Osseo High seniors, celebrate the planned and unplanned journeys

Jane Oh

(Editor’s note: The following is from student speaker Jane Oh)

Earlier this year, I went on a date and watched the film Parasite. I will admit - there were a number of awkward scenes to get through. But for those of you who haven’t watched it yet.. What are you doing? Parasite has become one of my all time favorite movies.

Now there was one particular scene within the film that really stuck to me. The main characters, a poor family of four just had their house flooded in and, along with hundreds of others, was taking refuge in a high school gym. Lying on the concrete floor, unable to fall asleep, the son looks over to his dad and asks, “Dad, what was your plan?”

And he says, “Son, you know what kind of plan never fails? No plan at all. Why? Because if you make a plan, life never works out that way.”

That evening, no family there planned to be sleeping on a high school gym floor. On March 13, none of us planned for that day to be our last.

Class of 2020, I am privileged and humbled to be here with you today. And on behalf of the Osseo Senior class, I’d like to thank all the faculty, teachers, parents, and friends who have guided and helped us.

It’s unfortunate how things have turned out, and truly no one could’ve predicted any of this. But in the wake of this pandemic, an important question has been brought to light: what do we do when things don’t go as planned?

One of my friends can answer that question.

Now this friend had his whole life meticulously planned ahead of him. This year, he was preparing to apply to his dream school MIT, get in, graduate with his computer science degree in 4 years, apply to work for Google, get the job, and have a 6-figure salary by the time he’s 23.

So what did he do when he received a rejection letter from MIT? He cried, as all grown men do. Probably ate some peanut butter and a jar of nutella. But then he got up from his couch, decided to change his previous stone-set plans, and move forward.

Today he will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a computer science major.

Life moves on, and with it we will too.

I think we’re all aware that life is unpredictably unfair. And sometimes this means we will fail to accomplish what we want, regardless of how hard we worked or how qualified we may be. Whether that be failing to get that job, or not being able to get into your dream college. Not everything is in our control or favor. Not every failure is solely due to our own shortcomings. Sometimes it’s our race, gender, socioeconomic standing, or a global pandemic that acts to hinder us

However, this year more than ever, I’ve come to realize that it’s not necessarily what we achieve that defines us, but the experiences we gain and the path that we decide to take during these times of unexpected adversity.

It’s true that if I go out into life with no plan at all I will 100% succeed in executing my nonexistent plan. Now, I’m not telling you to not have a plan, even though I know many of you already don’t have one and this is including myself. But, I ask that you look to these times, as a moment in our life where setback is inevitable, and mobilize it for our current selves to work hard towards creating our future self and successes.

So let us celebrate the planned and unplanned journeys we took that got us all here right now because, Osseo Class of 2020, we made it.

Thank you.

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