Figure it out

Long Dang, 2015 Class Speaker

Wow. I feel like a mosquito in a nudist colony. I don’t know where to start. Well first, to my parents: Cam ong Me, cam ong Ba. I wouldn’t be here without you guys. Thank you friends, professors, teachers, ushers, staff, families and everyone in between. Thank you for listening and talking to us during both the darkest of times and brightest of moments. We are all standing on the shoulders of giants.

We wouldn’t be here without your love, your kindness, and your support. For that — we owe you our endless gratitude. As this college experience reaches its conclusion I want everyone to close their eyes. Keep them closed, now. Let us rest, and reinvigorate our minds, hearts, and spirits. Its time to
start anew. You can open them now.

At the end of this long, difficult but GLORIOUS journey I think each one of us has learned how to “figure it out.” Whether its dealing with the endless stress of work, living alone, or even just getting lost in a new space. We’ve learned to figure it out. We’ve learned to trust ourselves and our abilities, we’ve learned to talk to the people and ask for help, but most of all we learned to stay calm. Instead of panicking, we’ve embraced the uncomfortable and we’ve welcomed the obstacles.

We’ve all “figured it out” and made it through college – an opportunity that less than 10% of our WORLD experiences.

I want us to take this “figure it out” mentality and bring it outside this beautiful bubble. I hope we recognize the importance and implications of this privilege, this Williams education. Let us use this opportunity, and these experiences to do good. What does that mean? It means to do our part and figure out how to improve the lives of those around us. Let us practice warmth, grace and kindness.

Let us address climate change, the expanding student loan crisis, broken immigration reform, let us stand in solidarity the Black Lives Matter movement.

Its time we do our part, in becoming the giants that helped us. Its time we do our part to help others, to empower the people around us, to improve the world we live in.

Let us utilize this education for something amazing — Williams class of 2015 we have a responsibility, not as Williams graduates, but as PEOPLE to make others happy, to invest our energies, our kindness and our love into our friends and our communities so that, together, we “can figure it” out and make a