Valedictorian gives grads encouragement

We are gathered here today, in the presence of witnesses and in the face of family and friends, to join together.

We are gathered here today, in the presence of witnesses and in the face of family and friends, to join together our childhood and adulthood in holy matrimony.

But before any of you jump from your seats to speak now, I ask that you all forever hold your peace for this is not a unity that cannot be denied — unfortunately, so it appears, we are all victims of growing up.

To me, growing up does not just mean that we have awkwardly sat through 18 happy birthday songs without knowing what to do while everyone stares at you and sings in horribly monotonous voices that sound like a funeral hymn and wonder if you should smile, or maybe sing along? No. Growing up has nothing to do with acne that might as well be chicken pox, facial hair that might as well be peach fuzz, or that word that every biology and planning teacher refuse to say out loud because it will create an outburst of giggles: puberty.  Okay, so nobody said that my peers and I were mature, but luckily growing up does not mean you can no longer be young at heart — I’ve got two words for that example: Mr. Duff.

But all of our journeys have started out that way: with a childlike spirit, and although we have all come from different backgrounds,  different families, different elementary schools, and different classes in high school: we all have had the same end result as we sit here preparing to graduate together. Our stories have entangled — like we are rivers winding alongside one another: sometimes in separate directions, but always toward the ocean.

We sit here, as if strapped in to our seats and waiting at the bottom of a roller-coaster: seeing the uphills and downhills and already feeling our stomach in our throats for every twist and turn of our future before it has even happened.

And no matter what growing up means to you, eventually we all realize that maybe our five year old dreams of being 18 didn’t quite add up the way we thought they would: it seems that five year olds forget that having a car means paying for gas and insurance, or that graduating means tears and fears (aka grad transitions).

But what five year old minds never forget, aside from lunch, is that the future is a suitcase filled with limitless possibilities. And I hope that every one of us still carries that childlike spirit to every adventure we face … because having a full belly is pretty important for success.  And having a dream; even more so.

I hope that suitcase is filled with memories and stories, and that it leaves everyone watching it go in circles on the baggage conveyor belt wondering how it lost a wheel, why the whole front of it is duct taped on, and who it could possibly belong to. And I hope you proudly claim it as your own when you unpack a lifetime of tragedy and accomplishment to every person that you meet.

I hope you have the courage to throw out your inerasably stained  T-shirts that we call “ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends,” to get rid of the holey socks containing memories that harm your judgment, and to only carry your favourite sets of clothes so that you  may always be happy, because I promise you: attitude is everything.

And while you pack away your positive attitude, always include a pair of gumboots. Be prepared for the day when your boots are filled with rain and you’re up to your knees in disappointment.

But on these days, do not forget to look up at the clouds and say “thank you” because the rain will wash away everything if you let it. But sometimes, the greatest storms are only trying to wash you clean.

And the world: it is made out of sugar. It can crumble so easily, but do not be afraid to stick your tongue out and taste it every once in awhile.

I am certain that an entire graduating class of students with passionate attitudes will be enough to impact a spark in the world that will create a revolutionary inferno.  I know that, despite this small hometown, we will pursue big accomplishments.

I’m not asking that you all fit the societal norms of success; I am asking that you never settle for something that doesn’t leave your eyes wild and your smile passionate. And I hope that you all have the courage to leave behind anything that is less than you deserve and start over.

I hope that whether you are a doctor, or a mechanic, or a cashier, or a philosopher, or a world-traveller — I hope that whatever you do, you always make your five and fifty year old self proud.

Samantha Delacherois is the 2015 Lake City Secondary School valedictorian.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

The first Chimney Creek Roadhouse, constructed in 1864. (Photo courtesy of the B.C. Provincial Archives)
HAPHAZARD HISTORY: The Isnardy family of Williams Lake

Amadee Isnardy was born in 1840 near Nice, France

Jim Hilton pens a column on forestry each week for the Quesnel Observer.
FOREST INK: Ecological economics not a popular topic for most people

The following is a review of the no (or slow) growth concept

Do you have a letter? Email us at editor@wltribune.com
LETTER: BC Liberals left ICBC a mess: Farnworth

Our BC NDP government has worked tirelessly to fix the mess that was left behind

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead on Vancouver Island in ‘targeted incident’

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

Most Read