Let life’s challenges drive you
Jean Gorby Calicdan
Co-Valedictorian, Sobrato High School
I want to start off this speech with a very, very strong statement I heard the other day.
It went something like, “Wow. Life really sucks.”
And ya know, sadly I really can’t disagree. Life is hard; therefore, life sucks.
I mean, if life was easy, we would all be going to Stanford this fall, agree? If life was easy, none of us would be diagnosed with serious diseases—like senioritis. If life was easy, we would all look like Matt Damon and Beyoncé (though to be perfectly honest, all you human beings right now look absolutely beautiful).
And that’s the catch—it was never meant to be easy.
But ironically, that’s also what makes it all the more fun and meaningful!
When Ms. Gharibyan told us we needed to make a music video? I ended up making four (check out youtube.com/jeangorby).
Sure it didn’t sound like “High School Musical,” but it was the challenge that drove me, and it’s now one of my fondest memories from high school.
So before we, the Class of 2019, depart and begin our new lives, I want to challenge each and every one of you one last time—not to make music videos, unless you’re YungWawo.
But to face the challenges that make life difficult and defeat them once and for all.
Meet more people, stay in touch
Co-Valedictorian, Sobrato High School
I think I’ve had a pretty all-around high school experience. I’ve felt really good and bad moments I’ll remember forever. Things I’ve done I’m incredibly proud of and not, and things I wish I did or said and didn’t.
But I do really regret not getting to know more of you, ya know. I’ve gotten to know many cool people in such a short amount of time, and I’ve realized that’s one of the most important things you can do—get to know people. Get to know people like Gorby and Tiffany, and they show you that you’re not as awesome as you think you are. Get to know people like Sebastien and Chris and Davis and Shane and Kyle, and they show you what it’s like to have more siblings.
Get to know people like Zaria and Tara and Sabrina, and they make you a better person. Get to know people like Kimme and Trinity and Naomi and you feel less alone.
Wherever you end up, get to know people, many people, and your life will be better for it.
But it’s also important to stay in contact with those who matter. When I moved here from West Virginia, my friends and I didn’t do a great job staying in contact, and that was really hard.
So wherever we end up, wherever our future takes us, please remember, Class of 2019, to keep in touch. Thank you.
Our life is a river
Salutatorian, Sobrato High School
Good afternoon parents, teachers, staff, and fellow classmates.
Class of 2019, it is hard to believe that 13 years ago, we started our first day of kindergarten, beginning a journey that eventually led us to where we are at this very moment. Today marks the end of one chapter of our lives and the beginning of another.
Our life is a river. It’s the pathway to our future. It sweeps us along for the ride, taking us through its twists and turns. There’ll be times when the river is calm and just when you get used to it, it’ll suddenly take you down a rushing stream. Sometimes, life moves too fast for you to handle.
So what do you do? You build a boat to sail down that river and you steer over the bumps and around the rocks as best as you can. If you choose not to steer the boat, it’ll never get to where you want it to go. So steer the boat, and conquer the river.
I guess the biggest takeaway from my attempt at a profound analogy is to build boats and make sure you know how to swim.
Before we conclude this chapter, I’d like to thank everyone who has supported us on this journey and helped us become the people we are today.
And to the class of 2019, it has truly been an honor to have gone through these four years of high school with all of you. Thank you.
Jean Gorby Calicdan, Jacob Lemoff and Tiffany La delivered these speeches to the graduating Class of 2019 at Sobrato High School’s June 7 commencement ceremony.