Class of 2019, I believe in a future, where the value of people’s work is no longer measured by the size of their paycheck, but by the amount of meaning they give, and the amount of happiness they spread.
And you, today’s graduates, are going to make this future happen.
Congratulations, I respect you, and I love you.
Allow me to introduce three of my long-lasting companions, who had been with me for so many years, who I finally knew them now.
My first companion is Anxiety. Throughout IB journey, it happens frequently. Feeling anxious about a task is normal, but you need to be very conscious if you’re suffering from chronic anxiety. It decreases our performance and more importantly, it could be bad for your health. A common belief behind it could be that I must do well to win the approval of others or else I am no good. The fact is that even if you mess it up, it doesn’t mean the end of the world. But if you are still obsessed, do talk to someone who always support you, seeking for help. Remember that the result is always mingled with so many random factors, but what we learn throughout the process would never be gone.
After Anxiety comes Confusion. During the university application season, I was completely lost, what’s worse, many of my friends were so determined about their future major choice. But what about me? I’ve done so many amazing activities but I couldn’t even pick out one ‘valuable’ experience to make my personal statement more beautiful. All of a sudden I realized that my life in the past 17 years was like a train traveling on a prearranged track, a track built by teachers, parents, and counselors. I didn’t really think about where my true passion lay. I had to build the track myself. I was enlightened by a book and would like to share with you that finding passion is a process, not a result and it takes time. Truth be told, I still don’t know what major I would be doing, but I’m no longer confused. If you ever feel lost like me again, don't panic! It’s a good sign as it means you’re creating your own way, making your own decisions, and exploring your own future.
The last one is Anger. I felt angry when I saw little cats and dogs were tortured or abandoned on the elevated road; I felt angry when I witnessed the survivors of sexual assault suffered from victim shaming; I felt angry when the women’s right of abortion was deprived by the ‘Heartbeat Bills’ in the state of Alabama. They seem far away from our lives, but no, everyone of us are involved. Anger is necessary because sooner or later in our heart what takes the place of anger is a sense of responsibility, a sense of mission. Feeling angry means we still care, and the fact that we care is the prerequisite of making change. No matter how subtle difference we can make, it all starts with action.
Confusion, anxiety, anger, without them, my growth would have been impossible. One day, if they come and knock on your doors, don’t be afraid and embrace them, they will become your life-long companions. Thank you and happy graduation.