Your Circumstances Here Do Not Decide Your Future

Congratulations. The big day is approaching.

You have accomplished what you came to college for, which is to graduate and receive a degree regardless of how long it may have taken you.

Now, I know most of you are thinking that due to all of the hazing allegations, claims of lawsuits and not to mention the economy you may feel as if your degree may not be worth much, or you are ashamed to tell people you are from Florida A&M.

Don’t be.

FAMU has been in tough situations before, persevered and become a better institution. This is only going to make our community better and bring us closer together.

This is a lesson to be learned for the entire university community.

Don’t view the economy as a hindrance to succeed, but as a stepping-stone to follow your dreams. Yes, not all students who graduate from college will have a job waiting on them, but you will have something that most unemployed people may not have – a degree. That can take you places.

A college degree is an investment. Yes, everyone says it, but it is very true. According to U.S. News Education rankings, individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree earn about $51,000 a year and those who attain a professional degree tend to make a $100,000 a year.

High school grads usually make about $30,000 or less.

So the skills and knowledge you have received are going to give you the job you want.

You have already endured the long financial aid lines. You have mastered how to get into the café on fried chicken Wednesdays without having a meal plan. You understand the importance of true networking, not Facebook style. And you are that much closer to being among the best and brightest of FAMU alumni.

So as you transition into life after undergrad, remember this is only the beginning. As you walk across the stage, think of all the great experiences that have made you stronger, happier, but most of all a true Rattler.