Breaking Down the Myth of Dreams

Armita Mirkarimi: the commencement speaker sending off this year’s graduates


Corina Silverstein

Commencement speaker Armita Mirkarimi glances into the future among the blooming flowers of Quail Hill.

There’s no way to sugarcoat it. This school year has been a difficult one for this year’s seniors, with record breaking amounts of people applying to college, a pandemic and a lack of school events. 

However, Warriors are still being sent off with a hopeful message at graduation on June 3, by Armita Mirkarimi, through an in-person graduation.

After sending a draft to the school’s graduation committee and a live audition, Mirkarimi landed the role as this year’s commencement speaker.

Mirkarimi’s speech is an inspirational message about dreams, and being an optimistic realist.

“My speech is about breaking  down the myth of dreams, and how they’re in a way overrated,” Mirkarimi said. “There’s so much more to life than waiting for things to happen to us when we can go out and make it ourselves.” 

The idea centered around this speech began long before high school even started for Mirkarimi.

“Ever since I was little, I was really fed this idea of if you dream big enough you can get whatever you want…and a lot of time we are told that if the magnitude of our dreams don’t scare us, we’re doing something wrong,” Mirkarimi said. 

Throughout the speech, Mirkarimi sprinkles in the idea that although people should stay content with what happens in life, working hard is also a key component to actually achieving that ideal life. 

“I talk about it that Taylor Swift didn’t just dream up the tune about her eight studio albums, like she put pen to paper. There’s a big difference between hoping and wishing for something to happen and taking actionable steps and goals to get what you want to get,” Mirkarimi said.

Mirkami took inspiration from Amanda Gorman, a 23-year-old poet who spoke at this year’s inauguration for President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris.

“Her life is just really crazy, and I really took inspiration from some of her speeches.”

Her speech also resonates with some of the commencement speech from 2018, especially relating to keeping happiness a priority.

“I invite you to join me in one of my favorite pastimes – go outside, find some grass and lay down. Look straight up at the cloud sky, and just keep looking,” former student Tony Maquiling said at 2018’s graduation.

Mirkarimi also believes that Woodbridge’s environment shaped a large portion of her speech.

“I always knew I wanted to write about dreams, just because we go to a school where everyones wondering ‘Who’s going to get into the Ivy Leagues and do all these great things,’ so I knew I wanted to do that since we always see that mentality around campus.”

With an optimistic view on pursuing your dreams, Mirkarimi is prepared to give this great speech on graduation day.

Senior Medha Sarkar, one of Mirkarimi’s friends, speaks on how Mirkarimi has displayed this message in her everyday life.

“Armita is extremely hardworking and dedicated and this leads her to take on a lot of work from all the extracurriculars that she does, but I never see her complain about it. She knows she took on the work herself and she’s prepared to do everything she can to give 110%, even if that’s more difficult. It’s one of the things I admire about her and one of the things that makes her so strong,” Sarkar said.