Graduation Speech: What is Next?

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What is graduation? Some people would say that it's proof of the freedom we will soon experience. Some say that it's the end of the best years of our lives. Some would say that it's when we're forced to grow up and become adults. Some would say that it's just another day, no different than any other day, other than the scrolls, the funny outfits and the clapping. Some go into it silent, awaiting their chance to be recognized for their victory dance. Some use stupid comparisons to describe it by saying that it's like the opening of a new door or that it's like taking another step on the never-ending ladder of life. Some praise it, some dread it. Everyone has a different opinion, but there's one thing that we all agree on. There's one question on the back of all our minds that we worry about every time we think about this night. And that question is: What's next? There are a thousand things that can be compared to graduation, and some of them may be pretty accurate, but none of them can come close to the reality of what graduation really is. Graduation can't be described in words, other than it's an event 12 years in the making. We've waited 12 years, move than half our lives, to stand on a stage with a funny hat and robe, which if I'd see someone walking down the street wearing I'd throw something at them. But it's just really hard to think about. Twelve of our 18 years on this planet have been spend working towards this single night. From the building blocks in kindergarten, to kick and wallball in fourth and fifth grade. From standing in circles putting your arm around your girlfriend's waist in seventh and eighth grades, to pulling an all-nighter in Abbot's class in eleventh grade. It all prepares us. Now, the people I k... ... middle of paper ... ...e questions that's on all of our minds: What is next? Well, what's next is up to us. It's up to us to accomplish those goals we set for ourselves. It's up to us to decide whether we'll choose stagnation or generativity. It's up to us to accept the reality of seriousness and the beauty that can be derived from it. And it's up to us to remember these past 12 years and move on to bigger and better things while at the same time remembering the experiences we've had with our friends and family, because these times are the best years of our lives. Everything else is just a remix. These times are the foundation of our lives, and just like a house is built up from the foundation, our lives will be built up from these past 12 years. I just made a corny graduation analogy, but I don't care. The feelings in this room tonight can't be put into words, but they can be remembered.

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