RLL Commencement Celebration

The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures honored the graduation of undergraduate and graduate students with a celebration at UB's Center for Tomorrow, May 20, 2022.  Class of 2020 alum Jaycee Miller spoke to the graduates' resilience, flexibility and determination to succeed throughout the pandemic, excellent preparation for life in the "real world."

Inspiring words of encouragement from Jaycee's real world experience:

Create meaningful ways to integrate the skills you gained in the classroom into whatever comes next for you. For some of you, it might be working, or graduate school, or starting a family. The skills you have in communicating and creating cross-cultural understanding are indispensable to community resilience. The ways we put these skills to use might not always be direct, and they might not always be inherently altruistic. Sometimes, knowing French or Italian snowballs how quickly you’re able to learn another language when it might be needed. Or maybe, that next series on Netflix you want to watch is just better in Spanish. We should cherish the things we learned, the professors who inspired us, stood by us, and rooted for us, and we should try to leave this place called Earth better than we found it.

Secondly, and this might be the most challenging part: Find the sweet spot between planning each of your goals down to the micrometer and burying yourself in them, and simply navigating life’s doors as they open and close. A friend once told me that when we plan, God laughs, and while that might be more cynical than I am willing to accept, the plan in question did not come to fruition, and I found myself better off in retrospect. You’ve already demonstrated your strength and flexibility as you adapted to an ever changing landscape of higher education, along with all the other enormous societal changes that the last few years have brought upon us. The “real world,” has kind of been with you all along.