I grew up a thrift store kid. We took trips in a beat up station wagon, but I went to school in Shallow Creek. I was considered a little different. We are all different. Later we will find that we are all the same. It will not matter later in life who we were friends with or what clubs we belonged to. It will not matter what our grades were, or what kind of clothes we wore. It will not matter what kind of cars our parents drove. It will not matter what our dreams were, but what dreams we accomplish. We realize that cliques are lame and that they don't matter in the real world. In the real world where we have to choose what we do all day. There are no longer laws or our parents to make us get to school every morning at 7:30.
For some of us it was hard and for others it was easy. I was one of the people who didn't know until this last semester if I'd graduate. It's hard to believe that you can do something if someone tells you it's not worth it. The advice given to me my entire senior year was to drop out and get my GED, because too many people had a high school diploma that didn't mean anything. That person had no idea what they were talking about. Just getting a diploma means everything, it's what we have been working for all of our lives. Maybe that person's goal was for me to take those words and prove them wrong. I did, but I had to convince myself not to take that advice. Many people helped me get here. Many people helped all of us get here. Thank you mom, for the countless phone calls to the school, and to the superintendent when my credits were messed up and no one listened to me. Thank you dad, for getting on my case even when I got an attitude. Thank you to my teachers who put up with our talking even when it wasn't an appropriate time. Thank you to my friends who gave me all the strange nicknames that only we could understand. We all have our thank you's because none of us did it alone. Whether you know it or not, at least one person helped you get here. Take a minute right now to look around this room.