Krystal Brun ’07 doesn’t remember who spoke at her Culver Girls Academy Crest Ceremony. But she remembers the sense of accomplishment and sisterhood that came from putting on her blue blazer with the newly adorned crest.
Nor does she remember the last speech she gave as senior prefect at the Junior-Senior Tea on graduation weekend. “I literally have no idea what words came out of my mouth,” she told the Crest Ceremony audience Sunday.
But what she remembers is the mix of emotions she was experiencing at the time. She felt a sense of relief that her term as senior prefect was coming to a close. She wanted to hand over the reins to next year’s leader. She was literally packed and ready to move on to the next phase of her life.
“Culver has the weirdest way of reminding you that the world never stops turning,” she said.
The person sitting next to you could be one of the most important people in your life for the rest of your life.
Now a civil engineer in Seattle, Brun said she wears two rings every day. The one on her right hand is her CGA ring. On her left is a ring with the message: The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with One Step. That message reminds her every day that with so little effort “we can create such meaningful and significant moments in our lives.”
And the “cool thing” about the journey, she explained, “is that you get to decide where it begins, you get to decide who is a part of it, and you get to decide where you are going.”
Brun admitted she wasn’t initially excited to come to Culver, but she decided her first step on campus would be the start of a new journey. “I was committed and haven’t stopped running since.” And it is up to each girl to decide where her starting line will be drawn. “Only we get to choose where it all happens.”
And each girl decides who will be part of that journey.
“Your family. Your brothers and sisters. The person sitting next to you could be one of the most important people in your life for the rest of your life. Give them a chance and they’ll be there for you when you need them.”
She told the audience how she watched “my Culver brother” get married this past summer. “My Culver sister” came to her college graduation instead of attending the five-year reunion. “I’ve watched my Ithaka dorm sister perform her heart out on stages in New York City and Chicago,” she continued. “Pick your starting line, and pick who is with you on your journey. Only we get to choose.”
The most challenging aspect of the journey is that you may not really know where you are going.
“Some days I wake up and have no clue where I’m going, like I’m wondering through some woods past spots that seem familiar but look unrecognizable.” It’s not hard to be scared and you may wonder where to even begin, she said, “But what I can tell you is that it’s important to keep stepping forward. Take one step, and then another, and another, and you will sort out the details along the way.”
Think about all the first steps you have taken, she said, whether it is on the athletic field, the stage, or through the Graduation Arch, each is a first step in a new journey. If things go awry, you can always draw “a new line and start again.”
Brun told the girls who received their crests Sunday that “you may forget 10 years from now that I was the speaker today, but I promise that you’ll never forget the moment that you put on that blazer in this room full of sisters who are riding along with you for your next thousand miles.
“Congratulation ladies, and welcome to the CGA family.”