There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
“I feel that this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong.”
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you – just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.
Besides promoting schizophrenia in children, this poem illustrates something that I feel high school, college and ultimately life encourages: having trust, confidence and fully believing in yourself. A few weeks ago, I was stuck having to decide between two amazing and prestigious schools that I really wanted to attend. I asked my friends, current students and alumni and finally, came to the conclusion that, I still had no idea where I wanted to go. Everybody that I asked gave great advice but they all finished with one phrase: Choose the one that you feel best fits you.
It always came down to me. I couldn’t rely on anybody to be making the choice for me but myself and trusting me to make the right decision was an ordeal. I had to find the voice that spoke inside of me and listen. That’s not to say that I wasn’t left with great advice on how to approach college or life in general but the final decision always came down to me.
Here at Helix, I’ve received some of the best advice I believe a student can receive: there is no such thing as true feelings, always dance when given the opportunity, you’re not a real person until you turn eighteen and never let down your guard because there could be commies lurking at every corner. I’ll carry this advice with me forever, because I’m sure there really are commies lurking around every corner, always referring back to it but in the end that’s all it is, advice.
Yes it does come from our teachers, wise old men and women who have been there, done that. But are they always right? No, of course not, which means that I will always just have to trust in myself to make the best decision.
My fellow valedictorians and I are not up here today because we are better than any of you. Instead, we are first among equals. That is why when I first found out I was given the honor of presenting to my class of 2012, I, of course, worked diligently and hard like all of us Helix students are used to by now, and spent all last night preparing this speech.
I was excited and at the same time perplexed. This is because I didn’t want to throw back at you all of these cliché and overused motivational phrases that I’m sure you’ve had enough of by now, but I hope you’ll forgive me if one or two accidently slips in. What I wanted to accomplish was to capture what I think 2012 has proven itself to be these in past four years.
We’re all smarter now that were graduating, hopefully, and we have been taught by some of the most wonderful people on Earth. We have been given all of the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the coming years and I know that each and every one of you has had your fair share of adversity, but you dealt with all of it admirably.
Because of this, I feel that we are the class of success. We are the class that persevered and changed the most these last four years, transforming into the intelligent and hardworking individuals sitting in these seats today. We are the class that will produce the most leaders, the most doctors, the most teachers, the most difference makers. We are the class that’s going to change the world and I’m proud to say that I am among your ranks.
I have so much pride in all of us and so much hope for what we will do in the future because our success is inevitable. We just have to trust in the voices that speak inside each and every one of us.
Lastly, before I submit to those bored whispers and glazed over eyes and stop talking I’d like to thank a few people. I want to say thank you mom and dad for being there for me through everything, even when you had every right to kill me. I want to thank Hanh, Brendan, Daniel, Randy, Dillon, Cindy, Tracy, and Keonte and everyone else for being the most wonderful friends anybody could ever ask for, even when all of you guys had every right to want to kill me. Also, I’d like to say to all of the Quidditch players thank you for the great times we’ve had and finally and especially, thank you Class of 2012.