Vice-Chancellor addresses new students during orientation
- Opening Remarks
Happy new year to you all!
I am happy to welcome you to Mount Kenya University. On behalf of the University Senate, I congratulate each one of you on qualifying to pursue university studies at Mount Kenya University (MKU).
I have been informed that you have gone through the orientation process at your respective schools and with the students’ welfare and that now you understand your environment. I trust that you will find your studentship in MKU exciting and life changing. Today, I will give an address on “Opportunities and Choices”.
- Opportunities and Choices
I will start by defining the word opportunity. An opportunity is a situation or a condition that is right for you to do something. Singh (2013) defines opportunity as an appropriate or favourable time or occasion that comes in the life of almost everyone only if one takes it positively.
As a student, you have been given an opportunity to build your career at Mount Kenya University. It is up to you to make the best of the opportunity for you to achieve your career aspirations.
As I reflect on the word “opportunity”, I personally view opportunity as a major deciding factor that makes one think and work differently. God has given all of us 24 hours in a day, 7 days a week and 12 months in a year. However, you note that some people prosper while others remain in poverty. I will echo the words of Shiv Khera that “winners don’t do different things, they do things differently”. Indeed, opportunities are everywhere but we must be open- minded to see them. Thomas Edison said that most people miss opportunity because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. I encourage you as students that this opportunity of studying at University requires hard work, dedication and consistency, take it and run with it. MKU has provided all the academic resources that you require, I am sure when you walk around you have seen very many facilities that will facilitate your learning. Make the best of everything that you have been provided for at MKU. A Chinese proverb says that “Teachers open the doors but you must enter by yourself”.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is a journey you are starting. In every academic year, you need to stop and take stock of your progress. I encourage you to keep track of your accomplishments, celebrate your milestones, correct mistakes, get up and keep going. As you pursue your studies, remember that work without play makes jack a dull boy. Engage yourselves in co-curricula activities. The University has a wide range of state of the art facilities for these activities and you have an opportunity to pursue your interests. Additionally, God has created us as social beings, build relationships with your peers. Building relationships are long term investments. Maximize on all available opportunities since you are in MKU for a season. Let this opportunity impact positively in your life.
Ladies and gentlemen, success or failure can be as a result of choices that we make. Life is made up of infinite amount of choices; you cannot make progress without making decisions. Life does not just happen, for we need to make choices. Actually even when we choose not to choose, we have still made a choice. Keep in your mind that the choices we make have consequences. We do not choose consequences but we face them. The question is, are you going to face the consequences with regret?
Life is never a straight line, it has changing seasons. There are seasons of summer, there are seasons of winter. Sometimes the season may be short or may be long, may be easy or may be difficult. It is important for you to learn how to handle different seasons. Remember, you cannot change the seasons but you can change yourself.
Life at the university is quite different from your previous education institutions. Learn adaptability skills, get stronger, wiser and become better. Always, do not wish for fewer problems or fewer challenges, wish for more wisdom. Look at the opportunity of being in MKU and figure it as your personal responsibility to achieve your career aspirations at the end of your course. It is up to you.
- How Do The Choices We Make Attract Opportunities In Life
Ladies and gentlemen, life choices demand careful consideration. When you are making decisions, look beyond the moment, it is better to pay the price in the short term in order to attain long-term goals. Decide to sacrifice your time and energy now during your studentship to achieve your life career aspirations.
When you reach a time that you are surrounded with many options, research, consult or seek advice from your mentors to help you pick the best decision. Decisions are not made on hopes and wishes, they are made on facts that support your choices. Evaluate the opportunities that you have and make informed choices. There are “head-based” choices and “heart-based” choices. A head-based choice makes sense while heart-based choice envelope your passion and emotion. Heart-based choices are made without careful consideration, they feel good at the moment, but head-based choices are rational choices. If you make right choices, you will succeed and achieve your goals and consequently, you will be ready when the opportunity comes your way. Always remember that opportunity finds the ready and “choices are the hinges of destiny” Edwin Markham. Take charge of your destiny
Ladies and gentlemen, as I conclude, I urge you as you begin a new phase of your life in MKU, say goodbye to comfort zones, roll up your sleeves, take advantage of this opportunity with aim of moving your life to the next level by making right choices in this journey.
I wish you a prosperous New Year and success in your endavours. God bless you.
Prof. Deo JAGANYI
Vice-Chancellor, Mount Kenya University