"Hi everyone! And welcome to Bø. I’m happy to see you all here. Two years ago, I was in the same situation as you but at a different university. I was sitting nervous and excited on my first day at a prestige full university in Sweden. I had chosen this university because I thought prestige would lead to success and happiness. But boy was I wrong. After my first day, it all went bad. I didn’t feel like I fitted in, and my student life slowly turned into despair and confusion. I thought to myself, but this is what I want: prestige and acknowledgment from parents and friends – this got to be the road to a good life. Half a year passed, and one day I find myself in a statistics class. Not the most interesting subject to begin with, but this class was especially boring. We had one of those professors, you might know them, the ones that also don’t seem like they want to be there. During one of his lectures, I found myself daydreaming while observing him teach. Suddenly his face would start to change form and morph. Slowly turning into another face: mine. I was not sitting and observing myself teaching this class with no life in my eyes and without any passion. At that point, I decided to pack my things and leave, and I never return.
In the time afterward, I contemplate my mistake of starting at that university. I had allowed friends, family and society to choose the direction for me. I had stopped listening to myself and started listening to anybody that had an idea of what a good life for me would look like.
But luckily many years before I had heard about this little town in Norway, where you could live close to nature, study outdoor living or nature conservation, and I guess deep down I had known all this time that that was my true passion but I had been too afraid of taking the chance and following my heart. But if I learned one thing in Sweden it was in order to be happy you have to do what YOU want. So I quickly found myself living in this little town called Bø.
And that was an incredible decision that was for me. Bø was everything I had dreamt of. It has the closely-knit community, where you can feel welcome, you can be challenged in whatever field you are studying, and you can explore many different hobbies, concerts, and activities. Bø is a strange size, small enough to create an intimate atmosphere but big enough to supply many different opportunities. Bø had all the things I was looking for and I hope Bø has everything you need for you to pursue your passion.
I hope you choose what you want in this life from what feels important to you and not to somebody else.
I hope you take time to reflect on goals and dreams and put in the work to fulfill them.
I hope you study hard but live life harder. Because as the proverb goes in the end, it’s not about the years in your life but the life in your years.
I’m looking forward to seeing you all around campus. Thank you".