Smithers Secondary School held their graduation ceremony Saturday evening at the Smithers Civic Centre. There were 128 graduates.
The graduates have a wide variety of aspirations; some are heading off to college or university to pursue careers in law, theatre arts, business, and physiology, just to name a few.
The evening’s valedictorians were Sarah Howard and Tyrel Nadeau.
“Way back when we were deciding on who would be valedictorians, I made a promise that I would roast Mr. Grice, but like any crooked campaigner that comes into power, I’m not doing any of the things that I promised I would. * Cough* pipelines * cough *. Now, I’d like to thank the Grade 10 that I payed to write this speech for me last night, hope the 30 bucks got me far. I’d also like to say congrats to my fellow classmates of 2017, the last millennials. I’m sorry to say that we have no legacy and we will be forgotten by the younger grades because only 90s kids will remember. Apparently we’re also the generation of unanswered promises because I’ve been waiting for Henning to land his plane in the school field for years and so far, no results.
“We’ve all changed so much. Some of us got smart, some of us have always been smart — yeah Emily Hobley, I’m looking at you. Some of us didn’t get very tall, some of us have always been tall … yeah I’m talking to two-thirds of the Logans: Smoley and Groves. Some of us got really good looking, yeah Sean Turney I’m talking to you, call me.
“Shakespeare once wrote, ‘It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves.’
“And I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. Don’t let anything inhibit you from doing what you want, for fighting in what you believe in. Life is short and if you’re not living each day like your last than you’re not living. Although this isn’t me enduring you all to do something stupid, I can’t afford to bail any of you out. For some people, high school has been hard. It’s been really hard. For others it’s been easier, and for all of us it’s been a lesson, one that we were kinda forced to go to. There’s a few things that I’ll be taking away from my experience here and one of those things is that we can do hard things — like Pre Cal 11, man was that hard.
“I’m going to share a part of my life with all of you that most of you don’t know. I’ve always struggled with mental health problems, it runs in my family and it’s something that’s been unavoidable for me. I spent some time in the hospital last year for suicidal-related reasons, and then some time in a psych ward. There was a time in my life that every time I went to school, I felt like I was shackled to some heavy granite ball; I could barely make it to each class. I had countless absents in English, more in Math, dropped out of two of my classes and the relationships of my friends and family began to deteriorate. I never thought in my adolescent life that the hardest thing I would do would be trying to stay alive. I came close to ending my life last year and I know that I’m not the only one who felt this way and I know I’m not the only one who will feel this way. Back then, I didn’t think I would make it to the next morning let alone the next year, but here I am — here we all are. I just want you all to know that when these times come in your life that there’s nothing wrong with getting help, and there’s nothing wrong with being afraid, life is hard but we can do hard things. I encourage you all to live each day fearlessly and if anyone tries to hinder you from following your aspirations, drop them, you’re not strong enough to carry all that negativity around. Although Josiah definitely is, seriously, you’re a tank — call me.
“A quick piece of advice for all the kids out there who want to become painters, or actors, or singers, or writers, or fashion designers, or want to play for the NHL. You’ll have people constantly telling you that you can’t make it, or you’ll be poor and busking on the L.A. streets to make ends meet. But all you need to survive is around 2,000 calories a day, a place to sleep, and socks on your feet, and the rest of your life is the stuff that fulfills and drives you.
“Alright, I think I have enough phone numbers for today. Last and not least, I’d just like to say to the whole grad class of 2017, Devils for life, I love you guys, peace out snakes.”
As the backdrop of the stage said, “The world awaits.”