Winter commencement: 'So many opportunities and new experiences'

photo of NDSU grad Emily Omvig

Commencement is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. NDSU students spend years learning, studying, connecting with classmates and working toward their degree, which creates and full, rich and unique experience.

We asked some of our students to write a letter to their freshman selves to reflect on their NDSU experience. Each illustrates the personal growth, sense of accomplishment and pride many of our students feel as they meet the goal of earning an NDSU degree.

NDSU’s winter commencement ceremony is scheduled for Friday, December 17 at Sanford Health Athletic Complex.

5 p.m. - College of Health Professions


MAJOR: Nursing

HOMETOWN: Bismarck, North Dakota

Dear Emily,

I need to tell you a few things, and really try to listen when I do.

The phrase, “you meet your best friends in college,” doesn’t mean that you will meet them the very first day.

Get out of that dorm room and go do something you enjoy. I promise the homework will still be there tomorrow.

There are students on this campus who do not shudder at the thought of math. Find them.

There is a reason you have unlimited access to both the dining center and the gym.

And this last one is important.

It is okay to change your mind.

Your life is going to look very different four years from now. Different in the sense that things will finally feel like they’re making sense and you will be happy with the choices you’ve made along the way.

It’s easy for me to tell you this now, but the process of learning who you are will occur slowly. It will come in waves. There will be highs and lows. There is going to be stress, frustration, sadness and failure. But it will be a lot of fun, too. You need to hold on to the fact that, in the end, the good will outweigh the bad. That I can promise you.

You will have so many opportunities and new experiences. All I ask is that you don’t wait to get comfortable before getting involved. Time goes too fast. I know that sounds cliché, but it has never felt more real than it does right now. When the day comes that you have the opportunity to compete in the Wii Olympics, don’t hold back. You just might be destined for a medal after all, podium or not.

You will meet people who you feel as though you have known all your life. The kind of people who make the discovery of a hidden campus bathroom memorable. The kind of people who will stand beside you on the good days and behind you on the days when you need a little extra help. So, talk to everyone. Regardless of their age or major. Talk to them. Learn from them. And grow with them.

You will learn how to read better, write better and become an all-around better student. You also will learn that there is still so much learning left to do. You will discover the difference between leading with your voice and leading in a way that allows others to find theirs. You will develop a refined set of core values that will shape your heart into that of a nurse, opening a completely new avenue to your future self. Because even if you thought otherwise, that’s what you were always meant to be. And believe it or not, that truth is about to become reality.

So, sit back, relax, take a breath and enjoy these moments.


Someone you are proud to be

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