PLATTSBURGH-The StateUniversity of New York at Plattsburgh awarded diplomas to more than 900 students during the college's spring commencement exercises May 21.
The morning and afternoon ceremonies were opportunities for students like Christine Pawlowicz, a childhood and special education major from Goshen, to address the crowd, reflecting on their time spent at the university.
The receipt of a diploma was something Pawlowicz referred to as "the carrot that's been dangled in front of our faces for the past several years" and a representation of "everything it has taken to get to this point."
"It represents what classes we've taken, the late nights we spent studying and researching, and the worse of intellect and art we have produced," said Pawlowicz, who addressed the morning ceremony.
"Let us collect carrots if we come to them, and not spend our whole lives with our hand reaching out for them."
Olapeju Oyeyemi, student speaker for the afternoon ceremony, also reflected on the hard work of herself and her peers over the past four years. However, Oyeyemi also focused on how her initial perception of college before she came to the U.S. from the small island of Dominica in the Caribbean, was much different from what she saw on television. Oyeyemi envisioned her college experience to be like that on the former NBCtelevision show "ADifferentWorld," but she eventually found she would draw "few parallels between PlattsburghState and the idealized Hillman College."
However, Oyeyemi said she did find Plattsburgh State "paramount" in her search for moral significance.
"Plattsburgh has been a mixture of experiences, both good and bad for many of us," said Oyeyemi. "We've all had times when this school was the best place to be and others when we absolutely wanted out. We've all been tested by uncomfortable roommate experiences, all-nighters and course material that took way too long to grasp."