Remarks by College Government President Maryam M. Khan ’18
Thank you, Provost Shennan. Hello fellow students, esteemed faculty, and staff. My name is Maryam Khan ’18 and I am your College Government President.
To the Green Class, welcome. I and many of our other Student Leaders have had a fantastic time with you the past week and we look forward to the coming semester. To the Red Class, it is great to see you again and congratulations for no longer being first-years. To the Yellow Class, sorry but this Convocation isn’t quite yours yet. And to the Purple Class, this is our year.
And as we start this next year hopeful, there is also a bit of nostalgia that naturally kicks in as we remember that this is the beginning of our final moments at Wellesley. As wonderful, as strenuous and challenging, and as special as this experience is -- I urge us all to reflect on how we can make this year the best it can be for ourselves.
Most of my Wellesley career I have been bent over a planner, Google calendar and post-it notes—reminding me where to go and what to do next. Many Wellesley students, like myself, are notorious for scheduling themselves out hour by hour every day. When I think of my last three years here at Wellesley, I am reminded of the pressures I personally felt to be a motivated student, involved community member, and frankly busy myself as much as possible. But, as I have thankfully come to realize, being busy and spending that time meaningfully are not always synonymous. As I start this fourth year alongside you all, I encourage myself and all of us to pause and reflect. What interests you? What are you passionate about? What are your priorities? These are all questions with answers that are unique to each of us. And they all concern how we choose to spend our time. Time is arguably the most valuable asset of ours here at Wellesley. For the majority of us, our Wellesley journey is confined to 4 years. And with a year left, I am sure that we all feel excited, nervous and honestly maybe even in search of direction—just as we were as first years. So take moments throughout this next year to pause. While we continue moving forward, taking a look back and self-reflecting provides an opportunity to recognize our growth. And, it is each of our responsibility to define that “growth” for ourselves.
And as full as our schedules may be, I urge all of us to make one of our priorities self-care. Yes, “existence is resistance,” may be empowering, but even more empowering is taking good care of yourself. In an age and environment where many of us may feel our very identities are challenged, it is a form of resistance to recognize your value and love yourself. For me, as a Muslim, and a woman of color with immigrant roots, it is still a process as I am sure it is for many of us. Yet upon reflection, I recognize that it is moments where you own your story and identity where you see the most growth.
In any group, our contributions will be so much more meaningful when we bring our full selves. Spend this last year, focusing on yourself, learning new things about the way you learn, the way you have fun, and the way you enjoy. In many ways, the habits we develop, especially in this last year, have the potential to stay with us.
I ask you, as philosopher poet Jalaluddin Rumi does, “Why are you so enchanted by this world, when a mine of gold lies within you?” And since we’re the purple class, mine for that amethyst too.
In sum, this next year reflect and take care of yourselves and one another, so we can continue moving forward with purpose together. It has been an absolute privilege to be one of your peers, you all inspire me and I know I am a better person for having spent time with you and I cannot wait for the memories to come. And congratulations to all of us for making it this far, See you June 1st, Class of 2018!