SUU Blog | T-Bird Nation

Advice from the Class of 2018

Class of 2018, as you prepare to walk across the stage next week, “seasoned veterans” will pepper you with advice for life after graduation. You’ll hear a few things likes, "The world is your oyster!" "Seize the day!" "These are the best years of your life!" These tips are about as helpful as they’re wanted.

We have gathered advice from your classmates and friends, the soon-to-be SUU Class of 2018, and asked them what they really want to hear on graduation day: 


GRACE SCHULZ, communication

“All of you have the capacity to achieve wonderful things. You are the reason that I, [as a journalist], will be able to go to work everyday and endure hearing about all of the worst parts of the world. Because I will know that somewhere out there all of you are working hard to make sure that good is still ordinary. And I will report bad news for the rest of my life if it means that good continues on behind the scenes. From a news desk somewhere, I will be thinking of this group of people and knowing that the impact you make will far outlast the sad story I am covering that day. Be the good in the world and even the worst news will never truly make you feel hopeless.”

STARR DAVID, master of education

“The important thing to remember is that no matter what life gives you, accept it and be thankful for it, even the most challenging of moments. It is through these struggles that we become who we are. Recognize yourself and the potential you have, because you are the universe.”


RAELI MASINA, general studies

“It seems that the more we learn, the more we realize that we don’t know anything. When you know that you know nothing, you can tell you are getting smarter. The world is so vast and there is so much to discover. Our learning will not and should not stop here.”

MIKAEL SIMPSON, communication

“I am convinced that as we forge our paths and work with others, we can spark miraculous change in ourselves and in the world around us. So let us decide today to be that team member of the human race that never gives up. The team member that never loses sight of the big picture. The team member that values success in all its forms.”


AMMON HARRIS, interdisciplinary studies

“The Bristlecone Pine is a native tree of southern Utah and has found itself into T-Bird Nation history and tradition. The Bristlecone Pine is among the oldest living organism on the planet because its pure strength and commitment to life outmatches any other organism that tries to challenge it. These trees became an emblem of SUU students because, like the Bristlecone Pine, we experience change, we experience harsh conditions, we go to great heights where most would give up, and still live, and battle the storms, the conditions and the circumstances. We live on. We embrace change.”

JULIE VAN DIJK, education

“As each of us leave to our prospective fields, let’s take kindness with us. Let’s do our jobs in ways that add a little kindness here and there. I believe even the smallest act of kindness has a ripple effect. It spreads, and if we all work together, we can change the world.”


SARAH JONES, psychology

“You need to live through each day and find your in-between Patronus charm moments. The way Harry Potter, an orphan, created his first spell was a simple memory of his parents. We can let go of the idea that our personal Patronus charm moments are created from life changing events. The magic of life happens when we go through each day, actively looking for joy in the moments with those we love.”

ASHLYN JUDD, interdisciplinary studies

“SUU has given us the tools to be successful, but it is up to us to write our own stories. Every day we are writing a little bit more. I wish you all success. I hope that you do not feel alone as you go forward. I hope you take risks, I hope you fail with dignity and I hope you keep on trying. I hope you are proud of who you are today, tomorrow and forever.”


SIERRA BONNER, professional communication

“Some of you might be scared. You might be asking yourself, ‘where do I go from here?’ Wherever life after graduation takes you, let it take you somewhere that you love.”


“The choice to become great is one that we must make everyday. Choosing, in fact, is the easiest part. The hard part is actually putting in the work. The choice to become great carries with the co-requisites of daily focus and intent. My fellow Thunderbirds, I challenge you to rise up, take flight and use the potential within you to become not just good, but truly extraordinary.”

LINDSEY LOPEZ, vocal performance

“Our college experience is now coming to a close. Those few good notes that we began with [as freshman] now has character, wit and text. We are a symphony - a true performer now. The curtain has closed on our rehearsal of college and now as we face opening night with new hopes and dreams, we can walk out onto that stage with our spirits high. We are worth the wait. We will change the world and we will most certainly succeed. Break a leg out there!”


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