The school year at St. John’s University has already commenced. Nonetheless, on behalf of the members of the Torch, I would like to take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to you all.
A semester ago, I was in the same shoes as most of you are today: lonely, anxious and nervous. However, I do remember that in spite of my nerves, I knew I had made the right choice to attend St. John’s as it has changed my life.
Has my college experience here been perfect so far? No, it has not. I knew no one at St. John’s. I felt that I just didn’t fit in. I always got lost on my way to classes and I was too scared to ask for help when I needed it. But my classes were really stimulating, my professors challenged me in ways I had not been challenged before, I made wonderful new friends and my homesickness soon washed out as I found my calling at St. John’s. Before I knew it, I was engrossed in my new life at this prestigious university.
I encourage you to take risks, to challenge yourselves, to grow and to try things that may seem unattainable. Don’t just sit back and absorb—be an active participant in your education: ask questions, seek answers.
An education is much more than a degree—a St. John’s education is preparation for not only a “lifetime of earning, but a lifetime of learning.” I encourage you to participate in student activities. Join one of the many organizations, take part in sports, try out for a play or musical, or participate in the Vincentian service programs. Find your passion. Take full advantage of your stay here for the next four years and be sure not to waste a minute.
I want to assure all of you that there is no one way to be a “Johnny”. No distinct look, no particular lifestyle or culture, or style of dress and no assigned intellectual path. Just give everyone in the St. John’s family the respect due to each of them and take full advantage of learning from each other as well as from the excellent and dedicated faculty.
St John’s University is more than just an institution for learning. It’s a family which welcomes its new members with “open hands, open minds and above all, OPEN HEARTS.”
Once again, I would like to welcome the class of 2018 to the St. John’s family and I wish you all the best.