Good afternoon President, VPS, Deans and Associate Deans, Distinguished Professors, Alumni and Students!
My name is Kimberly Moffit and I am a proud alumna of the University of Guelph! And Welcome to YOUR first day of being a proud future graduate of the University of Guelph. I am incredibly honoured and excited to be here today. To be back in the place where I started my educational career is nostalgic and humbling, and reminds me of how I began. It brings back lots of fun memories, and also memories of dreaming, inspiration, and hard work. It also is an enormous reminder just how much my life has changed in the 8 years since I graduated from Guelph.
As many of you know, Iâve spent my career dedicated to helping people improve their relationships. University is a time that focuses heavily on relationships: Itâs about the relationship you have with your knowledge and philosophies, itâs about the relationships that youâre making right now with your new friends (many of whom will be your friends for life) itâs about the changing relationship with your parents, but most importantly, University is a place to work on and improve the relationship you have with yourself â which is arguably the most important relationship of all.
Iâd like to start today by telling you a little bit about my experiences at Guelph, how they shaped my career decisions and outlook on life. Then, Iâll give you my best advice on how you can use your University experience to better yourself, to grow, and to create the most successful and abundant future that you can possibly have.
I wouldn’t have believed if you told me that after graduating in 2006 that only eight years later I would be up here speaking before of all of the incoming students. The truth is, when I started at Guelph I had no idea what my future had in store for me. I changed my major three times before ultimately deciding that I wanted to major in music. Music was the perfect choice for me because I had already been a professional musician for three years so I figured I couldnât go wrong. AND was a total perfectionist, so I loved the challenge of hearing or reading something unique and then working at absolutely perfecting it. Despite how much I loved to study music, it really bothered me that I didnât know what the heck I would do after graduation. I was always nervous when people asked me, âWhat do You plan do with a MUSIC degree?â
The dilemma I had back then was a very similar dilemma to one that many of the young clients I work with now in my therapy practice face. And maybe many of you are wondering about it to. Where will I go from here? How will I use the degree Iâve chosen and how will that translate to a real life job.
So, how did I go from being a bachelor of music student to a psychotherapist, TV guest and the owner of one of Ontario’s largest therapy practices? The answer was this: By focusing on the learning, the growth, and the experience, and using those cues to guide your career. In short? Just start by doing what you love.
Doing what I loved was making beautiful music. That music led to a Masters Degree in Music Therapy, which led to a practicum at CAMH, and ended up leading to a Doctor of Psychology degree. Promise me that youâll try not to stress about the end result all the time. Do what makes your heart feel joyful. Do lots of it, and be the absolute BEST at what you do. Over time, the answer to how that will translate to the perfect career for you will become the most obvious thing in the world.
I have a few words of advice that have carried me through my university career:
1.Â Â Â Â Â Set goals: Yearly, long term. A recent study at Harvard showed thatâŠ. I personally started setting goalsâŠ
2.Â Â Â Â Â Get involved and leave your mark in the Guelph community. (and no, I donât mean just leaving your name on a stall in the Doogieâs bathroom) Guelph is a thriving place that has a multitude of cultural and geographical gems. Through my part time jobs and volunteer work, I saw another side of Guelph, one that wasnât just in the University âbubbleâ
3.Â Â Â Â Â Feel lucky and blessed to be receiving one of the greatest privileges of all â the opportunity to earn a university degree. The opportunity to immerse yourself in thought, in study, and in creativity. The time and the space to fill your mind with everything you could ever want to know and to do it with passion. Please relish this opportunity, it may be one of the only times in your life you have four full years to focus on your education.
4.Â Â Â Â Â Finally, itâs in all of your best interests to contribute to the University of Guelphâs amazing reputation. After all, the University just turned 50. During your lifetime, it will reach its 100thbirthday, and Iâm sure will have reached many more internationally recognized milestones. Itâs all of our responsibilities to be ambassadors for our alma mater. That starts today. What can you do today, as a student, to increase the profile of YOUR future alma mater? Well, you can Post, share, and tweet about Guelph â you know that picture you took with the Gryphon? Well your friends and relatives are going to see that on your facebook and maybe theyâll comment on how awesome the University of Guelph is.
Iâm also so glad that, in a number of years, youâll all be joining me in the alumni family â and youâll also become ambassadors for this amazing school. Being an alumni is for life – itâs not just about getting your degree and getting out. The University of Guelph has consistently been ranked one of the best educational institutions in the country, so when you wear that U of G sweater, itâs an instant connection â to other alumni, to current students, and even to people who recognize the University of Guelph and say wow, you went there! I personally love to wear my U of G sweater at home in Toronto â itâs always a conversation starter.
I would like to conclude this chat with a quote by one of my personal favourite women, Oprah Winfrey.
âCreate the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.â
I know that all of you are able to envision and create lives for yourself that are fruitful and that you can be proud of.Â Enjoy every moment of your career as a university student, donât forget to dream, and Iâll see you on the other side.
By: Kimberly Moffit