On the real world. As we go out

On behalf of the
graduating class of 2018, I say welcome to everyone and thank you for
celebrating this special day with us. When we first became freshmen four years
ago, we didn’t know what we’re getting ourselves into. We didn’t know what
journeys would lay ahead of us in the future. No one knew what to expect for
the next four years. We didn’t know about the struggles we would encounter but look at us now. We are here. Look
around you, look at where you are sitting. This is your moment. All the
mistakes that you made, all of the sleepless
nights, all of the times you hated going
to high school, take a long look. All of those days will soon become memories. We
began high school as children, but we’re leaving here as adults. We’ve
completed a basic education that will serve as the platform we use to launch
ourselves into our futures. Some of us will go on to college, others will go
straight into the workforce, but each of
us will travel our own path.

After we get our
diplomas, we will enter into what those before us call it as the real world. As
we go out into the real world, we’ll begin to chase our dreams. We all have
different ideas on which direction we will go, but we all have the same dream
in the end: We want to be happy and successful. Keeping this dream in mind, we
need to discover our vision of the path to happiness, and not wait to begin the
journey. Dreams are where we want to end up, encompassing every aspect of our
lives. Visions are more specific. They are the paths to achieve our dream.
Without a vision, a dream will never become a reality.

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We have so many
passions and talents that we will have to reach beyond our career. Whether we
reach out to the community or the church,
focus on a hobby or family, or even become a doctor or nurse, it doesn’t
matter. Our dream is to be happy and successful. Our pursuit of happiness
doesn’t have to wait until we are older. We can achieve it right now. Not
everyone has a vision planned out. It may take others a while longer to discover
a vision, but if we put off chasing the dream until the point where it’ll be
too late, that dream will never become a reality.

No matter where we
go or what we do, there are challenges ahead of us. What I’m asking from each
of you, and from myself, is to meet those challenges straight on with your head
held high and your heart wide open. It’s not enough to simply try to get by in
life. That doesn’t move the world forward. You must try to excel in everything
you do; strive for excellence in every task, large or small. We will face
numerous challenges, but I expect great things from the Class of 2018. We are
an incredible group of people with so much potential. Every single one of us
has something to offer the world. Some of you may even be hiding it from the
rest of us, just waiting to surprise us all.

Well, don’t wait any
longer. This is our moment, and from here on out, we control how we use our
time to get us to where we want to be. To our dreams. Keep looking for your
visions and paths to success, and once you see them, never lose sight of them. Life
is short. Why not start now? Sometimes, all it takes is one small step, and
then another small step, and then another. We don’t leap a mile. If we just
keep taking steps, we’ll get there. It may take a while, but if it’s worth it,
we’ll get there. And one last thing, if you’re not doing it for the person in
the mirror, then what’s the purpose.