Monday, June 26

Valedictorian Speech

Here we go, the final post in the whole 'Chris' High School Writings' series, my valedictorian speech. I don't think it's my best stuff, but I believed in what I wrote enough to say it in front of hundreds. I didn't visit any webpages or read any books on what to say. It's all original as far as I'm concerned. There really isn't much else to say, so here it is.

Hello everybody. To all of who came here today, I extend my gratitude. Your being here shows great respect for our class. Thank you.

There’s a saying I like that’s particularly well suited to this occasion. “It’s not the destination, but the journey on the way that counts.” Nothing illustrates this better than life itself. After all, our final destination is death, and life is merely the journey towards it.

Our time in school was a journey as well, and here we are at its destination. What is it then that we have spent 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, 9 months a year, and 13 years working towards? The right to leave. Seems pretty silly to me, and you have wasted this journey if you spent it only wishing for the end, not living in the moment.

So, what happened on this journey? What made it special and worth living through?

Well, we learned things, I hope. The knowledge we have gained here is part of the place which we will stand upon when we move the earth. Even if we plan on becoming truckers or electricians or hairdressers and never expect to use our knowledge of Shakespeare or Congressional powers again, we know about them and become something else if we want to.

Still, with all the importance I attach to the knowledge we’ve gained here, I don’t believe it is the most important part of our journey through school. Rather, it’s our experiences and memories that are of the greatest importance. They make us unique and will always be a part of us.

We have all done and seen good and bad things. Done things we were proud of and things we were ashamed of. There have been fun and boring things, as well. These compose our experiences, none of them worth less than another.

We are who we are today because of them. We may not be as smart or athletic or charismatic as other people, but our experiences are unique and make us all special.

Still, we must remember that even though these experiences have made the people who sit here today, they don’t determine who we will be. Change is always possible.

Furthermore, memories are lasting. Do any of us really expect to wear the same clothes in 10 years or even be driving the same car? When these goods have been upgraded or cast off, our memories of school will still be with us. Keep them close and share your experiences with your children. The world may not remember our names, but our children and theirs will.

This journey is a part of who we are. Don’t ever forget about school and the things that happened here.

Good-bye everyone, I wish you all a good life.

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