Edens Fleurizard '20
Hobart Student Address
August 26, 2019
Good afternoon, Classes of 2023. Welcome to HWS. You are sitting in the place you will call home for the next four years. The place where you will find new friends; the place where you will get to share your greatest triumphs and suffer your biggest losses. You have four years, and although it may not feel like it now, it will go by fast.
You are receiving a top tier education at a time when people are questioning the value of liberal arts. You are now part of an enterprise that has the ability to change lives far beyond what you are capable of seeing. But more than being a part of this enterprise, you own it. We wouldn’t be here without you. This wouldn’t exist without you. So own your experience, craft the place you see yourself in, don’t be afraid to go against the grain and challenge institutions. Innovation doesn’t come from people doing the same things; it comes when you decide to do something unconventional. This education is your vehicle; it is your responsibility to get all the mileage out of it that you can. You have a responsibility, first and foremost, to yourself. Invest in yourself so that you can invest in others. You are here to become a more dynamic, well-rounded, and learned individual. Take courses that you wouldn’t otherwise take, speak with people with whom you cannot identify. Understand people who are situated differently than you are. Acknowledge and celebrate each other’s differences, and find unity in the fact that you are here together to learn and grow yourselves.
Make this place the most accepting, caring, and revolutionary place that you’ve ever been in.
And if there’s nothing else you remember from any of this, please remember pie. Not apple pie. Not sweet potatoe pie. Not pumpkin pie. P. I. E. P for performance: you must meet and exceed any and all expectations set before you; without performance, there is no forward mobility. I for Image: you have control of your brand. Continually rebrand yourself and rewrite your narrative so that you are always the best version of yourself. I say this because the way people perceive you will shape which opportunities come your way, and which opportunities pass you by. And finally E for exposure: you need to put yourself in front of the right people. Because no matter how well you perform, and how good you look doing it, it doesn’t matter if no one sees it. Find and connect with people who will take a vested interest in your growth and development. And again, that’ll only come after you have put in the work of building genuine relationships with the people around you.
Luckily for you, you’re in a place where that won’t be very hard to do. Thanks.