The king's subjectS
Reflections by the People of TKA
Class of 2020 Graduation Speech
Good morning, and thank you so much for joining us today.
I started to think very hard about what I might say two days ago. To be honest, I’m not very qualified to give you advice. In fact, I’m not actually quite sure how I made it here, and I’m not sure what I will do next in life. And I believe that you shouldn’t try to follow the path that I took, the path I will take, or anyone else’s path. Each of us is preparing to embark on unique adventures that we cannot imagine right now. So don’t try to plan too far ahead. After all, this year showed us that we can never really know what the future holds.
This was not the senior year we were expecting. I know for many, this was not the high school experience you were expecting. Maybe you didn’t get into the college of your choice. Maybe a medical condition prevented you from playing a sport you loved, or from going to school. Perhaps you struggled with addiction. Or, you lost a loved one. And this year, we were looking forward to our last service trip. We were looking forward to our last performance or last sports season. We were looking forward to spending time with our friends. All of this was put on hold.
More than once, we were diverted from the paths we had originally planned for. Yet through all of these unexpected occurrences, we have grown stronger. Our class has grown stronger. We have gone from being people who just went to school together to becoming a tightly-knit family that the other classes look up to. We’ve grown stronger not in spite of these difficulties, but because of these challenges. Each unexpected trial we have encountered has allowed us to connect with new people and to acquire new sets of skills.
As we head to new places, let us embrace these challenges. Don’t limit yourself with a set of expectations for the future. Don’t try to be like others. Don’t even try to be who you think you are. As we progress through life, we will change. Our goals and life direction will change. In fact, it is the uncertainty of the future that allows us to appreciate the present. The future is constantly changing. Don’t dwell on your mistakes, and don’t think too hard about what you could have done. Instead, anticipate the amazing things God will lead you to do in the future.
Class of 2020, I love you. Over the past years, each one of you has become family to me. And over the past few weeks, I’ve realized how much all of you have been such an influential part of my life. I’ll really miss this class. Family and staff, thank you for everything you do. Thank you for sacrificing your time and energy for us. To all my teachers, the lessons you taught me in the classroom I will remember for a while, but the lessons you taught me outside the classroom I will remember forever. Thank you.
Finally, remember that only God’s love is truly unchanging. So wherever you go, rely on His love for stability and for comfort. Our class has come a long way, and I can’t wait to see what all of us will accomplish. It has been a privilege to be a part of this family. Thank you all for the honor of speaking today. Congratulations, Class of 2020. God bless you.
-Darren Chin, Class of 2020 Valedictorian
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