VIDEO: Fall commencement exercise

Commencement speaker Marva Smalls offered 10 axioms for navigating life's journey at USC's December ceremony Monday. Smalls, a USC alumna and executive vice president with Viacom and Nickelodeon Networks Group, spoke to graduates of all eight USC campuses at the ceremony at the Colonial Life Arena. USC awarded 2,702 degrees including 1,845 to students from the Columbia campus.

Marva Small’s axioms for life:

1. Ease up on the pressure, but do push outside your comfort zone.

2. If you want to make God laugh, tell Her your plans.

3. Act on your vision – because a vision unacted upon is just imagination.

4. Dare to be different.

5. Be a positive change agent.

6. Be honest with yourselves.

7. Listening is the most powerful tool you’ll ever have.

8. Learn to operate in the gray areas.

9. If it ain’t broke, fix it anyway.

10. The best helping hand you’ll ever find is at the end of your own arm.