Jim Wang

For the past three years at RHP, I have listened to many great speeches. Every time I heard a senior speech, I worried what I would say when it was my turn. Although I love giving speeches, I never knew what I would share with you. Well, not until last October, when I had a car accident.
Let me be clear with you, especially those of you who drive, don’t try this at home. Having an accident was not fun, mentally or physically. I was driving home from a friend’s house. It was a long drive, and it was at night. I was almost home when the car in front of me stopped suddenly. I pressed on the brakes as hard as I could but it was too late. Luckily, no one was injured.
I will never forget how desperate and scared I felt driving home after the accident. My left turn signal was flickering like crazy. That was the only thing that looked not too bad in the front of my car.
To this day, I find the circumstances of that accident ironic. I had been driving to my friend’s house to shoot a self-introduction video for college, but that night, I didn’t want to do anything at all. It was late October and several college deadlines were right around the corner.
So I had two options: one was to carry on like nothing happened, the other one was to let the negativity take me and to procrastinate forever. Although it was hard, I decided to write and finish my portfolio. Now, I am truly grateful to everyone who encouraged me to keep pushing and not give in to the proverbial darkness.
My takeaway from the accident involves more than to just drive safely. It is this: you must have an understanding that most things in our life are temporary. Looking back, last October feels like ten years ago, it’s surprising how much time can change a person’s perspective. If there was one sentence that can calm down both the happiest and the saddest man on the planet, it would be something like this: “Nothing lasts forever, it’s just temporary.” I am not here to tell you that everything will eventually be fine, just that if something really bad happens to you, try to deal with it. Even if something means the whole world to you right now, it will matter less to you as time goes by. However, do make decisions carefully, because there is no “going back” in time.
I know that most of us are staying with our family, but for me as an international student, I know that there are times in life we need to go through things alone. So be prepared for emotions like sadness, anger, happiness flooding in your mind, which at that time, will need to be digested and bear by ourselves.
Knowing that human beings cannot always share common sorrows or joys is important. When we know that others cannot appreciate what you are going through or where you have been, we will have less disappointment for knowing that in the first place, also that is a reminder for all of us that we all have the ability to succeed on our own.