By Aristote Kipayko, ELP Graduate, Chatham Undergraduate Student
Asked to write a commencement speech to students graduating from the English Language Program, Aris writes, “We had better start looking at the light to see where we are going.” He urges the students to make the best of what they have now to have a great future.
About Aris: My name is Aristote Kipayko. I am from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and I plan to graduate with a double major in Economics and Management Information System at Chatham University, class of 2021. I chose to get into business because I believe that everything nowadays is related to business and money. I am interested to know the real use of money and the different impacts it can have on any individual.
I’m pleased to be with you at this time today for your commencement to a new step in your journey. Most of you have gone through a lot in order to be here with us. It may look easy, but only you can know the pain and suffering you have encountered.
I assume that many of you had the same problem as me when arriving in Pittsburgh and trying to settle. For me, the Pittsburgh weather was the first challenge I faced. It could get so cold in a day just as it could get so warm as well. I come from Africa and most of you might know or heard that it is usually way warmer in Africa in comparison to America. Adapting to the cold weather in Pittsburgh was really hard. Determination and desire to learn more were the keys to help me overcome that challenge. It helped me to stay strong and stay focused in class.
Apart from the weather, food in America was also a big challenge. I was surprised that the quality of the food here would be so bad. I felt that I had led myself into a dark journey. I realized that I was eating more organic food back to my country, and it took me about two months to get used to the food here. In order to move forward, I had to make it a small deal and move on. Just like Ron Shayka said, “When all you see are shadows, you never see light.” We had better start looking at the light to see where we are going.
Once again, I want to congratulate all of you for your achievements. We still all have a lot to achieve, but this is also a big step. Just like Steve Jobs said, “Stay Hungry and Stay Foolish.” Nothing is more important than always want to learn more. Success is a fruit from hard work and dedication. The future is in our hands. John Schaar wrote that “The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths to it are not found but made.” Therefore, you have to make the best of what you have now to have a great future.