Valedictorian Devon Patel Compares Life to a Race in “Mario Kart,” Long With Many Turns, Bumps, and No Early Winners!

Good morning class of 2015, family, friends, teachers, and administration. But I

wish I could be saying good afternoon because it is definitely too early for this, and

you would think that I’d be used to these early hours after waking up at 6 in the

morning for the past four years, but nope. If you didn’t already know, my name is

Devon Patel and as a disclaimer, I’d like to say that this is the first speech I’ve ever

written and E

nglish is my worst subject, so don’t be alarmed if my friends start throwing

rotten tomatoes at me.

So its finally over, its been three years, nine months, and 20 days, since we’ve walked

into Centereach High School to start our high school careers, and I think you all

deserve a round of applause for making it here, especially after all the stress, all the

standardized tests, and all the dreaded homework.

Now, I was told that this speech had to include some inspirational words

regarding the future so that we can all leave this chapter of our lives with the right

mindset. Unfortunately, I’m no prophet so I’m just going to share a bit of insight that I’ve

picked up in my years here at Centereach. It took me freshman, sophomore, and junior

year to realize that there really is no reason to get fixated on or worked up about

something that happens or might happen because we really don’t have any control

over destiny.

Contrary to what many of you think or may be thinking, I actually don’t spend all

my time studying, reading, or keeping my pocket protector clean. In fact, I spend a

good amount of my time playing video games and I’d say about 65% of my high

school career was spent in front of my laptop wasting days away. I’m hoping to tie in

my love for video games into an inspirational send off so bear with me here.

Our lives can be compared to a race in Mario Kart. Some of us may have a

rough start, either we forget to hit A on time and fall behind, or we over anticipate the

countdown and exhaust our engines. Nonetheless, that’s just the beginning of our

journeys through this crazy thing called life. Where we begin, as cliche as it sounds,

does not define where we will end up. Some of us may have successfully made it

through high school, while others just barely met graduation requirements. None of

that really matters because even if you do start the race in 8th place, it doesn’t mean

you can’t catch up and take home the 1st place gold trophy.

This also serves as a warning to those who zoomed ahead and think that

they’re in a great place. You can’t expect to cruise through the rest of your life without

encountering any roadblocks or complications. There will always be people pinning

for you, waiting for that perfect moment to knock you off your heels, just like the shells

that are thrown at you when you’re ahead. While you’re vulnerable, your opponents

will zoom right past you. You may see that all your friends are being hired or starting

their careers while you’re still struggling to put together a resume.

But even though there are roadblocks, you can’t give up. You have to keep

moving forward and make the best of what you have at that moment, keeping in mind

that everything will work itself out and that there is nothing to worry about. Even if you

don’t win that first race, there’s always a second.

Now that I’ve covered the inspirational requirement for this speech, it’s time for

my shoutouts. Shoutout to my parents for allowing me to exist, for motivating me to try

my best in everything, and for feeding me, that’s pretty important too. Shoutout to my

friends for not letting me sit alone in the cafeteria, for making me laugh in class, and for

copying my homework on a daily basis. Shoutout to my teachers for filling my head

with “knowledge”, and for teaching me more than book smarts. Shoutout to

Centereach’s administration for letting me make this speech. Shoutout to all the

people that asked for a shoutout. Shoutout to the parents in the audience for listening.

Shoutout to the person that helped me write this speech. And most importantly,

shoutout to the Centereach Class of 2015, I’m going to miss you guys. Good luck,

enjoy the ride, and peace out.

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