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Be the Author of Your Own Story


Dear distinguished guests, faculty, alumni, friends, and the graduating class of Peking University,

My name is Daria, from HSBC Business School, and I am honored to represent the graduating class of 2023 from Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School to share my graduation speech. I am delighted to celebrate this important moment with all of you.

First and foremost, I want to extend my heartfelt congratulations to each and every one of you for your unwavering dedication and hard work – we made it!! Let us take a moment to applaud ourselves for the incredible achievements we have accomplished throughout this three-year journey, filled with unforeseen events, challenges, and remarkable opportunities.

Our graduating class is unlike any other. We commenced our academic journey amidst the peak of a pandemic, and despite the numerous obstacles we encountered, we seized every opportunity to thrive. Do you recall how it all began? Perhaps, in the beginning, as we transitioned to online learning, we anticipated a somewhat more relaxed academic experience. Little did we know how different and unexpectedly challenging it would turn out to be. During that period, we experienced scheduling conflicts, communication difficulties, lack of motivation, and even burnout. However, instead of giving in to these difficulties, we transformed them into unique experiences. By building each other up, offering support, motivation, and unwavering assistance, we have truly grown together.

I believe that constantly learning from experiences in life is important, as it is a crucial part of our growth. I have been looking forward to returning to school, hoping to create more wonderful memories of studying abroad. Now that I have returned, I have finally fulfilled this wish. Peking University is the vanguard of constant innovation. The rich campus culture at Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School has allowed me to experience the fusion of Peking University's legacy and the entrepreneurial spirit of Shenzhen. I thoroughly enjoy the campus atmosphere here. During my time as a student, I actively participated in numerous activities on campus and outside the campus and joined various student organizations. I have been involved in events such as the New Student Welcome Celebration Party, the Top Ten Singers Competition, the International Talent Exchange Conference, Xili Lake Art Week, and exploring the culture of Peking University, Shenzhen and China with my fellow classmates. As an international student, graduate student, association member, host, actor, and friend, I created wonderful memories with my classmates and teachers. These experiences have further immersed me in the rich cultural heritage of Peking University and allowed me to understand the university's philosophy of "freedom of thought and inclusiveness." It has also enabled me to truly appreciate the youthful energy of China as well the open and innovative spirit of Shenzhen.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the support of our loved ones—our families, partners, friends, and the dedicated professors who guided us along the way. They stood beside us during moments of growth and never ceased to believe in our potential.

As we prepare to embark on the next chapter of our lives, I would like to share some life lessons, that I have learned during the time I was pursuing higher education.

· Embrace self-expression: Never be afraid to express and show yourself. In the beginning of the semester, I used to be very shy in class,constantly worried about being judged. I assumed that everyone would judge me by my answer. I thought, “What if I say something silly? Or not, right? What if my classmates and Professor will think that I lack knowledge?”. I created perceptions of how others might view me, which hindered my confidence and growth. Thinking about other people’s opinions on you leads to overthinking, and shades your confidence.

But as time passed, I realized that the only thing that stops us from doing our best and experiencing new things is ourselves, cause in reality, no one cares. And if someone cares, then why you should care? Share your thoughts, ideas, and emotions without hesitation, as this will help you to create deep connections with others.

· Practice the art of letting go: Although meeting new people and fostering meaningful connections is important, sometimes it is necessary to learn how to let go when it's needed. Life is ever-changing, and so are you and the people around you. So, it is okay to let go of the thoughts, things, and relationships that no longer bring you positive emotions. If something discourages and brings you down, remember, to let it go and make room for new opportunities for growth.

· Avoid comparing yourself to others: Each person's journey is unique, and comparing yourself to others can be detrimental to your own growth and happiness. You are the only one like this on this planet, so embrace your individuality and focus on your own path. You do you. You are enough, and you did amazing job.

· Communicate effectively: Delivering your ideas in a clear and concise way is the key to good communication. Remember that others cannot read your mind, so listen attentively, and articulate your ideas, thoughts, and intentions with clarity to avoid any misunderstandings. Effective communication opens doors to collaboration, understanding, and success.

· Be kind and loyal: Treat everyone with kindness, and never hesitate to lend a helping hand. By spreading kindness and love, we have the power to make this world a better place.

Dear graduates, faculty, family, and friends. These past three years have been a wonderful journey. We learned we laughed, we cried, we were brave, and we expressed ourselves the way we could here, at Peking University. It was an incredible experience, that we carried at Peking University. Now as we are about to start a new adventure, remember that you hold the power to shape your own lives, and it's time, to reach your fullest potential.

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