For student speaker Friedman, organization is key

When Jordan Friedman sat down to discuss his years at the University, he did something fairly significant.

He actually sat down.

Pretty unusual posture for a person always on the run.

Jordan Friedman
Jordan Friedman

Friedman, president of the senior class and this year’s student Commencement speaker, is a very busy man. From being class president during each of his four years at the University to planning Senior Week activities, he doesn’t get much time for rest.

“You can never run your life by trying to finish a project and move on to something else, because there is always something else,” Friedman said. “I’ve learned to enjoy the process and enjoy the path I’m on, because life is a blur and college is even faster.”

Friedman, who is from Los Angeles, will receive a bachelor’s degree in social thought and analysis in Arts & Sciences today. After Commencement, he plans to work at Microsoft or as a real estate analyst for a few years before going back to school for a law degree.

Though Friedman was not involved in student government in high school, he jumped in with both feet at the University.

“In high school, I thought it was more of a popularity contest,” he said. “Plus, it was tough to facilitate change in high school. There wasn’t a good way to get in touch with the constituents.

“In college, I felt I had a little more breadth and room for creativity.”

His biggest project this year was planning Senior Week, which was May 12-18. Members of the senior class attended a St. Louis Cardinals game, a freshman floor reunion, a float trip, a hoedown with live music and food, a paintball excursion, a picnic in Forest Park, a movie night and the Senior Gala.

“We started planning Senior Week last summer,” Friedman said. “The amount of tasks that have to be accomplished for 1,300 students to enjoy eight days of activities is pretty daunting. I learned more about the administration, the faculty and the senior class then I ever thought possible.

“It’s been a massive undertaking, but it’s also been a lot of fun.”

The main thing Friedman has learned through his involvement in student government is organization.

“Nothing is over until it’s over,” he said. “You cannot be in charge or delegate without having your schedule organized. Responsibility and organization are keys.”

Outside his governmental duties, Friedman was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and the University’s judicial board, as well as serving as an ambassador for the University at various community functions and as a teaching assistant for finance to students in the Olin School of Business.

In his speech to the Commencement audience, Friedman plans to talk about the road ahead.

“I’ve been working on the speech for some time,” he said. “It’s tough not to write the stereotypical graduation speech, but hopefully I can give some advice that most can appreciate and relate to.”

His advice?

“Enjoy the ride because it’s going incredibly fast. The years fly by, especially if you keep looking ahead. Be present to where you are and enjoy it.”