Graduation Speech: We Are Giants

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Sept. 8, 2008: Colossal corridors and mammoth Seniors greeted our frightened Freshmen. Though we clung desperately to our remaining drops of confidence from the pinnacle of eighth grade, they evaporated under the sheer intensity of high school. We dared not poke our unprotected heads out to view this new realm, too terrified of who or what we might find. Some of us, it seemed, feared our strange surroundings would swallow us whole. Fortunately, curiosity overpowered even the most paralyzing insecurity, and slowly we prodded our boundaries, cautiously testing our skills and talents. We joined clubs and teams that matched our abilities, carving a circle of compassionate friends from the once-distant swarm. And backed by the support of these caring allies, we settled into the routine of adolescence. Until someone uttered those eight terrifying words: "What will you be when you grow up?" Of course, we had first been introduced to this ambiguous question while still in diapers, but always had brushed it aside with the thought, "I'll decide later." High school, we discovered, was later. So we embarked on the tedious process of inventing our dreams. We scoured the career center, hounded our counselors, pestered our parents and teachers. We pleaded with friends to answer in our stead. Certainly, we knew it was our decision, but we had to try to get out of it, right? Make someone else decide. But there is one instant in everyone's life when they explode from beneath that Xeroxed shroud of "General Public" and slip into the shimmering gown of "Individualism." Soon we understood that to find our passions we must step beyond the tight, comfortable confines or our abilities. We were forced to expose ourselves once more to the vulnerability of trial and error. But this time, as we delved into unfamiliar activities, we had the self-assurance to attempt the experiment. And so, amid the swirling waters of high school, backed by constant guidance from faculty, parents, and peers, we gradually formulated a future.

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