Former NYU Shanghai student Megan Graham writes a letter to the Class of 2017.

Dear Inaugural NYU Shanghai Class of 2017,

Congratulations on such a monumental achievement, comrades. As you pomp and circumstance further into society, don’t forget your roots. Your family, community, country, and world need your educated assistance and guidance. For best results, you do you.

As for me, I have a big blended family that I love wholeheartedly! Maybe some of you will meet them in time. My baby (toddler!) twins are now just over a year old, and they are such a joy to raise. They leave me in awe, although their three older step-sisters do, too. I am so proud of my family for all that we are and have overcome, and I look forward to spending my life by their side, not only as a mom but as an artist, musician, and entrepreneur.

On several scales, but particularly in my experience as a parent, it takes a lot of guesswork to maintain peace and order without devolving into a dictator. You’re powerful leaders who have only just begun. Our lives are chock-full of choices. We can manifest destiny. We can use our privileges to remove or establish systemic oppression, especially in concerted efforts. Creativity is a tool waiting to be claimed, and we have power at our fingertips.

With some heart and dedication, maybe we can make the whole world sparkle.

Good luck, pioneers. You’re doing great things.


Love, your friend,

Megan Elizabeth Graham

This article was written by Megan Graham. Please send an email to to get in touch.
Photo Credit: NYU Shanghai

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