Graduation is always a time for inspirational speeches. My dad (who, in case you weren’t aware, is a high school principal) is reading his graduating class “The Monster At The End Of This Book” today. My English teacher gave us all copies of The Sunscreen Song during our last English lesson. Other teachers have told us to go out there and give life our best shot. We haven’t had our graduation yet, but I’m sure that come November, there’ll be many more quotes and cliches and inspiring words.
I sometimes think about what I would say if I was giving a graduation speech. I would probably include the following quotes, and turn my speech into a messy mash-up of all my favourite obsessions:
- “Those awful things are as survivable, because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be. When adults say, ‘teenagers think they are invincible’ with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But the part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.” – ‘Looking For Alaska’ John Green
- “I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you” – ‘Long Live’ Taylor Swift
- “Nobody important? Blimey, that’s amazing. You know that in nine hundred years of time and space and I’ve never met anybody who wasn’t important before.” – Doctor Who
- “Some people live more in 20 years than others do in 80. It’s not the time that matters, it’s the person.” – Doctor Who
- “Courage isn’t a matter of not being frightened, you know. It’s being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway.” – Doctor Who
- “The good things don’t always soften the bad, but vice-versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant.” – Doctor Who
- “When you’re a kid, they tell you it’s all… Grow up, get a job, get married, get a house, have a kid, and that’s it. But the truth is, the world is so much stranger than that. It’s so much darker. And so much madder. And so much better.” – Doctor Who
- “I am and always will be the optimist. The hoper of far-flung hopes and the dreamer of improbable dreams.” – Doctor Who
I think at the end of the day, Grad speeches aren’t supposed to be anything ground breaking. They’re meant to be cliched. They’re meant to be advice that you’ve likely heard before and will likely hear again. But in that moment, when you are graduating, the inspiration turns emotional and it doesn’t matter where the quotes the speaker is using are coming from, or whether they’re just repeating what your mum has told you a million times, it’s your graduation and it’s applying to your life, and in that moment, the inspiration can mean the world.
frangipani princess xoxo