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South High Graduation Speech

Good afternoon everyone! Instead of simply narrating a speech, I thought we could do something fun, let’s watch a movie; a verbal movie of our years together. Let’s press

“Play” and begin in September of the year 2000. Do you know where we were? Kindergarten. Those glorious days of naptime and finger-painting … cliché I know, but where did those days go? That was the first time some of us met, but that was only the beginning, and when kindergarten ended, a new experience began in the first grade where new friends were made and new skills were learned. 


Fast forward to 2006: the end of fifth grade; we reached the end … it was time to move on to middle school, to change, to begin something new, and then when middle school ended, high school would begin. 


All of our beginnings have started with an ending and today is one of the most important endings of our life, for it brings forth one of the greatest beginnings. Fast forward to today: Thursday, June 20, 2013, our graduation day … we’ve reached the end of the road. 


Was the fact that we were going to graduate together as predictable as the ending of a cheesy chick flick? Probably. But was your personal ending what you expected? Did you plan to end with your successes and failures exactly how they are now? Most likely the answer is “no,” but those successes and failures that arose uncontrollably are the ones that will help you start a new beginning. 


Rewind: remember when you didn’t get the score you wanted on your SAT? What did you do? You tried again. You learned to persevere until you succeeded. That failure taught you to not give up. 

Rewind: remember when you thought you couldn’t do something, but you worked extremely hard and in the end succeeded? That determination will stay with you wherever you go. 

Fast forward to today. Although today may be the last day we feel safe and comfortable in each other’s company here, this day is a celebration of our future. These skills we learned here will not end today, instead they will move us forward in the right direction to forge new paths and beginnings for ourselves wherever life may take us. 


Our life has no beginnings or endings; each event is merely a new chapter in this movie of life. 


Albert Einstein said that “intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death,” yet I believe it is more than just intellectual growth. Personally, emotionally, internally, we are all growing each day, and while a chapter may end today, a new one will begin as well. 


Our movie is not over. Each character in this movie, all of us, will continue to be involved in some way or another in each other’s lives. We will not stop supporting our peers just because some of us have moved across the country or perhaps even the world. 


Today we may say goodbye to one another, but it won’t be a sad goodbye, instead a celebratory one where we can look forward to each other’s successes. 


Of course in movies, we can fast forward, but this is where life differs. We don’t know our ending, so what we are to do is live each day to its fullest and remember that there are never any endings in life; only new beginnings. 


Let’s hit play and continue this movie together, now each individually adding new chapters to this wonderful life we have created thus far.