Choose to make your life great

Alejandro Alvarez’s graduation speech

Alejandro Alvarez

Well Good Afternoon Ladies and gentlemen, for those of you who don’t know me, My name is Alejandro Alvarez, I’m a senior at Navarre High School and well today I Graduate. Surprise! But before I begin I would like to thank some certain people and really express my gratitude to them for sticking with me through my High School Career. I owe a huge thanks to my family. Especially My parents, they have shown an unconditional love for me during these past 4 years. They have been there for everything; ups, downs, highs, lows, heartbreaks, joy and so on. I can only hope to be half the people they are. I like to also thank my teachers, all 24 of them in the last 4 years. Specifically a few; Mrs. Pearce, thank you for believing in me when I had lost hope.  Coach Bagley, thank you for showing me how to be a Man among boys. Mrs. Brichetto, thank you for showing me that in life we have to do things we don’t want to and we just gotta suck it up. Mr. J, thanks for proving to the School that Math is used in the real world. Coach Whitley, thanks for showing me that even though I may have gray hair someday I can still be the coolest person around. And finally Ms. Beauchner, thank you for showing me that teachers can be friends too. I have one last Thank you. So in the weeks leading up to this very moment, you would not believe how many people asked for a shout out. I think I became the most popular kid in school! Of course I said yes to everybody! But some things in life don’t work out the way you want, sorry everybody. But I told myself a long time ago that if I ever spoke at graduation I would truly thank this person. This person has done so much but has asked for so little.  So, Jimmy Crouse Thank you. I’ve never had the opportunity to really thank you till now. Thanks for being the best friend to a little boy in 7th grade who didn’t know if his dad was going to come back from deployment or not. You will always be appreciated.

WOW. High School. These past 4 years have really flown by. I can really say a lot has changed from freshmen year to now. I remember freshmen year like it was yesterday. Walking in with my first day of school outfit that I’ve had planned for months, looking around and seeing grown men with beards who were the so called seniors, and realizing that I’m actually going to have homework this year. Then there was sophomore year, a head up from the freshmen but still at the bottom of the food chain. This was the year to tell all the freshman how mature you are and how you know so much more than life than them even though you’re only a year older… Then before you know it we’re at junior year. The make it or break it year. The year where the ACT becomes the test that determines your future, the year where you have to make good grades but still be able to maintain more than a hundred followers on twitter. Then finally senior year. The long awaited year of Royalty that people only heard rumors of. Instead of seeing grown men with beards we see little kids with backpacks who we still cant believe are the “freshmen.”  High School was definitely a roller coaster. So many ups and downs. Hopefully more ups than downs but definitely a roller coaster of life. I still definitely took some key things away from the chaotic world we call High School. Yes I remember the Quadratic equation, yes I remember the Civil War, yes, surprisingly, I remember how to do my taxes and yes, I also remember that it’s always time to go home at 3:21. But something that has stuck with me and that has gotten more and more relevant is that “Life’s what you make it, so let’s make it right.” Copyright Hannah Montana… But really, Life IS what you make it. You have the independent God given right to choose your happiness. Yes, I’ll admit that at times it very hard and can be extremely challenging, but it is never impossible. A.I.E. Attitude is everything. We tend to forget the power that our attitude has. When times get tough most of us go with the crowd. We let the tough times beat us. We start to lose hope of a new day, and unfortunately we sometimes give up. If you ever find yourself in this situation, please apply the following. STOP IT. Stop letting the adversary win. Believe in your self. Once you do this, the battle is halfway won. The final step is to NEVER GIVE UP. Such a simple saying we’ve heard all our lives. Those are the other 3 words people have always told us. But how many of us actually do that? How many of us will stop going with the crowd? How many of us will be UNCOMMON? Have you ever really thought about what it means to literally NEVER GIVE UP?? This means you don’t stop no matter what! You don’t stop when people say you can’t do it, you don’t stop when you start to doubt yourself, and you certainly do NOT stop during hard times. Endure till the end, because whether we like it or not, life is not going to be easy. In fact it’s going to be the hardest thing we’ve ever done! You fall eight times you get back up nine. You fall 10 times you get back up 11. Heck, if you fall 100 times, you get back up 101. No matter what, keep. Getting. up. Look adversity in the face and tell him that today IM going to win… So yes the roller coaster of life in high school is coming to an end but it is also the beginning of the new Roller coaster. The eternal roller coast of life it’s self. But remember, one’s attitude is a powerful tool that can turn the glass half empty to the glass half full.

I’ll end with a monologue I wrote in one of my classes, I believe it really applies to this topic. “Is your life great? I’ll tell you what, mine sure is. I don’t have the nicest car though and I don’t have the biggest house or the fanciest clothes. Yeah I get bullied sometimes, yeah I get bad grades. Think of anything… It’s happened to me. I’ve been called too fat, too skinny, I have too many pimples, I’m not tan enough, I’m not good looking, I’m too tall, too short, too ugly to fit in. Simply put, I’m not good enough. But is my life still great? Yes. My life is full of greatness. You know why… Because I make it great. Even in the darkest days, I refuse to not see the Light. I refuse to not count my blessings. I wake up every morning and tell myself “Today’s gonna be a great day.” Because I make it great. Not because I have to feel approval from the kids at school. But because I approve of myself. But I bet you are thinking “Oh, what if something terrible happens?? Even then you can’t have a great day.” Well I say, So what? So what something bad happens? Yeah I mean bad things are never good, but does the sun not shine every morning no matter what happens during the night? No matter how big the cave is, there is always a light. No matter what happens I choose my happiness. You look in the mirror and you say to yourself I look good today. But as soon as you get to school you start to question yourself because somebody said you looked bad. Now how you respond… Now that’s what makes you great. You always have a choice, a choice to choose. A choice to either get down and accept the fact that wow maybe their right, maybe I’m not good enough… Or the choice to choose happiness! The choice that says I’m great because I choose to be great! I’m happy because I choose to be happy. Who cares what other people say or think. My happiness doesn’t depend on them. Everybody can be great when things go their way, but when things go down hill, that is the true definition of greatness. Being miserable in the journey to joy is optional. Struggling is not. Now I ask you again… Is your life great? Or do you choose to make your life great.”

Go raiders and God Bless.

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