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Aging Studies Grad Ready to Enter Industry That ‘Impacts the Lives of So Many People’

College of Humanities and Social Sciences Student Commencement Speech
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Deeyanna Pedersen, M.S. gerontology

Hello, aging studies students! I am so excited to congratulate you on the end of another school year and welcome you to the beginning of a new adventure.

Some of your journeys today are leading you into a new territory of leadership and others are celebrating a milestone. I have grown so much throughout these last two years, and all of you have grown with me. Like many of you, it was a long road to get here. I fought to stand here, and it means so much to be a graduating graduate student. Our field right now is small, but it is growing. Whether you realize it or not, we are going to be the leaders of an industry that impacts the lives of so many people.

In this industry, burnout is prevalent. Please remember to do the things that feed your soul, because when your cup runneth over, you can then pour into someone else’s. In the spirit of that, I would like to give all of you two pieces of advice:

One, if you’re trying to be the best, be the best ‘you’ because success is what you decide it is. In the game of life, the high score you’re trying to beat is yours.

Two, in my life, there is one thing that has never failed me, one sure fire way to add light to my dark. Never underestimate the power of a nap. When things are just too much, it is a nap that has pulled me through. I am going to take one as soon as this is over.

To those continuing your education, you can achieve! To my graduates, you have achieved, and to everyone, have a good nap.