A letter from a '23 Grad

August 28, 2023 - Jessie Greatorex

Dear incoming MSU students,

Jessie Greatorex holding a MSU commencement hatI wanted to take a moment to warmly welcome you to MSU. This past Spring, I had the honor of delivering the Social Science commencement address to the graduating class of 2023. Alongside my fellow peers, we reflected on the memories we made here and the lessons we have learned.

I am excited for the upcoming experiences and opportunities for growth that you will have as new Spartans. Here are a few lessons that I learned at Michigan State that might help you too:

  • Walk through campus with almonds in your pocket, because you never know when an MSU squirrel will make eye contact with you.
  • Take risks. Engage in those social endeavors that are out of your comfort zone. Join that sorority, participate in that class debate, introduce yourself to that person living in the dorm across the hall, they might turn into your best friend.
  • Go all in on sports. There is no other feeling than screaming at the top of your lungs, engulfed in a sea of green that is standing in the Spartan student section.
  • Know that professors are people too. In fact, some of the best people. All it takes is one good faculty member to turn a lecture into a story, a classroom to a home, and a major into a passion. A single visit to office hours has the potential to transform into a lifelong mentor relationship, if you let it.
  • A walk through campus can brighten even your worst days. That the babble of the Red Cedar or the song of the Beaumont tower is all it takes to clear a burnt out brain.
  • Call home. You’re never too cool or wise to ask for advice from the people who raised you.
  • Trust that even through the toughest of times, the Spartan community will always find a way to come together and support one another. Being a Spartan means you are joining a forever family. And within this family, there are no strangers.

MSU has taught me a lot and now it is your turn. Each and every one of you now have the opportunity to form your own unforgettable memories and learn your own lessons throughout your time here.

I encourage you to be open minded, to acknowledge that with every hardship and failure brings new growth and wisdom. I encourage you to cherish every moment, because trust me on this, four years will go by way too fast. I encourage you to embrace the Spartan spirit that lives within every MSU student.

As Social Science majors, every single one of you holds the potential to help make our society a better place to live. And if anyone can do it, I know Spartans Will.


Jessie Greatorex ‘23