By: John Wang (Grade 12)
A Goodbye to my WPGA Family
My time at WPGA has been an unreal experience that I wouldn’t trade away for anything. The wolfpack is a family whom I can trust and share what I’m passionate about with and I will be forever thankful for that. As our time in high school comes to a close, I would like to say an emotional goodbye and wish you well with ten songs that uniquely resonate with our grade. Some are nostalgic, some have meaningful stories associated with them, and some will make fine additions to your playlists. I hope you enjoy them.
Dire Straits — Brothers in Arms
We’ve all made unforgettable bonds with unforgettable people in our time at WPGA. We experienced all kinds of things with these friends. Whether it be winning a sports tournament or camping in Wilderness Pursuits or taking the stage with performing arts groups or filming the best term end videos or going to debate events or simply having a good time, these adventures will be deeply embedded in our memories. Whether it be failing a test together or suffering agonizing defeat in the finals of a competition or having quarrels between friends or embarrassing yourself in front of the class, these misfortunes will act as valuable lessons in our maturing. Although not comparable to soldiers in WWI, through these ups and downs, we are more or less “brothers in arms.”
One Republic — Counting Stars
I asked many 2020 graduates the question, “which song best represents our grade?” I received many different answers; however, one song that was repeatedly mentioned is “Counting Stars.” At first, I wasn’t really sure why so many people picked this song. Sure it’s a classic, but it’s also just another pop song. However, after listening to it again for the first time in years, I instantly understood why. There’s just something special about the song and how it talks about life and dreams (the good memories it brings up is another plus). Especially during the boredom of the lockdown, lots of us have been “losing sleep. Dreaming about the things that we could be.”
Travis Scott — Dance on the Moon (ft. Theophilus London 7 Paul Wall)
We all need some cheering up sometimes, and “Dance on the Moon,” which is my favourite song off of Owl Pharaoh, is a perfect track to lift your mood, no matter where you are. The electropop feel is infectious, and combined with the humming, rapping, and a catchy chorus, this song is a memorable tune. If you are a fan of hip-hop, you need to check this gem out asap.
Simon & Garfunkel — Bridge Over Troubled Water
As our lives of inquiry, action, and joy are being shaped, we are often reminded that actions mean more than words. It doesn’t matter if we are “quietly bold or fearlessly spirited.” As long as we reach out a helping hand to those in need, we’re positively impacting the lives of others. Think about a time when a peer helped you when you were down and how much a difference it made. I can personally think of many examples and am infinitely grateful for all of them. In “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” the famous duo Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel talk about providing assurance and comfort to those you care about, acting as a “bridge over troubled water” for them. The bible reads “give, and it shall be given unto you”; while I’m not at all a religious person, I think this quote perfectly describes how through helping those you care about, you can strengthen meaningful bonds.
Imagine Dragons — On Top of the World
The title of this song did one of two things, it either evoked a feeling of nostalgia or triggered your PTSD from filming the junior school graduation video (unless you are like me, who arrived at WPGA in high school). This song is a major throwback. It gives off really good vibes and serves as a reminder of the jolly days of our childhood and all the good times we have had together at WPGA. We’ve “had the highest mountains” and “had the deepest rivers”; these experiences shaped us into the capable individuals we are today. Regardless of the many setbacks and difficulties we had faced along the way, we have finally made it to graduation, one step closer to the top of our worlds.
Linkin Park — One More Light
We all have experienced sorrowful events in the past and will experience them again and again as life goes on. Mental health issues are becoming increasingly common in our fast-paced world. It is extremely important to take care of yourself, especially when you are out of high school and making a living for youself. When I was dealing with those issues, this song was one that helped me cope. It reminds us that no matter how insignificant we may feel in our world of over 7 billion people, we must remember that there are so many people that care about us. And it works the other way around as well–one person’s impact on others’ lives cannot be overlooked. If someone you care about is struggling, make sure to reach out to them and help them through whatever it is.
Kanye West — Can’t Tell Me Nothing
You are most likely already familiar with this track. Off the fittingly titled Graduation, “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” stormed the charts back in 2007 and is regarded as one of the best songs on the album. This song is perfect for our occasion: as we spring into the “real world,” we need to be fearless and confident in ourselves. While it is of vital importance to take in constructive criticism, we should believe in our worth (no matter how cliché this may sound, it’s true) and say to those who repeatedly doubt you, “you can’t tell me nothing.”
070 Shake — Terminal B
This song is a very powerful one. The mixing sounds incredible, courtesy of Mike Dean, and her use of autotune perfectly fits the instrumental. Lyrically, she sings about someone she loves and hopes that relationship will last forever. I think that applies to many of us, whether it be a best-friend or a lover or a family member. So if there is a connection you truly value, don’t let it fade away due to distance after graduation.
Tame Impala — Let it Happen
As the chapter of high school closes, you might be anxious or intimidated by the unknown future. Us humans naturally fear change, whether it be moving to another city/country or changing jobs or having to adapt after life-changing incidents, this fear often makes us feel weak. For example, regardless of how excited I am for university, deep down, I know I’m nervous about settling in a city where I currently know a grand total of two people. In this song, Kevin Parker’s distant-sounding voice sings about “letting it happen,” letting go of the past and embracing the experiences coming your way, because more often than not, you have been ready for the change and challenges all along.
Bob Marley — Three Little Birds
In these times of uncertainty, with the COVID-19 pandemic, civil injustice, riots, economic turbulence and global tension waging on, we might feel a little helpless and scared. Luckily for us, humankind has endured events just as bad and much worse than the chaos of 2020 countless times; and we are still flourishing today. Many of these unpredictable situations are out of our control, and while it is important to be informed and up to date, we shouldn’t have to feel like we have to single-handedly create colossal global changes. I know our society today is in need of and also going through lots of radical changes, and I fully support the many good causes we are fighting for. As long as we do our part by controlling the things we can, such as social distancing, we don’t have to be anguished over our future; because eventually, “every little thing is gonna be alright!”
Dear class of 2020, thanks for being my friends, my mentors, and my second home for the past five years. Thanks for being there when I needed you, thanks for pushing me to my full potential, and thanks for the countless memories. You cherished me, guided me, and allowed me to prosper. I hope I’ve inspired and provided you laughter the same way you did. As high school comes to an end and our lives move forward, I wish you all the best and, as our motto states, to “go forth with confidence”. Adi02 🙂