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Today I attended to the farewell ceremony, where I also got the great honour to give the valedictorian speech! I had prepared for a while, but in the last minute, I got feeling, and changedâ¦ quite a bit, haha! When I realized how big this was (like, yesterday), I also decided it would be appropriate to do some shopping. I went on a shopping spree, and bought all my clothes second hand, for no money at all.
Anyway, enough with the curiosa, time to get really nostalgic. Since I started at LinkÃ¶ping University, my life has changed so much over the time. Several chapters, beginnings and ends. And even if Iâm quite immature, I have matured a lot since I first came here.Â The last two years have been very hectic for me, but I donât regret a thing. All the travels, the project, the laughs, the parties, the lectures, the lessons.
Even if I donât like to share my speeches or poems in text, Iâm going to make an exception now. Here is the valedictorian speech I gave at LinkÃ¶ping university farewell ceremony 2017.
Dear graduating Students, Vice-Chancellor, Teachers, LiU representatives, Family and friendsâ¦
Today is a special day. Today, is the Farewell ceremony. This ceremony made me realise,
that this is it, the finishing line. I have studied at LinkÃ¶ping University for what seems like Â a looong time, I mean, even the logo and Â grading system has changed in the time we have been here! The last grade I got wasnât a number, it was a letter. DoesÂ anybody know what F equals to nowadays?
Anyway, I think that sums it up a little bit. Most in this room have studied for 2 years, Iâve studied for 5 years, and I didnât get straight A:s. (But donât tell my mom, she still thinks Iâm perfect!). Even if we enjoyed this time a lot, it wasnât always easy. So why did we do this? Why did I do this? Because. Iâve always dreamt about becoming a biologist.
I wanted to save animals and travel the world like David Attenborough. Thatâs why I came to LinkÃ¶ping university (no pressure there!), and you know what happened? They gave me the periodic table, made me learn ALL the chemical elements . Do you know how many there is? 118. I was like… Really? Did David Attenborough have to learn this?! But as it turns out, the periodic table was more than that.
I thought Iâd share with you Â the 5 most important lessons Iâve learned at LinkÃ¶ping University. One lesson per year might not sound too impressive, but believe me, these are Â the kind of lessons that I will take with me for the rest of my life, and I hope that you will bring some of them with you, as well.Â Even if I hated chemistry, I learned the periodic table. Because, this is when I learned the first important lesson; to see the bigger picture, to set up goals.
In order to get this degree, I had to learn the basics, even if I didnât see the relevance in knowing that Hafnium has, in fact, 72 protons in its atomic core, I did it and after a lot struggles,I passed the exams. I did not walk a straight line to this point. Iâm sure most of us know the feeling. Experimental and Medical Biosciences, Intelligent Transport Systems, Atlantis and computer engineering.. These are just some of the 19 international programs, which are gathered here today.
We come from different nations, speak different languages, and all of us have travelled a unique path through our education. And we all ended up here, in this room, to celebrate that we have now reached an important goal in our lives. We should feel proud!
I donât know about you, but being a student here was also the first international context of my life, where I studied, partied, socialised and hung out with students from all over the world.
We all learned about our different cultures and ways of living, we shared our stories and our time. And what is most remarkable, are all the things that we do have in common, not the differences. The second lesson I learned was to see this, and the recognize the value of working Â together.
We got to know LinkÃ¶ping and NorrkÃ¶ping, the delicate affair of pronunciation, you know LINN-kÃ¶ping and LIID-KÃ¶ping. We learned that in the strict world of academia, one oâclock means quarter past one (â¦or somewhat past that). We got to know Swedish practices such as visits to IKEA, enthusiasm for endless queuing and maybe the most important of them all; the time honoured tradition of the Swedish Fika.
We did learn the discipline of studies, to collaborate and cooperate, the importance of transparency, to be critical and to recognize that the world is not black or white. Itâs complex. All of this, we take with us now as we leave the time as students, becoming graduates. The third lesson Iâve learned, is the value of research in a society where people now use the term âalternative factsâ.
As we enter the job market, we might be seen as âinexperiencedâ. But that may also be our greatest advantage, as we are able to think outside the box. This is necessary as we live in a world, with political instability, climate change and species loss. These challenges must be tackled, and for that, we need to be creative.
Thanks to my years at LinkÃ¶ping University, I have become a conservation biologist, with expertise in tigers. I was given the opportunity to study abroad, in India and Cambodia. Iâm now ready to continue, trying to save the tigers and the forests. What are your dreams for the future? The fourth lesson I would like to share with you is to keep dreaming. In this room, we got hundreds of dreams, just waiting to be realised.
We all have a great responsibility, and with our combined knowledge and skills, Iâm sure we are all eager to do our share towards a better, more sustainable world. The final lesson Iâve learned and that Iâd like to share with you, is that we are able to make a change.
Thank you, LinkÃ¶ping for learning me these lessons. Thank you all for this time.