On graduation day, you'll be sure to hear the theme from "New York, New York" playing on the loudspeakers at the close of the ceremony. But even as Frank Sinatra sings "If I can make it here, I'll make it anywhere," know that making it to Columbia, and making it to graduation day, does not mean that you've made it in the real world. For all of your academic successes, you will have to prove yourself all over again in life after college.
Columbia is an amazing place, and I hope you found your college experience to be as nurturing as I have. No matter your next steps, whether or not you know exactly what those steps may be, prepare yourself for the new challenges ahead of you. Have the right mindset and do not fall victim to any semblance of Ivy League Entitlement. Nothing in life is given. You have to earn everything.
Congratulations are due to you for all of your hard work in getting to the finish line on graduation day. I hope you feel ready as you begin the rest of your life. May you prosper and do your part in making the world a better place for everyone, especially for those who have not had the amazing opportunities from which you have benefited thus far.
-Anthony R. '13SEAS