When one life meets another, something will be born. We can often see this occur when friendships are melded, when rivalries are forged, when lovers meet. But these births would not have been possible in the first place without the connections we made – willingly or not.
Without the combined efforts of many people in this room, you would not have graduated. In a way, your success is an extension and confirmation of their hard work, as well as your own. It’s bittersweet to imagine that the companions we have made in the past years will soon be taking separate paths, either in academia or location. High school has united us with a single purpose, and that was to leave it. With this mutual goal about to be realized in just a few short moments, we wonder: how can we continue to affect one another beyond graduation?
As painful and cynical as it is to say that these were our “best years,” it is equally as pitiful to think that the four years we spent had all been a waste: a muddled competition that started with a shove in the hallways and ended with a scantron bubble. Weren’t we team members, leaders, thespians, musicians, artists? These instances—prompted by classmates, teachers, guardians and friends—were necessary in casting our personalities and our decisions. In that way, even when we leave, the fragments of hundreds of people ferment in our soul.
I am extremely grateful for my friends, especially those who have felt my true wrath. They forced me out of my shell, even when I protested. For preventing me from becoming a complete antisocial recluse, I thank you.
I’d like to honor our salutatorian, [Name removed] for not only her nearly flawless academic record, but for challenging the way I viewed friendships and myself. I still have a long way before I catch up to you, but no matter what happens, I still think you’re “number one.”
There are not enough words to describe the incredible debt I owe to my mother. I admire her strong character and her thankless deeds to the family. I’ll finally clean my room when I get home, I promise.
(lol not really)
My sisters keep me entertained with their interests in everything nerdy, from the arts to science to anime. I owe my insanity and sanity to you guys. For those who care, the first line of my speech was from episode 40 of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, preached by the Champion Cynthia herself.
And lastly, I’d like to acknowledge my father. If it wasn’t for him, I’d still be living in my birth town across the ocean and be a dramatically different person. I know it’s been a struggle to get this far, but I want you to know that I regret nothing and that I’ll keep going for your sake, and the sake of those who are important to me.
Class of 2011, continue to make your accomplishments shine and reach out to every connection you’ve ever birthed. Even though we are apart, our actions will reach one another, oftentimes in unconventional and unexpected ways.