Text of student Eni Asebiomo’s 2018 Baccalaureate speech
Following is the prepared text of the 2018 Baccalaureate student reflection by Eni Asebiomo, a graduating senior majoring in computer science.
We all came here for the same reason – to learn.
Regardless of our various involvements – whether academic, musical, athletic and so much more, the one thing that connects us all is our inherent desire to become more than who we are by learning – learning about the world, and the people in it.
Iʼve learned a lot in the last four years at Stanford. I learned how to navigate through bikers, skateboarders and pedestrians in the circle of death during rush hour. I learned how to play a stop sign, and I even learned how to breathe fire. I got to have lunch with Oprah, and I learned about her unique perspectives on life, love and the importance of truly listening to your own voice.
While so many of the things I learned were fun and exciting, some of the most important lessons were extremely painful and challenging. One of the first things I learned here is just how tough it can be trying to balance all the aspects of life on the Farm. I learned how it feels to be completely overwhelmed by the difficulties of Stanford.
I learned what it is like to truly doubt my own ability, and feel like the only person in the classroom who doesnʼt understand what is going on. But because of that, I learned how to seek help when I need it – I learned that Iʼm never the only one struggling and that I really do have the skills and capability to do what I set my mind to.
I learned how to have difficult conversations at them most unexpected of times – both as an RA [resident assistant] and as a friend – and I learned just how important these conversations can be.
“Because of those we have surrounded ourselves with, weʼve had the opportunity to learn, grow and challenge ourselves in some of the most astounding and incredible ways.”
Graduating Senior in Computer Science
I learned what it felt like to celebrate the end of finals by popping a bottle of champagne in the grass of the engineering quad. Then I learned what it felt like to cry in that exact same spot a few months later, after receiving one of the most disappointing rejections of my life. I learned how to pull countless all-nighters and just how crazy group projects can get in the early hours of the morning.
I learned all of this alongside you: the Class of 2018. I learned how immense the amount of beauty, love, intelligence and extraordinary strength that can be contained in a single individual. I learned how important it is to be there for a friend when it feels like everything is falling apart, and no one can help put the pieces back together. I learned how indescribably special it is to have those who would do the same for you, without question.
I learned about my place in the world – about privilege, and how I can use mine to empower others.
Damn. I learned a lot.
Take a minute to think of everyone who taught you anything at all in the last four years – whether that was advanced coursework, or what it feels like to be truly cared for – and thank them.
We all came here for the same reason – to learn. And learn we did. Because of those we have surrounded ourselves with, weʼve had the opportunity to learn, grow and challenge ourselves in some of the most astounding and incredible ways.
Thank you, Class of 2018, for being some of the best teachers I could ever ask for. You taught me how to live life, how to love life, and what it means to be a Stanford Cardinal. Remember – even though we may not be students for much longer, this is just the beginning of our education.