Well we did it. We’re here. We made it to graduation, guys. All that we’ve looked forward to or the past four years is finally coming to pass. Now we’re all going to go our separate ways and make our own marks on the world around us.
But before you’re allowed to leave, you have to listen to me and a few others throw some words at you.
How funny to think that I am just one more obstacle between you and that long awaited diploma. Most of you have no idea who I even am, some this is the first you have ever seen me, and yet I am expected to give you some lasting words of wisdom before you leave.
So it goes … Marie Curie, the famous Polish chemist and physicist, said “Nothing in life is to be feared, but to be understood.”
As many of you probably don’t know, I am your Student Body Vice President and have been for the past two years.
When the opportunity arose for me to take on this job, I was absolutely scared out of my mind. There were many reasons for this. At the time I was a rather timid sophomore who could barely make a phone call, and trust me this job requires a lot of phone calls, and I had no idea how to take on this huge responsibility. Until I started to understand my job and chose to fully take on my responsibilities — I was no longer scared. When I understood that I could in fact do what I thought prior to be impossible was when I was able to let go of the fear and be what I wanted to be. Like Madame Curie said: “Nothing in life is to be feared, but to be understood.”
Things that freak us out the most are things we don’t understand. Once we understand, fear dissipates. For instance, fear of others comes from a lack of understanding each other. We define ourselves as diverse because it can be scary to try to understand those who are different than us. Choose to understand instead of fear. Choose to get to know people who may seem different than you. We can learn many things from each other.
Ms. Cobb, my AP World History teacher, helped expand my education and knowledge of people and other cultures. She made history come to life and my desire to learn grew as well as my understanding of the world. It is through this understanding I have gained some semblance of wisdom and open mindedness to the world around me. As my knowledge grows so does my love and acceptance of others ...and fear disappears. Ms. Cobb gave me a drive to succeed even when I thought about quitting. She openly cared for me and took an interest in my own life. When I speak with her, I feel as though someone is listening and what I say truly matters. Sometimes I will just go into her room to chat and catch up on life. I feel as though she is a close friend. I am going to remember how she made me feel for the rest of my life, her influence definitely has had an impact on me. I am grateful to have had such a mentor during my high school experience and all it took was her outwardly caring for me.
We can all be like this, and touch others’ lives in profound ways if we choose to care, educate ourselves, accept others and be kind.
Don’t be afraid of the world. Be willing to try new things. Be willing to make mistakes. Things are going to get difficult for us. Actually that is all that is in our way is difficulty, but by no means does that mean we should stop trying. Don’t forget the whimsy that is in life. Do eccentric things like people watch, make up words, give your friends nicknames, don’t be scared to be different. Don’t take life too seriously. Don’t take yourselves too seriously. Remember to laugh. No one knows what they’re doing, and if they say they do then they’re lying. Our possibilities are endless. Don’t be defined by your routine or your norm. Don’t live your life on autopilot. Be spontaneous; remember what life has to offer. Live until you have experienced all you can bear and then live again. All we are, all we amount to are experiences, so make yourselves rich in them.
Set goals and never ever settle for something you don’t think is the absolute best for yourself, because you are worth the very best no matter what happens.
It’s been a great four years, guys. Now, go out there, kick the world’s butt and show it what Desert Ridge High School’s Class of 2014 can do.