Graduation and Some Thoughts on Following Your Passion

24 Jun

Friday was my high school graduation, so I am officially a college girl now! It has been a perfect weekend full of graduation fun. my incredible cousins and godmother flew all the way across the country from Florida to be here to share the big day with me. It was so wonderful to celebrate with two sets of cousins, our family friends from Mommy and Me, my dad’s friend from his twenty-something days, Goose, and his lovely family!

I am so grateful to all of theses people and all of my fantastic friends for making these past four years such an amazing adventure! It is because of the tremendous support of my friends and family that I’ve been able to get into my dream school and have the most fun in my life.

After the ceremony we all went to a lovely outdoor lunch where my mom arranged a delicious menu with pizza, kale caesar salad, raw salmon crudo, minestrone soup, baked salmon, mixed seafood salad, and spaghetti and meatballs. She also got the most beautiful chocolate cake, adorable graduation cake pops, lovely flowers, and adorable balloons. She managed to make lunch at a hotel have all the warmth and personalized touches of a meal a home.

In addition to the fabulous lunch, the celebration has continued throughout the weekend with my fabulous Florida cousins and amazing boyfriend. We had a wonderful Friday night barbecue, Saturday at Disneyland, and today we are off to enjoy the farmer’s market and shopping streets of Santa Monica. The fun just keeps coming!

One of the things that made graduation especially memorable was that I was chosen as one of the graduation speaker. I’m including part of my speech below because I think that it applies not just to my graduating class, but to most everyone.

“I still remember coming to high school for orientation, and getting lost in the winding corridors for a good twenty minutes. I thought to myself, “well this is embarrassing, but at least there are only a few people around to see.” A few days later on the first day of school, I was walking down the staircase in front of the library, when I tripped and fell flat on my face. This time I wasn’t so lucky, because the halls were filled with both my peers and intimidating upperclassmen. Few people noticed, and even fewer seemed to care. While people usually applaud your triumphs, most people are too wrapped up in their own lives to even notice if you stumble along the way. Although we all fear momentary failure and embarrassment, it is our successes for which we will be remembered.

As you venture out into the terrifying real world of esteemed professors, brand new peers, and temperamental bosses, remember that you will fall on your face, either figuratively or literally as in my case, and you will get back up. You are eighteen years old and no one expects you to be perfect. All that matters is that you do what you love and that you do it without fear of failure. Enthusiastically following your passion will get you much farther in life than simply doing what you know you can succeed in. As accomplished film director Jerry Zucker once said, “Ask yourself one question: If I didn’t have to do it perfectly, what would I try?” Let whatever your personal answer to this question is guide you throughout your life. Do what you love, and your passion will make up for whatever natural abilities you may lack. Nothing would be very exciting for long if it came easily, so push yourself to go out of your comfort zone. Take that kitchen chemistry class that interests you, chase that guy or girl who you think may be out of your league, or switch your major finance to sculpture. This is your time to build the life that you want to live, so seize the opportunity to control your own destiny and make every decision count.

Over the past four years, the graduating Class of 2012 has proven that it has the talent and the drive to achieve their goals, however unlikely they may seem to others. As freshmen, no one expected us to win Color Wars, but with our team’s unbeatable spirit, we did! We beat bigger, stronger, more experienced upperclassmen simply with our own determination and desire to win. Ever since our freshmen year, the Class of 2012 has been defying people’s expectations. Our graduating class has had greater academic, athletic, and extracurricular success than anyone ever could have predicted, and going forth into the world, we will continue to achieve the unimaginable.

As we grab hold of our diplomas, we are entering one of the most exciting stages of our lives. The past four years have prepared us for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Have the confidence in our ability to make a difference in the world. Now is our time to fearlessly embrace our passions and make every moment count.”

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11 Responses to “Graduation and Some Thoughts on Following Your Passion”

  1. Cindy. July 15, 2012 at 11:50 pm #

    You are such an amazing girl!!! Your graduation speech was so inspirational and was delivered with such poise and passion. I am so lucky and proud to be your mother! I know that your tremendous success will continue at USC. I am so grateful to be part of your wonderful journey.

    • ModernAlice July 16, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

      Thank you so much Mom! You’ve been such an integral part of all my success and happiness. I couldn’t ask for a more incredible mother!

  2. robert June 25, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    your speech was wonderful and inspiring, Sara; we are so proud of you !!

  3. silverscreenings June 25, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    Congratulations!
    P.S. Loved the graduate cake pops!

  4. Julie Kendall June 25, 2012 at 7:17 am #

    You are such a wonderful writer/story teller Sara! I loved reading this blog. I mean, I really enjoy all of them, but this one, painted such a great pic for me, of all that you are experiencing. I felt like I was seeing the world through your eyes, and it really warmed my heart, and inspired me. You a such a terrific young lady!!! I am very proud!
    Love you!!!!

  5. mystudentstruggles June 25, 2012 at 3:15 am #

    Congratulations. Beautiful speech.
    I wish when I left school at 18 we had something so fabulous arranged to celebrate – it seemed as though we just faded into the background. Maybe that’s the different between American and English schools :D
    Well done again

    • ModernAlice June 26, 2012 at 10:11 am #

      Thank you so much! Yes, I’ve been extremely lucky to have such a supportive school experience!

  6. piesandeyes June 25, 2012 at 2:39 am #

    Congratulations! On to bigger and better things! Go USC! FIGHT ON!

  7. Ellen Pressman June 24, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    Beautifully said Sara! Wishing you all the best in the years ahead. Where are you going to school next year? Go get ‘em!

    • ModernAlice June 24, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

      Thank you so much Ellen! I’m going to USC to be a Trojan next year!

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