Campus Life

‘Soak In Every Moment’: Student Commencement Speakers Share Advice For Fellow Aggies

Ahead of this week’s ceremonies at Reed Arena, distinguished members of the Class of 2024 offered words of wisdom for freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors.
By Texas A&M University Division of Marketing and Communications May 9, 2024

a photo of a hand with an Aggie ring grasping a mortarboard with a Texas A&M stole below
Spring commencement ceremonies are being held this week, with roughly 12,400 Aggies set to receive their diplomas.

Laura McKenzie/Texas A&M Division of Marketing & Communications


More than 12,000 Texas A&M University students will receive their degrees this week at spring commencement ceremonies in Reed Arena. In addition to remarks from Texas A&M President Gen. (Ret.) Mark A. Welsh III and other campus leaders, each ceremony will feature a speech from an outstanding member of this year’s graduating class, reflecting on their unique experiences in Aggieland and imparting words of inspiration for their fellow graduates.

Before taking the stage, a few of these notable Aggies spoke with Texas A&M Today to share advice and perspectives for students at each phase of their academic journey. From incoming freshmen to members of next year’s graduating class, it’s crucial for all Aggies to take full advantage of the boundless opportunities available to them, the student speakers said.

A photo of a young man in a suit and tie standing outdoors smiling
Physics senior Jordan Bass is speaking at the 9 a.m. commencement on Thursday, May 9.

Michael Miller/Texas A&M AgriLife Marketing and Communications

Jordan Bass, Physics – Graduating Thursday, May 9

For freshmen, I would encourage you to keep your minds truly open. Texas A&M is a big place with a lot of opportunities, and a lot of places to stand out. Use this year to take some risks, make new connections and friendships, and try a lot of new things while you’re discovering your long-term goals. This is the year you will have the least pressure and the easiest classes, so be sure to take advantage of that and discover who you are and what you love.

To the sophomores, spend this year setting your goals. Figure out what kind of leader you want to be and where you want to really invest your time in the Bryan-College Station community. Whether it’s on campus, off campus, Greek life, whatever, use this year to figure out how you want to leave this place better than you found it, and what issues you’ll be able to have a unique impact on.

a photo of a young man in a suit and tie smiling indoors
Bioenvironmental Sciences senior Miles Coltyn Cook is speaking at the 9 a.m. commencement on Friday, May 10.

Courtesy of Miles Coltyn Cook

For juniors, take this year to step up and start being a proactive leader. Set your plans in motion, make your impacts, and help others around you. This year is important for defining your character and starting to fortify the skills and values that will carry you beyond A&M’s campus and into the real world.

For seniors, take this time to have fun. Push hard toward the finish line, of course, but also appreciate the little things like the memories and friendships and impacts that you’ve made along the way. Truly try to make every moment of this year memorable, and realize that you’re about to leave the safety and familiarity that you’ve grown accustomed to, and start once again as a “freshman” at the school of life. Be humble, be grateful and be happy that you’ve had the time you’ve had here, and make the most of the little time that you have left.

Miles Coltyn Cook, Bioenvironmental Sciences – Graduating Friday, May 10

For incoming freshmen, get involved in organizations that you enjoy. In my own experience, being involved with these organizations created lifelong friendships that I will cherish forever.

For sophomores, it is essential to not overextend yourself. Although it may seem you have your routine down, it is imperative to focus on your academics, as well as the relationships you have already built in your freshman year.

During junior year, continue to build relationships with the people you have relationships with. Although it may seem like two years left is a long time, it will fly by faster than you know it.

Congratulations, seniors, you’re almost there! Soak in every moment and cherish the time with your friends. Be spontaneous, have fun and remember every second you have at this great university.

a photo of a young woman smiling in a maroon dress and Texas A&M graduation stole
Political Science senior Sarai Robinson is speaking at the 9 a.m. commencement on on Saturday, May 11.

Courtesy of Sarai Robinson

Sarai Robinson, Political Science – Graduating Saturday, May 11

Freshmen: Be open to experiencing new events and doing things that YOU want to do. College is a great opportunity to find yourself and know what you are capable and fond of without the restraints of previous experiences. Be safe, have fun and take care of yourself and your business!

Sophomores: Challenge yourself to do things that you normally would not do. Comfortability is often dangerous as we are constrained to similar people, ways of thinking and habits. It is OK to grow, let go and move to the next chapter of your life. Don’t be stuck in the past when the future awaits you.

Juniors: You are almost there! It may seem like a continuous cycle but do not forget your goals, your “why” for attending A&M and your plans. Be patient with yourself and if you’re doing great already, pace yourself and do not burn yourself out. You got this!

Seniors: Take all that you’ve learned over the last four years of college and apply it to the life you are about to enter. Especially the lessons you learned from your negative experiences. Go into this next chapter, do things for yourself, do not compare yourself to others, especially your peers, and be open to receiving good and bad journeys.

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