Commencement 2017

Video and full text of remarks by Johns Hopkins senior class president Syed Hossain

Video: Deirdre Hammer

Remarks as delivered by Johns Hopkins University senior class president Syed Hossain at the universitywide commencement ceremony on May 24, 2017.

Hello everyone on this wonderful Wednesday afternoon. It's the middle of the work week, which is probably not the most convenient day to be here with school, work, etc. But research shows that Wednesday is the best day to post on social media to get the most amount of likes, so I hope that makes up for any inconvenience.

I look around and I see so many people who helped us along the way—professors, advisers, friends, siblings, and parents. Today would not have been a celebration without you. Because of your benevolence, support, and compassion, the Class of 2017 in front of you is graduating from one of the finest institutions in this world.

Commencement 2017
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So on behalf of myself and all of my classmates, thank you.

For us students, the past four years have been filled with experiences we could not have anticipated when we came here as freshmen. We faced challenges, some as trivial as who to eat lunch with the first week of freshman year, others as profound as finally committing to a major. But those challenges also presented us some of our greatest opportunities, unexpected and exciting opportunities that took us in directions we otherwise would have never considered.

Looking back, we realize how extraordinary a place Johns Hopkins is. Our experiences here have helped us break with the past and prepare for the future. They changed us. They turned us into something else, a good something else.

Before we came to Homewood campus, most of us couldn't quite imagine what it would be like—the classes we'd take, the extracurriculars we'd get involved in, and the friends we'd make. And we were uncertain as to how it would all turn out.

But we took risks, went out of our comfort zones, pushed our limits, and jumped into things. And we didn't let that fear of the unknown hold us back. We embraced it with courage.

When we walk out of this arena into the next chapter of our lives, many of us will find ourselves again in that exact situation, uncertain of what the future holds, asking ourselves "Now what?" Because the real world isn't as structured as the college environment we're all now so used to. Out there, as recent graduates, we won't always have the spotlight shining on that next step. We won't always know what's coming.

But Johns Hopkins has taught us that there's a beauty in uncertainty, and I know that each of every one of you is so well-prepared to embrace whatever challenges and opportunities the future brings with courage.

Thank you, and congratulations.

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