Robbie Jacques

Robbie Jacques

First LCSS valedictorian encouraging

LCSS valedictorian offers words of encouragement, humour and reflection to his graduating class.

Robbie  Jacques

Lake City Secondary

Valedictorian

I’d like to thank the families and the teachers who’ve supported us for being here today.

Whether we’ve met or whether we are strangers, whether we are best friends or whether we’ve only talked for two minutes, because I didn’t know if the second bell had gone already, it has been an honour to be in every one of your lives.

Although we have completed a great step in life by being the first graduating class of Lake City Secondary, there are still many questions we have to ask ourselves: where do we go from here, who will we become and, why won’t the girls just tell us what they want?

This has been a challenging time for us.

We’ve had to deal with many changes in our lives, we had to find our own way; and for some of us, that wasn’t easy.

Many of us haven’t found our path yet, and that’s okay, because we have all taken that next step, that leap of faith that graduation brings.

We have done something remarkable; we’ve done something that only 88 per cent of Canadians have done: we finished high school.

I don’t say this to undermine our accomplishment; I say this to put it in perspective for all of you here today.

This may be a great moment in many of our lives, but we have so much more ahead of us, with all of the potential we have and all of the time on our side, the sun is far from setting.

Sure, this has been a tough time for us, but you can feel good about yourself, because as the joker puts it, “time’s the one thing we’ve got.”

If we spend that time “doing nothing” it isn’t a bad thing.

We are taking the time to find ourselves. Do you really think you would be the same confident, sexy person you are if you didn’t go through the negative parts in your life?

When I was a lad, I put my hand on the stove while it was hot. It was obviously a mistake. But I learned from it. We have all made mistakes as kids, and we will all make mistakes as young adults, it’s what we learn from it that matters. As I look back on the memories we’ve made together, it reminds me that we are all survivors.

We survived 2012, we survived the schools combining, we survived Justin Bieber, but most importantly, we survived high school, and we will go on to survive whatever life can and will throw at us.

We’ve learned a lot from this place; I’m not talking about memorizing when each class ends or how to suck up to the smart kid so he’ll give you the answers.

In Grade 8, we learned to stay in groups, and seem threatening as a unit so the seniors would leave us alone.

In Grade 9, we learned that high school isn’t what it’s like in the movies, that the seniors were friendly, and that all you had to do was say hello.

Grade 10 came along, as did the “drama,” we learned who our real friends were, the people we could rely on and perhaps more importantly who we couldn’t.

Before long, Grade 11 showed up, as well as the overbearing responsibilities that work, school and relationships brings.

Sure there’s more freedom now for most of us, but the classes were harder, grades mattered, we were playing for points.

It’s funny, everyone was worried that we would be fighting when the schools combined, but what people didn’t realize is that Grade 12 is when we let bygones be bygones.

We saw how childish all the “drama” was. Speaking of childish, have you noticed how the staff doesn’t treat us like kids anymore?

It’s because they know that we are young adults, with hopes, dreams and aspirations. They too, have lives outside of school. Mrs. Gobolos could be an accomplished street racer; Mr. Levins might even have a harp for all we know.

Mrs. Chupa, I’m sure, has secretly spit in the fudge at one point.

My point is, as much as we don’t like to admit it; we are all equal in some way or another. Many of us have had our ups and downs, and gone through twists and turns to get here. There may even have been parts that made you want to scream.

But at the end you can say “I did it, I conquered Space Mountain.”

So remember whether you are going off to university, starting a career or just taking some time to find yourself, (seriously though I would definitely recommend Space Mountain – it’s enlightening), make sure that what you are doing in life makes you happy and that it is paramount to your success.

I wish you all good luck in the world, and may the odds be ever in your favour.