This is a big year. A year of many lasts. Last day of school, last day of high school, last day of childhood. Wait who am I kidding, I’m still kinda childish at times! But it is also a year of firsts, first day of summer, first day of college, first day of the real world. All of the these things make it a pretty eventful year! Being a member of this graduating class, I auditions, and was then selected to give the commencement speech. Not gonna lie, I was absolutely terrified. I have always been a public speaker, but this was not something I was used to. This was not just a speech competition, I was not going to get a rating when I was done, which in the logical mind, that should have made it easier, but it didn’t. This was a very formal, important speech that had to be given in front of my entire graduating class! I find that I tad stressful! But I did it! I didn’t faint, I didn’t cry, and I didn’t puke, so that’s a success in my book! When writing the speech, I had no idea where I was going with it, but this is what came out! Enjoy!
Time and Moving On
Welcome family, friends, faculty, and most importantly class of 2013. Wow, it has been a long four years. Not only four years, but 48 months, 208 weeks, 1,460 days, 35,040 hours, and we won’t even go into minutes and seconds. (Shout out to Mr. Pemble for teaching me the correct way to figure that out, the scientific term being, “goal posts”) Those numbers seem insanely high, and they are, but when you look at those minutes in memories, it feels like 35,040 hours ago was just yesterday. When we are in the moment we feel as if time is dragging on, but when we look back, it was slipping through our hands. Now that we are here, in this gymnasium, at our high school graduation, we have the opportunity to not only remember the last four years, but prepare ourselves for the next four and so on.
We have spent our 35,040 hours doing many things: Sleeping, coming here, playing sports, going to sporting events, performing music, going to music events, taking classes (both for fun and because we have to), and just being teenagers, the list goes on and on. And in that list, there are always memories made. These are the memories that make us who we are, the ones that should stick with us, but unfortunately, like time, these memories slip through our hands.
About a month ago I asked Mr. McDonald what to expect for the rest of the year. He told me, “Tomorrow, you graduate.” I won’t lie, at first I thought he was just being a tad dramatic, but now that I am standing here I realize just how right he was. Although it has been a month since he said that to me, it really feels like it was yesterday. Since then I have taken the time to slow down and think about what has happened in the last 30 days alone: Prom, coffee house, senior banquet, a weekend in Kansas City, ending of sport seasons, beginning of sport seasons, and multiple graduation parties already, including the 14+ yesterday!! It is amazing what can happen in such a short time and those are just the big things I remember.
We are getting ready to move on with our lives. Things will never be the same. We will never be taking the same classes with the same peers and teachers. We will go out separate ways; some may only go a quick drive, others a long plane ride away. Some are going into the health care field, others into engineering, and others still will decide to work a full time job. No matter what path we decide to take, freedom is a part in every brick. How we use that freedom is another factor that makes us who we are. We could party all night, skip classes, do something we might… regret, and let’s face it, some of us will, some of us have. But those are the things that help make us into the people we will become, those choices, those mistakes, the memories.
I cannot honestly say that I know exactly what to expect for the next four years. Believe it or not I’ve never actually done this whole graduate and go off to college thing before. I can’t stand here and give advise for the future because, like everyone here wearing these cool robes and hats, I am getting ready to choose my path too. I am going to be faced with challenges I might not see coming. And although I don’t want to admit it, I might fail, but even if I do, I won’t waste a second doing it. And let’s face it, if you are using every second you have, for the good, how is failure possibly an option? Knowing what I do now, it is almost impossible to see four years, even 35,040 hours pales in comparison to the millions of memories made. Thank you class of 2013, let’s go out there and made some memories!!