After her initial application, which included multiple essays and drafting an outline of her potential speech, Kriech obtained feedback for revisions from an interview team before being selected as the student speaker. She continued revising the speech, actively seeking a sentiment that would connect with “as many people as possible” in a varied audience containing everyone from emotional parents to stoic veterans. Once the final draft came together, there were several rounds of rehearsals before the official delivery on Sunday, May 14.
Her speech discussed the graduates’ past, present, and futures, emphasizing how the skills the students obtained over their undergraduate journeys can be used to change the world. While Kriech is sure she is meant to foster change, she is still deciding the best way to do so—a fact that she has come to terms with and encourages other students to do as well.
“There are times during your undergraduate career where you’ll feel like everyone around you has it all figured out, and you start to wonder ‘why don’t I know,’ but the truth is: it’s okay not to know. Just enjoy your time in college and take advantage of the many resources the university has to offer you. It will always work out if you follow your passions,” says Kriech.