Merriam Webster defines cliche as “something that has become overly familiar”... i mean i mean [jokingly style]. In my honest opinion, I think that using the Merriam Webster definition at the beginning of your senior speech is overly familiar. From my extensive research I have concluded that about 50% percent of graduating seniors include a definition of a word at the beginning of their speeches. Where did I get that statistic? I don’t know. About 77% percent of statistics are made up. But back to the cliches.
When you think of cliches, you think of commonly used tropes in television or movies. I would say that a majority would say that cliches hinder your writing and goals from displaying their true potential. Movies tend to have lots of pop culture references. One could say that these are a type of cliche. But we like pop culture references? The reason we like these things are because it gives the audience a sense of familiarity and reality.
A reality filled with my friends and family making memories. While attending this school, RHP, you inherit a new understanding of how a society should treat one another. When you look at the staff and student body of a school like RHP, they always feel like family. When you enter the school, you are not just a “number”, you are, well, you. You are given the tools you need to not only succeed at Rolling Hills Prep but beyond.
But when you go on, you don’t want to forget about where you came from. You have to take your hardships to where you want to grow in the future. Take the quote by the 11th Doctor, a character from one of my favorite shows called Doctor Who. He once said that “The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. (And) The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant.” I think that is a very important thing to understand. Sometimes when we get a test back and we see that we’ve done poorly, we look at that as a sign of lack or misunderstanding. I would say that for a time you might not know why you got something wrong, but you can always learn from it. Take those first steps and do better than you had done in the past, even if it means failing over and over again.
“And to be loved from as many people as possible, to make up for all of my time spent suffering. Sometimes I lay awake in the middle of the night, and the fear washes over me, cause what if this was it? What if this is where I belonged?”
And so I told myself, “I will not accept a life I do not deserve.”
This topic of cycling growth reminds me of a story by the Brothers grimm. The Shepherd’s Boy. “"There’s this emperor, and he asks the shepherd’s boy how many seconds in eternity. And the shepherd’s boy says, ‘There’s this mountain of pure diamond. It takes an hour to climb it and an hour to go around it, and every hundred years a little bird comes and sharpens its beak on the diamond mountain. And when the entire mountain is chiseled away, the first second of eternity will have passed."” I’m pretty sure I also got that quote from Doctor Who.
This passage, along with the score from Doctor Who of the same title, is all about this sort of perseverance. But it’s not always easy… (pause) to persevere. One of my favorite game franchises is The Last of Us. But before I make this comment, fair warning, it contains spoilers. Who am I kidding, the game came out 3 years ago… that was a bit harsh. In the second story of the game, Joel, the first story's main protagonist, was golfed to death by the daughter of the surgeon that Joel had killed to help his basically adopted daughter Ellie not be sacrificed in the first game. Saying that out loud it sounds kind of confusing if you’ve never played the game. Ellie, this character’s somewhat adopted child, had the cure to basically end a pandemic, but at the cost of her life. Long story short, in the following game Ellie goes on a revenge spree to find who ended the life of her basically adopted father. That being Abby.
In November of the same year that the game was released, my uncle Kenny passed away. Kenny had special needs. He passed while at his group home. I did not know what to do, I did not know what to think. My entire head was shaking and pounding when I heard the news. He lived in an entirely different state, North Dakota. I was in the state of mind that Ellie had. I wanted to find Abby, or the person taking care of him. It was said that the following day, he would have taken a covid test. Hearing that screwed with my emotions even more. This could have been preventable. What if he wasn’t there? It’s all the wrong place and the wrong time. These thoughts continued to go through my head. But what if the staff had taken better care of him? There was so much regret building up I would have basically exploded. I didn’t want this situation to be real. I thought it was all just a dream. Why did this have to happen? But over time, I started to feel kinda better.
And so I told myself, “I will not accept a life I do not deserve.”
I just had to take those first steps.
Acceptance. I had to face this realization and come to the conclusion that making up false realities won’t change anything. It’s hard to accept the reason you're angry could all end by changing one particular variable. I had to… go forward. I still am going forward. I’m still… changing.
Like the 11th Doctor said, “We all change, when you think about it. We’re all different people all through our lives. And that’s OK, that’s good, you gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be.”
I also wanted to give a heads up.
Considering It’s November 8th tomorrow make sure to get your vote in. 🙂
Now for the shoutouts.
- Class of 23: We’ve been through it all. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of friends.
- Ms. Blanchette: Thank you for being the best advisor and calc teacher. Though it might've been rough sometimes, I’m glad you were there to help me through it all.
- Cait: My mega bestie since the 1st grade. We’ve been through it all. You’re the best fake sister I could ever ask for. I can't wait to see where your art takes you in the future.
- Maria: Thank you for being such an amazing friend and leader. I’m glad to be a part of the NHS Committee with you. I’ll try not to fall asleep during any of our next meetings.
- Naomi: You were one of my first friends at RHP. You’ve been an amazing friend and I can't see what great work you do in the future.
- Isabelle: You’ve always had such a pure and kind heart. Always be true to yourself. I know that you’ll do great things in the future.
- My Grammy and Grampy: You guys mean the world to me. I will always remember our trips to San Clemente, trips to LEGOLand, and San Diego Comic Con. Waiting in lines for hours upon hours. Thank you for always supporting me on my endeavors. I love you guys.
- Mom and Dad: Thank you for always being there for me. I know I can be quite the handful. I love you guys so much. I can’t imagine where I’d be without you. I’m going to miss staying up and watching movies and shows together, and trying not to fall asleep. This isn’t a goodbye. This is only the beginning.
- Makara: … the best sibling in the entire world. My best friend. I love you so much. I’m going to miss the days of waking up early, sneaking in the kitchen and watching movie commentary videos. Laughing for hours. I love you so much. Go Tigers.
Thank you everyone.