Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Listen up seniors, cause this is it

Rachel Choi
Illustration Rachel Choi

Opinion editors are not responsible for agreeing or disagreeing with their writers but rather elevate each individual’s specific voice. 

My four years of college are rapidly coming to an end. Four years filled with so much emotion, so much growth, and so much clarity. Most importantly, four years filled with so many people who have transformed every part of who I am: the class of 2024.

This is a group of individuals that has taught me so much, challenged me endlessly, and given me consistent strength. 

I grew up in a small town where not much was questioned, and I fell into that rut. I ignorantly embraced an American education that brushed over the tough stuff. I chanted at football games, and I joined my friends in drinking cheap liquor in the basement of someone’s parents’ house. 

Then, I came to Emerson, and the cheap liquor turned into $15 cocktails at Carrie’s. But, more importantly, all of the dim light bulbs clouding my mind finally had a reason to shine. And that reason is you, the class of 2024. 

I was introduced to a group of fearless individuals. We are strong with our words and passionate with our dreams, and that is what makes this class and this institution as beautiful as it is. We stand on our own two feet and not only identify what is wrong with the world around us, but also take the next step and suggest how to fix that wrong. We shatter the foundations of the status quo as we challenge ethics and morality, and as we challenge the baselessness of exclusivity while wholeheartedly welcoming inclusivity. We practice empathy. 

Coming to this school opened me to a set of emotions that I’d never truly experienced. Growing up, I saw empathy shine through my dad as he worked with his clients and traveled near and far to help diverse communities. And I often wondered where he got the strength to do that—how could someone practice so much compassion for people they don’t truly know? Then I came to Emerson. 

Here, you all taught me that empathy is like meditation: it comes naturally once you let yourself succumb to it. And from that point on, there will always be a side of you that not only understands another’s point of view, but also takes the time to reflect on it. There will be a side of you that isn’t afraid to show compassion to someone completely different from you. You taught me that, and you will continue to spread that wisdom beyond your years. 

As we pack up our college selves to head into the real world, we carry not only this powerful skill, but also a sense of confidence in ourselves and the fire to spark change. We are ready to embark on yet another life-defining journey, ready to challenge how things are done to transform what we’ve known and recreate for the better. Wherever and whenever that is. 

If I leave you with one piece of advice, class of 2024, it will be this: your degree does not define you. I know this might not be the time and place to bust this one out, but trust me, it’s really simple. 

Our time at Emerson wasn’t just about taking notes, creating pitch decks, and editing content. We spent our days exploring all the avenues that the creative world has to offer, asking the tough questions, and probing the necessary discussions—all of which gave us an education beyond our declared major. We wholeheartedly examined what it means to apply our unique thinking to different industries so that our ideas and dreams aren’t caged. 

To all those in the audience, this group we are here to celebrate is like none other. They are fierce like lions and shine like the gold that dons Emerson. 

You are individuals with talents that surpass what a piece of paper says. You are capable of making an impact in whatever realm life takes you in. So, first frame your degree because it was definitely a tough one to get, and then take all you’ve learned to wherever your heart desires. 

To the class of 2024, a group of students who moved into the Little Building amidst global chaos, I applaud you. We have taught each other to unapologetically be ourselves, to be creatives that will lead the generations to come, and to demand change with an influential and unwavering voice.

Thank you for your resilience, thank you for your passion, thank you for your camaraderie, and thank you for being the most inspiring peers anyone could ask for. 

And so, I end with this: ‘Hi everybody! My name is Mariyam Quaisar, I use the she series of pronouns, I’m a journalism and BCE double major with a minor in sociology, and my fun fact is these past four years have been the best of my life.’

Congratulations my friends, you are incredible! 

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Mariyam Quaisar
Mariyam Quaisar, Managing Editor
Mariyam Quaisar (she/her) is a senior journalism and BCE double major from Brookfield, Connecticut. She served as editor-in-chief and business operations. She loves to share her views on “unconventional” topics and will never turn down a steamy plate of chicken wings. 

Comments (0)

The Berkeley Beacon intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. We welcome strong opinions and criticism that are respectful and constructive. Comments are only posted once approved by a moderator and you have verified your email. All users are expected to adhere to our comment section policy. READ THE FULL POLICY HERE: https://berkeleybeacon.com/comments/
All Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *