It’s OK not to know

An inspiring event connected through tragedy

“How many of you here know exactly what you are going to do right after you graduate?” Erica Williams Simon said. 

The room instantly fell silent. Everyone looked around in shock, to see that no hands were raised in the air. 

“It’s OK to have no idea what you’re doing after graduation. No one does. Uncertainty is OK and not only is it OK, it just is,” Simon said. 

“Gems with Erica Williams Simon” was an event that left many inspired, Monday, Nov. 13, at the University Center. 

Simon is an award-winning content creator, educator, host and social critic. Graduating with a degree in African American studies, she went directly into social activism centered on millennials, where she could passionately share her captivating story to audiences across the nation. 

Unsure of what Simon’s speech was going to be about, Ferris automotive engineering and technology sophomore Shaylee Meyer was part of the team who decided to bring Simon to Ferris. 

“I liked when she told the story about her father, who was her best friend, passed away. I think there’s a lot there to be said about overcoming tragedy and circumstance because that’s something that molds you and it can either bend or break you,” Meyer said. “I just think it was really inspiring that she went through a hard time and she became like she is now, trying to inspire rooms filled with hundreds and hundreds of people.” 

After graduation, many Ferris students may not know where they will work, where they will live or who they will be. Simon reassured the audience that that’s OK. Her talk was separated into four parts of self-improvement with a common concept of not knowing. 

The audience loved Simon’s self-empowerment words, especially Ferris biology senior Kaitlin Estepp. 

“I was super inspired,” Estepp said. “I didn’t really know what it was about coming into it. I really liked how she used her personal story at first. She talked about her dad passing away and I think it added to her whole story. I think it made a lot of other people connect with her.” 

“Gems” was brought to Ferris by the Panhellenic Council, IFC and the Student Activity Fund.

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