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Graduation Speech: Enjoy the Journey

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Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Sitting in the backseat of the car, I used to bombard my family with these questions. On our summer road trips I was so anxious for the destination that I failed to appreciate the journey. However, as time passed and I grew older, I realized that it was the journey that was important and not the destination.

For the past 13 years of our education we have been on a journey - a journey full of experiences, challenges and accomplishments. We have made it through elementary, middle and high school. It hasn't always been what we expected and certainly not easy, but as we progressed down the road, we stretched ourselves to reach across barriers and found ourselves in new and expanding roles. We were given the opportunity to explore our interests and discover what really excites us. We have become more independent and complete individuals. Our growth and self-discovery has placed us here tonight.

Tonight we stand at a crossroad where each one of use will take a new direction in our life's journey. Walt Whitman said "Not I - not anyone else can travel that road for you. You must travel it for yourself." Where we end up isn't the most important decision, but instead it is the road we choose to take to get there. The road we take is what we will look back on and call our life. Life is a journey of everyday experiences, teaching us moment in, moment out, who we really are. It's important to remember these words "Happiness is to be found along the way, not at the end of the road, for then the journey is over and it is too late."

And so we find ourselves ready and eager to move on. We take with us the strength and knowledge we've gained through our interactions, encounters, challenges and accomplishments at school and at home with parents, teachers and friends. Remember life is not a race but a journey to be enjoyed each step of the way. I leave you with these words from the mountain climber John Amatt: "Adventure isn't hanging on a rope off the sides of a mountain.