It’s OK to be yourself, and it’s OK to be in the wrong classroom on the first day of classes.
These words of encouragement regarding the embrace of individuality and the exploration of the world were imparted to this year’s freshmen Sunday at the 2015 Odyssey Convocation in the Trojan Arena.
Patrick Claybon, “NFL News” anchor and Troy alumnus, delivered the convocation address, recalling his own time in Troy and encouraging students to prepare themselves for adventure and growth.
“You are the explorer on this Odyssey; you can find anything,” he said. Claybon reminisced about his college days, when he said that he, too, got lost, mentally and sometimes physically.
He reminded students that it might take time to find their niches on campus, but as long as they are exploring their options and being themselves, they are doing just fine.
“You don’t have to be fixed in some box that people want you to fit in,” he said. “You can be you, and as long as you get that across to the people around you, they can understand you.”
He described Troy as a place where people can be true to themselves, and according to him, maintaining that genuineness is essential, regardless of any judgment that people may pass.
“To affect the people around you, be the most positive and passionate version of you,” he said.
Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr. also spoke about the importance of being oneself and dedicating 110 percent to one’s endeavors, inside and outside the classroom.
He urged students to adopt the Trojan Way by upholding its five tenets: respect, appropriate speech, the balance of responsibility and kindness in one’s duties, adherence to established rules and dressing appropriately.
“There are no pants on the ground at Troy University,” Hawkins said.
He also invited the families of new Trojans to stay involved in campus affairs and to support the university’s various academic and extracurricular initiatives while also giving students some space so they may develop a sense of self-sufficiency.
“At the end of this experience, we want our students to be very independent,” Hawkins said.