Welcoming new Georgetown students
In January I had the opportunity to address incoming students of Georgetown University at spring convocation. My remarks can be read below!
As a transfer student myself, it is a privilege to be able to welcome you all to Georgetown. I sat where you’re sitting just three years ago. I looked around with both excitement and terror, thinking “what have I gotten myself into?”.
I often wanted to retreat back into my small community college in Alabama where it was comfortable, warm, and people had Southern accents. But I knew I had to take the risk and come to Georgetown if I wanted to pursue my dreams of public service.
As newly arrived students you might feel like everyone who started here in the fall or last year, made their friends already and it’s too late for you. It’s not. I didn’t make my best friends here until my junior year.
You might feel frustrated that Georgetown didn’t accept all of your transfer credits from your previous college, and you might be annoyed you have to stay an extra semester or year to graduate. I sure was.
But treat it as an opportunity rather than a burden. More time at Georgetown means more time to build relationships with faculty, more time to intern, and more time to enjoy the college experience.
Trust me, your time here will be over before you know it and you’ll wish you had more.
Know that Georgetown is not going to be easy. I had a rough transition my first year, and many of you will too. You’ll have to work harder than you ever have before. You might even receive lower grades than what you’re used to. You won’t always be the smartest or most accomplished person in the room, and that’s okay.
You have your own path to follow and you can’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is the thief of joy, and I let it steal too much of my own. Don’t let it steal yours.
Remember to take advantage of being in the nation’s capital. Join your friends in line to hear a prime minister speak at Gaston Hall. Make a sign and go to one of the biggest marches on the national mall. You have the opportunity to be a part of history by being here and you won’t want to miss it.
As Georgetown students, we are told we are inheritors of the Jesuit tradition of social justice. That we are men and women for others.
Don’t take for granted the privileges you have being a student here. You will receive an education and access to resources most people in this country will not, including the DC community. Use your position to stand with poor and marginalized communities and challenge powerful actors that seek to oppress.
With that, I hope that you’ll enjoy your time here at Georgetown. It’ll be a wild ride, full of ups and downs, but it’ll be worth it, and you’ll be glad you took the risk.