Loud Thoughts

Last Lecture Takeaways

I leave with no regrets and a new favorite color to wear proudly for the rest of my life.

Graduation is way too soon and these last few months have been a whirlwind of bucket list inspired events and moments worth framing. UNC has left a permanent blue stain on my heart and I will never wash it away.

The other night I had the privilege of attending the Senior Last Lecture given by Senior Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Winston Crisp, or as he referred to himself, Crispy.

Honestly, I sat down with only the slightest realization that I am about to turn the tassel. It was only after a few fond memories of the Prince era, that Vice Chancellor Crisp made me realize the seat I was sitting in was only temporary.

It is almost time to turn the page, to wear that blue gown, and to be thankful.

When I realized how fortunate I was to be sitting in that seat among my best friends in the quad of my favorite place, I began soaking up each breath like it was my last.

“Intelligence and wisdom are two different things,” he said before he began distilling thoughtful realizations that can only be learned with time. He said the summation of wisdom is intelligence plus expertise. And from there he broke down expertise as a long series of failures. Maybe his advice will save me from some of my own failures but becuase they are inevitable, I know it is in how I handle them, that reveals true character.

Life is made up of choices even when we don’t know we’re making one. We don’t choose every little thing that happens to us in life, but we can choose the way we experience it.

As someone wiser once said, “Don’t sweat the small stuff, almost everything is the small stuff.” As hard as it is to laugh the “small” things off, it is harder to erase the wrinkles in the future.

Crisp continued his lecture by enforcing how insignificant we really are in the face of the Universe. It is through the power of perspective that we are able to grow from each other and understand the  view from the other side. He encouraged us to walk across the street. Before making a judgement or claim, we must venture to the other side and maybe we will gain a little empathy along the way.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. “It’s the golden rule for reason,” Crisp said. Sometimes we overlook simple sayings like this because we’ve heard them every year since we were in preschool. But he made me think about this act in a different way, emphasizing “as you would have them.” “It’s not as they have done unto you,” he reminded us.

And lastly, dance. “Choose to grab life instead of waiting for it to come to you,” he concluded.

That’s a choice.




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