Congratulations everyone! We made it! When I was first asked to give this speech, I was excited but I found quickly that saying something meaningful that speaks and applies to everyone is really difficult! When people ask me what I like better, Germany or the U.S., I typically say that I try to embody and savor the best of both. Do this with my speech – take and appreciate the parts that mean something to you.
If you have been around languages, you probably know that there are words that just don’t translate. I have always struggled translating the German word “Geborgenheit” because it carries so much content, but “comfort” probably would be the best translation.
Within the past years at Manchester, I have grown more comfortable and I am confident that all of us have found somewhat of a comfort zone here. Whether that’s in the class room, within the circle of friends we have made, or the small town of North Manchester.
Throughout the years, we have become comfortable being more responsible, waking ourselves up in the morning, expressing our opinions in and outside the classroom, interacting with faculty, and being around people from different cultures and various backgrounds. We have grown more comfortable speaking in public, networking with professionals, playing the piano in front of others, or asking for help. We have found comfort in the skills and knowledge we have acquired and having found this comfort made Manchester feel like home.
The fact that we are graduating makes us step out of that comfort zone but I challenge you to do more than just that. I challenge you to be daring. Dare to chase your dreams and become a professional wrestler or artist. Dare to take some risk and start your own company. Dare to make a difference in someone’s life by being a teacher. Dare to keep expanding your knowledge by attending graduate school or doing an internship or dare to soak up as many experiences as possible by traveling and exploring the world.
I dare you to step outside that comfort zone and to be the best versions of yourselves that you possibly can be.
I hope that at Manchester we have found comfort in the persons we have grown to be and I hope that this comfort within ourselves will help us to be daring and allow us to keep growing.