As the President’s Con­vo­ca­tion drew to a close on Tuesday, Matthews Arena was still in full-​​on cel­e­bra­tion mode, trans­formed into a sea of red and black led by Ath­letics Director Peter Roby, the pep band and cheer­leaders, with North­eastern mascot Paws and his Siberian Husky coun­ter­part, King, receiving cheers that rivaled the rau­cous energy of Northeastern’s fight song, “All Hail Northeastern.”

But as freshmen moved across campus for a bar­becue at Cabot Cage, they reflected on the mes­sages and advice shared with them during the annual event that marks the cer­e­mo­nial start of their North­eastern careers.

I liked that everyone stressed that every­thing is wide open for us,” said freshman Ryanne Olsen, a polit­ical sci­ence major. “Right now, any­thing and every­thing is possible.”

Con­vo­ca­tion speakers urged stu­dents to take intel­lec­tual risks and push them­selves to suc­ceed in ways they might now be unable to even imagine.

They said really focus on making the most during your time here and do all you can to learn about and explore the world,” said freshman Joe Nania, who has not yet declared a major.

Ear­lier, Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun had urged mem­bers of the University’s 114th Class to embrace the “North­eastern advan­tage” by com­bining study with oppor­tu­ni­ties for pro­fes­sional work, research and ser­vice around the globe.

We believe that learning is not con­fined to the class­room. In order to learn, you need to inte­grate study and prac­tice, whether you are in Boston, Los Angeles, Johan­nes­burg, Norway or India,” Aoun said. “Go out, explore the world and bring back what you’ve learned.”

Throughout Con­vo­ca­tion, freshmen were intro­duced to the vast array of oppor­tu­ni­ties and resources avail­able to them. Michael Sabo, pres­i­dent of the Stu­dent Gov­ern­ment Asso­ci­a­tion and a crim­inal jus­tice major, advised freshmen to inves­ti­gate the more than 200 stu­dent orga­ni­za­tions on campus.

I’m sure you will find the oppor­tu­nity to become an active part of the Husky com­mu­nity. From your very first day on campus, you will learn that our orga­ni­za­tions are much more than clubs — and that you will have oppor­tu­ni­ties to build lead­er­ship skills and make lasting friend­ships,” Sabo said.

In the stu­dent address, Kelsey Bacon, a junior and double major in his­tory and inter­na­tional affairs, inspired stu­dents to dis­cover them­selves at North­eastern as she has. Before attending North­eastern, Bacon was an aspiring actress in New York City working at an accounting office, and in her first semester she con­sid­ered pur­suing careers as a high school his­tory teacher, a Russian lan­guage inter­preter and an epi­demi­ol­o­gist. But a com­bi­na­tion of class­room study and expe­ri­ence — a course on the Soviet secret police and a Dia­logue of Civ­i­liza­tions pro­gram in Armenia — sparked a pas­sion for global pol­i­tics and trans­formed her thinking of the world.

Bacon encour­aged the new freshmen class to explore their own inter­ests and dis­cover new ones.

Take advan­tage of North­eastern and every­thing it has to offer,” said Bacon, who will begin a co-​​op this semester at the U.S. Depart­ment of State in Wash­ington, D.C.