I am so proud to have been a part of this graduating class.
Look at us! We did it. It’s over. High school: the place where miracles happen.
Although after spending four-or-so amazing years there, now we have to leave? We will forever miss the awkward silences after PowerPoint presentations, our silly freshman-selves, our unsatisfactory lockers, and the exchange of sentences which include “There’s a test today?”, so many essays, and Math class.
Now, let me just say in response to that: In order to move forward there are things that must be left behind. But seriously, I’m so glad that I’m leaving those things behind; I am also assuming that my classmates here have mutual feelings.
However, many of us have not even figured out the next fifty years of our future! Yet, we’re still cast out there, all vulnerable. Some of us are still wet with tears. The first newborns to emerge from the womb that is called: William E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus. But looking past the fact that we indeed suffered, cried a lot, and slept little to none, (teachers and students alike) this is just something that makes us who we are meant to be at this point in time.
The experiences that we have shared together are ones, which I hope, sit on a shelf in the back of our memories. So one day, we can walk onto the porch of our metaphorical mansions, a glass of the finest apple juice in hand, look back at these memories and say: “I’m grateful for the way our lives turned out”.
A little while ago someone told me – and I believe these words to be 100 per cent true – Graduation is what you make it. It is not just about the fact that your sons and daughters are leaving the house, nor that you’re leaving your parents’ house to live a different life, nor is it the teachers, nor is it the people you’ve met. It’s not just the things that you’ve learned. I’m sure it is all about the unforgettable memories you keep with you.
You know – the moments you have shared with your mother, father, friend, daughter, nephew, whoever, whenever, whatever. Just make Grad what you want it to be. All of us have very complex lives that differ from each other, which are as unique as our fingerprints. That being said, the differences that we do have reveal that we will accomplish so many different things.
Our theme tonight is ‘We’ve Only Begun’. And looking at that statement, it can be interpreted in many ways. Here’s a question: When does life really begin? Does it begin after high school? After getting your first kiss? Eating your first chicken nugget? The day your parents put you down, but never picked you back up again?
Or simply the first time your mother held you after your first breath? So many possibilities. We can figure that out for ourselves. Life is short, people.
So, I will promote the idea of doing what you love, whatever it may be, however old you may be… but maybe not if it happens to be illegal. Passion comes together with satisfaction. Also, cherish ‘now’. Do not take anything for granted for even a moment. And do that one thing you always wanted to do. Talk to that girl. Try that one food. Stay up past 9 pm if you are feeling awfully adventurous. Never forget that life is not complete without taking risks.
Make your fantasies reality, and your dreams and wishes into memories, because from what I’ve been told, and from what I’ve experienced, the past is behind us. We are at a very significant moment now, so don’t look back; look forward, because that’s where we are going. It is a big world out there, but our futures are bright, and we are surrounded by amazing people. I trust that we will make it to the end, wherever that is.
A man by the name of Abraham Lincoln once said,
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
Everyone raise your glasses of apple juice! Our metaphorical mansions await! We have only just begun. Let’s start.