Valedictorian address at the 2013 Graduation Ceremony
By Sarah Rossy, Music and Science Double DCS
A time of transition and experiment
These past few years, when faraway family members have asked what I’m doing with school, I have happily responded “CEGEP!” “What?” They would ask, “That sounds like some sort of deadly illness!” And then I would proceed to delve into the long and complex operation of trying to explain just what CEGEP is.
I came up with the following:
– A state of limbo between high school and an open-ended future;
– A brief period of experimentation;
– Or even, a transition into the real world!
Indeed, this all seems very cut-and-dry in words, yet now that we have earned ourselves the title of “CEGEP Graduates” we know that it has been so much more than that.
Memories, mentors, and mind training
So, what has it been, really? Now that we are cloaked and hatted, sitting amongst our friends, family, and teachers, I think it’s fair to say that our “CEGEP” experience was defi ned by the memories, mentors, and mind training we’ve had the privilege of encountering through the greater Vanier College community.
The quirks of Vanier student life
While Monday mornings were ever-painful, Thursday early rises were always made joyful by free breakfasts at the VCSA (thank you!). Wednesday UB activities were always diverse and dynamic, from pie-eating competitions to karaoke in Jake’s. And now, even at the end of our stay at Vanier, we still can’t fi nd the E500s, connect to VC Secure in A, or hide our illegal food in the library. What we do have, however, are new levels of reasoning, countless friendships, and the pride of knowing that we did it! We conquered CEGEP!
Teachers and staff who help and support students
Of course, none of our student success would have been possible without endless help and support. Professors and staff of Vanier, I cannot emphasize enough how your leadership, mentoring, and care have helped and inspired each and every young mind in this room. Your incentives to maintain The Learning Center, the Math and Science Centre, the CLEO and countless other study centers are dearly appreciated and have contributed greatly to student success. Thank you for having shared your experience
and advice with us throughout our stay here.
Maturity and dreams
Though every graduate here will soon embark on their own unique path, Vanier will forever remain a checkpoint in our years of young adulthood as the place where we matured a little more, held our heads a little higher, and dreamt a little bigger. This room is bursting with potential, fi lled with future doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, musicians, and political leaders. How exciting is that? We have acquired the tools here at Vanier to pursue higher levels of education and careers in the technical disciplines with confi dence and excellence. So, while this ceremonial conclusion is meant to cap off this part of our lives, consider it to be a countdown to what is to be discovered beyond it.
Vanier – one of the biggest adventures to date
Three years ago, I entered Vanier with doubts: would I be anything more than a 7-digit number? Would these classmates and professors ultimately become my friends and mentors? Looking back on it, these fears were clearly irrational. Vanier College has been wonderful – one of the biggest adventures to date. So, administrators, educators, and supporters, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Fellow grads, best of luck in whatever the future may hold for you. The world is ours as the youthful generation; we are at the forefront of change and progress. Our potential spans beyond the corners of these caps or the corners of this room; the world is corner-less! It’s ours to explore. Congratulations, Vanier College graduates of 2013.