Graduate Han Na Choi spoke to graduates at Saturday’s 2019 winter graduation ceremony. (UC Berkeley video by Academic Expertise Companies)

“By no means stop studying,” graduate Han Na Choi informed graduates throughout her speech at Saturday’s winter graduation. “You got here right here to study, and I encourage you to continue learning once you depart. Right here I’ll give you the basic Dr. Seuss quote that comes with each commencement speech: ‘The extra that you simply study, the extra locations you’ll go!’ Don’t put the brakes in your training. Step on the pedal and speed up your studying. Keep hungry, be humble and deliberately search out new information.”

Listed below are Choi’s ready remarks from the winter graduation ceremony:

Chancellor Christ, speaker Bob Haas, dad and mom, family and friends, welcome!

And graduates of 2019: Congratulations! You made it.

We entered into this college wide-eyed and mystified, anticipating and fearing the massive adjustments that will happen in our lives. All through school, we might have skilled losses, or Ls, for these within the know. Just like the L we took when PG&E reduce off campus energy throughout fireplace season. Or the L we took once we obtained our first pc science midterm again in 61A.

Nevertheless, via our Ls, we have now grown in quite a few methods, and I wish to share with you a chunk of my journey.

This previous summer time, I went to Kabul, Afghanistan with my Berkeley Christian fellowship to work with native youngsters and college college students. I skilled many issues, ranging from the second I stepped off the airplane and felt the warmth and dirt hit my scarf-wrapped head. I walked previous brown buildings and marveled on the dimension of the lengthy, oval-shaped melons and the scent of beef kebab filling the air.

In the future, I struck up a dialog with a teen woman, who seen I regarded a bit completely different. I mentioned “Chetor asten,” which is Dari for, “How are you?” After some chitchat, she informed me her birthday was approaching, and I gleefully mentioned, “Let’s have a good time collectively!”

So, just a few of my teammates from America and I traveled to a village on the outskirts of Kabul just a few days later to have a good time Narges and share our tradition of birthday events. Her household unexpectedly invited us to remain for 2 days, one thing Individuals not often do for individuals we don’t know. As her entire prolonged household joined us, we made them occasion hats and birthday banners. In return, they taught us tips on how to make “Ashok,” Afghan dumplings, and confirmed us meticulous strategies for embroidering conventional Afghan designs. We acknowledged that we might each study from one another and have become pals.

Earlier than flying 28 hours to Afghanistan, I believed I’d be educating the individuals about Western social values and ideologies, and but I gained so many experiences which have given my life clear course. I found my profession path in public well being, the significance of service and fairness, and the great thing about residing amongst strangers in a special land. I realized that you may dwell with much less, and that refugees are individuals identical to us with on a regular basis desires and desires. Narges jumped with pleasure throughout her occasion, and her mom smiled with pleasure once we began dancing in the midst of the night time. All of us, together with this household, want to be seen, to be heard. Residing overseas confirmed me three new L’s that I hope all of us depart with immediately — to study, to dwell, and to like others.

The primary L is to study.

By no means stop studying. You got here right here to study, and I encourage you to continue learning once you depart. Right here I’ll give you the basic Dr. Seuss quote that comes with each commencement speech: “The extra that you simply study, the extra locations you’ll go!” Don’t put the brakes in your training. Step on the pedal and speed up your studying. Keep hungry, be humble, and deliberately search out new information.

The following L is to dwell.

You’ve got been given the reward of 1 valuable life. Dwell it totally, and make it your individual. No one else goes to pursue your goals of making that startup with bitcoin, launching a brand new body-positive trend line, or beginning greater training faculties for girls in Afghanistan. Life is consistently shifting, so breathe, and applaud yourselves for residing bravely.

The final L is for love.

A buddy as soon as informed me that love is the fifth dimension. One other mentioned it’s the sensation you get when somebody provides to purchase you boba.

At Berkeley, we’d have fallen in love with a major different … or the llamas on Memorial Glade … or the spirit and the win of this fall’s Huge Recreation. Go Bears!

I consider we’re born to be beloved and to like. … Jesus mentioned, “Love your neighbors. Love your enemies.” Construct connections with these round you, whether or not that’s your neighbor throughout the road, throughout the border in Mexico, or throughout the oceans in Afghanistan. We have now obtained the ability to Love. So, act with persistence and kindness. Rejoice in one another’s joys. Forgive one another when issues get arduous. and Make sacrifices. As others have sacrificed themselves for us to be right here immediately, might we additionally take the daring step of providing our lives to share the ability to like for all.

Fellow Bears, might we develop with every new L that comes our manner, and try to Be taught, Dwell, and Love our neighbors and our enemies within the ever-expanding mild of Berkeley. Fiat Lux. Thanks and to the category of 2019, congratulations! We did it!