I’d like to start by congratulating not only my fellow classmates on reaching this significant milestone but all those here supporting us today; our families, our friends, our coaches and our educators who have played a significant role in helping us get here.
Over the course of our education, we’ve learned a lot that will undoubtedly prove to be valuable as we continue on in our lives. However, I don’t believe that the most important things we will take away from this experience will be what we have studied from within the classroom, but the memories we’ve made and the lessons we’ve learned that have assembled our journey to this point.
One of the most significant things I’ve learned in the past five years is that inevitably, there will be points in life where you don’t meet your own expectations, where you look back at that test knowing that had you spent a few more seconds you could have got that question right, where you think back to that game and know that if you had made that one play you could have won, when you recall a conversation and know you could have said something more significant but the time is now past and you let the moment to speak your truth slip by. I’ve learned that these inescapable moments, however frustrating, are more than necessary for growth and progression and as Mr. Moore has said, you are not your highlight reel. I’ve found that expecting perfection is not only unatainable but annoyingly stressful and just the
￼slightest bit dumb. It’s important to always strive to be the best you can, and celebrate when you are able to achieve those goals, but unreasonable to question your own abilities when you don’t. If given the opportunity to go back in time, that is what I would tell myself. I would also tell myself to stop crying in the hallway, your English mark will go up and you knew going in that Mrs. Dedora marked hard.
Today we stand on the cusp of limitless possibility. Do not approach these opportunities timidly and do not seek perfection through them, you’ll miss all of the lessons they have to offer. Don’t ever forget how you feel right now and fall into the quiet complacency of a life lesser than the one you are capable of living. Your future is not preordained, take risks and embrace the hardships you may encounter as it is the adversities, not the good fortunes we’ve faced that have brought us here today. Whether it be trying to interpret Mrs. Morrish or Mr. Seim’s hand-drawn biology diagrams, Mrs. Frank no longer letting us take coffee from the staffroom because it “wasn’t cute” after DJ started trying to do it, or simply attending the school in the middle of a field, each one of us today has overcome difficulties that have helped shape us into the people we are now. In all seriousness, the resilience of my classmates and the support of those around me have demonstrated characteristics I aspire to carry with me as I move into the future and have enabled me to look no further than my own peers when in need of encouragement or friendship.
It has been a privilege to be a part of this community for so long and I’d like to take a moment to thank some members who have played an enormous role in the achievements of myself and my fellow graduates. I’d like to thank the teachers, coaches, family, and friends, many of whom are here today who have positively impacted our lives and provided constant encouragement, without which, none of us would be standing here today. I would also like to personally thank my parents whose persistent love (and occasional questioning) has provided me with all the tools necessary for the success of today, and the dreams of tomorrow. Lastly, I would like to thank my fellow classmates who have contributed life-long memories and friendships that I will cherish for the rest of my life. May God bless you all, and may your dreams take you far.