Photo courtesy of Lone Peak High School

Congratulations, Lone Peak High School Class of 2020!

THIS STRANGE YEAR MADE YOU STRONGER

Graduating Class of 2020 – You have already demonstrated that you have grit. Weathering all the changes and challenges of finishing your high school careers in the midst of a pandemic could not have been easy. Perhaps one of the best commencement speeches to turn to for such an occasion comes from President Ronald Reagan when he addressed the Notre Dame graduating class of 1981 – during a recession.

“[You] are what behaviorists call achievers. And while you will look back with warm pleasure at your memories of these years that brought you here to where you are today, you are also – I know – looking at the future which seems uncertain to most of you, but which – let me assure you – offers great expectations. Take pride in this day. Thank your parents. Thank those that have helped you.... And do a little celebrating – you’re entitled,” he said. “This is your day. It is a milestone in life and it marks a time of change. Winston Churchill, during the darkest period of the Battle of Britain in World War II said when great causes are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirit, not animal and that something is going on in space and time and beyond space and time which – whether we like it or not – spells duty.”

Reagan went on to discuss the Founding Fathers, the fabric of this nation built on hard work, ingenuity and a willingness to do the right thing when life demands it. Stately words of wisdom aside, there are certain principles mountain-raised young adults from a ski town know better than others. The very same tenacity and strength that serves well on Lone Peak will prove essential upon the greater mountain of life. Here are words of wisdom from the mountain the Lone Peak High School Class of 2020 already know: Find your trail – the one that makes you happiest.

Have the courage to pause when it is needed – especially when you can’t see what’s in front of your face. Be ready to adapt – conditions can change quickly. Sometimes, when life is pushing you and fear makes you freeze, take a deep breath and remember what you know – reflect on the trails conquered previously. Then, have the bravery to push-off. There will be bluebird days and overcast days – do what you need to do regardless. Act when others are stagnant. There will be sparkly powder days full of bliss and icy overcast days filled with pain. Savor the beautiful days and treat the overcast days as learning experiences. No matter how you cut it, those days make you stronger – and better. There will be moments when it will feel like it is just you versus the mountain. Those times will demand faith. It is important to foster self-confidence – that cannot be stressed enough. Be your greatest advocate. The buddy system works well on the mountain – and in life. Find the people who allow you to be comfortably yourself, but who also push you to be the best possible version of yourself. Recognize when someone else needs assistance and do not be afraid to ask for help when you need it. No matter how capable we are, all of us will need support at some point. You will fall. Keep getting back up. Avoid yellow snow whenever possible. It’s there. You know it’s there. Dodge it. And if you can’t dodge it, get home quickly and take a shower – there’s a pandemic afoot, silly kids.

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