Hello parents, family, friends, and of course my fellow classmates. This is Nicolas Fulton, your salutatorian speaking thanks to the wonders of modern technology. I’ve been thinking a lot about …
Hello parents, family, friends, and of course my fellow classmates. This is Nicolas Fulton, your salutatorian speaking thanks to the wonders of modern technology. I’ve been thinking a lot about what to speak about and what would be the most useful and non-cliché thing for me to talk about so everyone isn’t bored to tears.
I think the most important thing our graduating class needs to hear about right now is how the COVID-19 coronavirus — just kidding, that was a joke. We’ve made it through high school, and I think the biggest issue we have right now, the biggest hurdle in front of us is the entire rest of our lives. We as a graduating class are at a big turning point in our lives where we’ve made it just far enough to see how far we have left to go.
Becoming an adult is scary. There’s taxes, college, finding a job, managing debt, figuring out what you want to do for the rest of your life, heck, just doing laundry. There’s a million little things you suddenly need to worry about and that’s scary. At least I’m scared. There’s a big huge pile of things I need to do and it kind of seems impossible. I think a lot of seniors feel like that.
I think when you feel overwhelmed by all of that, you need to realize that you don’t have to do it all at once. When you look at your goals as this one huge thing you need to do, of course it seems impossible. If I told a freshman that in the next few years they were going to have to read 50 books, write 200 essays, and take 300 tests, they’d feel like high school is impossible. But obviously, it isn’t. We made it through all of that just by taking it day by day.
When you’re looking at it as one big challenge instead of a bunch of small challenges, you’re really doing yourself a disservice. Whatever you want to do, whether it’s getting a college degree or finding a job or curing cancer or just figuring out how to be OK — which are all great goals to have — you can’t do them all at once, nor should you try to. Everything you do is a bit of work towards that goal whether it’s something small like getting out of bed in the morning or something bigger like learning how to do taxes. I think the place that a lot of us are stuck at is that we haven’t gotten out of bed because we’re scared because we don’t know how to do our taxes. You don’t need to have it all figured out right now.
It’s fine if you don’t have it all figured out yet. It’s a long journey you’ve got ahead of you and your best friend on that journey is how much time it’s gonna give you to solve each of these little problems. Anyone who’s ever done anything really great didn’t do it all at once. George Washington’s to-do list wasn’t step 1, beat the British, step 2, become president. It takes a lot of time to achieve your goals, and that’s a blessing. You won’t get it done tomorrow, but you also don’t need to do all the work by tomorrow.
You’d be amazed by what you can achieve if you just take it one step at a time. What you’ve already achieved. Getting through high school is hard. It takes a lot of work and a lot of effort. But we all did it didn’t we? We made it through this, and now we get to dress like wizards!
Point is, don’t worry about the overarching thing you need to do or things that are far ahead of you. You can figure it out as you go. Anyways, that’s all I have to say about the coronavirus. Stay rad, Powell High School!
(Nicolas Fulton gave this speech as the salutatorian for Powell High School’s Class of 2020.)