President Barack Obama shared some of his experience and advice with the graduates at Barnard College, a women’s liberal arts college, in New York City earlier this week during a commencement ceremony. Barnard is affiliated with Columbia University, the president’s alma mater.
“My last piece of advice — this is simple, but perhaps most important: Persevere. Persevere. Nothing worthwhile is easy. No one of achievement has avoided failure — sometimes catastrophic failures. But they keep at it. They learn from mistakes. They don’t quit.
You know, when I first arrived on this campus, it was with little money, fewer options. But it was here that I tried to find my place in this world. I knew I wanted to make a difference, but it was vague how in fact I’d go about it. (Laughter.) But I wanted to do my part to do my part to shape a better world.”
The full text of the president’s speech on the whitehouse.gov website.