Updated: Jul 16
A GRADUATION ADDRESS
A few weeks ago I stumbled across a speech I wrote for my middle school graduation. Admittedly, it never saw the light of day, but it did serve as a great laugh 3 years later!
*Names and school name omitted for privacy
Good evening everyone- Mr N, Ms C, teachers, staff, parents, family members, and of course, the graduating class of 2017.
Graduation is a summation of who we are today- the people STX has helped us become. On behalf of the students, thank you all for being here tonight to celebrate this special milestone, and for being a part of it.
Like many of us, I first came to STX in grade 5. Four years ago, I walked into a foreign school yard full of complete strangers and unfamiliar faces. Never would I have thought I’d learn to call this place my home and those socially awkward fifth graders my best friends. Now I look around this room to see not only my teachers, parents, and classmates, but also my role-models and dearest acquaintances- all the people who have made my years in elementary school worthwhile and meaningful.
Yes, we are leaving STX, but I know we will keep a part of it with us. Truth to be told, we’ve learnt a lot throughout elementary school. I’ll always remember that wood chips should be chosen over more permanent materials and salt. Before I ever make any important (3D printer-related) decisions, I’ll always think to myself, “What would Jesus do?” And I don’t think any of us will forget that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.
But on a more profound note, I also want to share with you a little about what my time at STX has taught me about friendship- a value I hope to carry through high school and beyond. In short, friendship is not about who you’ve known the longest, but about who stuck with you through thick and thin and picked you up every time you fell. If you give it some thought, you’ll probably find that these are the same people who take your snacks, ambush you with water balloons, and do everything in their power to publicly embarrass you… but can still laugh with you about it afterwards. These are the people who will see the good in you when you have trouble seeing the good in yourself. So I hope before the end of the year or sometime soon, you’ll thank your friends for always having your back and being supportive of all your bad decisions.
I’ll miss the smiles, the laughs, the lovely lunchtime conversations. But most of all, I’m going to miss the people who I have spent that past four years of my life growing up around. I would like to start by thanking our teachers who have paved the road ahead of us far beyond the classroom. Thinking back on it, we seemed to have learned just as much from who are teachers are as what they taught. Our teachers didn’t only tell us how to live out the virtues, they showed us through their own actions.
The path ahead of us looks clear, but before we sprint across the starting line, we should give an honourable mention to the ones who painted the road lines and street signs that keep us moving forward in the right direction. Moms, Dads, grandparents, relatives- without family we wouldn’t be where we are today. You play such an important part in of our stories and who we will become. And though we don’t say it nearly enough, I want to thank you for shaping me into who I am, and believing in me no matter what. More often than not, I’m sure we’ve all heard I parents call us “great investments” or “a second mortgage.” Well, parents, I’m proud to say that you have reached your first official return. We hope you are now confident to further invest in us in the future.
As I look back at all the moments we laugh about now, what I really love about the memories we made at STX is that we didn’t know we were making them at the time. We were just having fun. With the school year ending, and as our time at this school comes to a close, sometimes I wish I could go back and relive those moments we didn’t think were important- not to change anything, but to simply appreciate them a little more. To enjoy every second of recess, to laugh at every horrible joke and to re-experience and learn from every mistake. But if my time at elementary school has taught me anything, it is to live without regrets and to not be afraid of making mistakes. Learn from past failures and try again. Often times, we are asked about our plans for the next thirty years, and at the moment, I can hardly figure out what I want to do this summer. It’s always good to set goals and work hard to reach them, but let’s not get so caught up in the future that we forget to live in the present.
To quote Dr. Suess, “Sometimes we don’t realise the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” But sometimes we do. So from here on out, really live and cherish every moment of every minute of every day and take up every opportunity that comes your way.
As you go off and find out who you truly are, never forget where you come from, and never lose sight of what you stand for. We’ll always be STX wolves at heart no matter where our feet carry us or what new things we’ll discover along the way. Even though we’re parting from the comfort of elementary school, we’ll never really leave behind the memories or lessons. Dream hard. Work harder. Goodbye for now, as the next adventure begins.
Well that was a bit different from my usual posts :) Hope you enjoyed!
Until next time,