How excited are most teens about starting their freshman year at college? I said: HOW EXCITED ARE MOST TEENS ABOUT THEIR FRESHMAN YEAR??? I think most of them are totes stoked over their newfound freedom and independence. Maybe the most outgoing teens are giddy over their impending social adventures. But excited about, you know, the learning and stuff? I don't know. Too bad every incoming freshman doesn't get to hear a speech like the epic speech this Georgia Tech engineering sophomore Nicholas Selby gave entering freshmen this year. Cue 2001: A Space Odyssey theme song.
Yes, Selby did that. He played the theme song to 2001 through his speech. But more importantly, he got a crowd of freshmen hyped up about doing the impossible. Sure, these kids are all geniuses at Georgia Tech, a well-funded university with high expectations for its students. And this is a self-selected group of ... well ... nerds. I say that with a great deal of affection. (And yeah, that's some wan-looking clapping from the audience, but I think they're more into it than they look.) Here's the climax of Selby's speech.
Our mission as students is not to follow in the footsteps of the astronauts, Nobel Prize laureates or the presidents that graduated before us but to exceed their footsteps, crush the shoulders of the giants upon whom we stand! If you want to change the world, you're at Georgia Tech, you can do that! If you want to build the 'Iron Man' suit, you're at Georgia Tech, you can do that! If you want to play theme music during your convocation speech like a badass, we're at Georgia Tech, we can do that! I am doing that!
Don't you wish every freshman got a speech like this one? Maybe they're not all at the kind of school where you can build an Iron Man suit. And they're definitely not all going into engineering. (If you want to be the best accounts payable specialist in Oklahoma City, you're at Oklahoma City Community College, you can do that! Woooh.) But I can relate a little to Selby's speech -- because I was a nerd, too. (Still am.) And I remember that tingle of excitement at the beginning of the school year. I was about to broaden my horizons. I was about to push my brain harder than it had been pushed ever before.
For that matter, wouldn't it be amazing if we could start the school year for kids of all ages with this kind of pep talk? It's not going to sound as convincing from a kid's parents, obviously. But maybe I'll make my son watch this video, at least. YOU COULD GROW UP TO BE A VIDEO GAME DESIGNER, YEAHHH! STUDY HARD IN MATH CLASS, SON.
Do you wish someone could give your kids a speech like this every school year?
Image via Andy Blanton/YouTube