No matter where life takes you, commit to your journey and embrace it. Life is a series of beginnings, not just endings.