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Commencement speeches for Southeast High School Class of 2015
Good afternoon. My name is Jarod Watson and I want to welcome you to the Class of 2015 Southeast High School graduation ceremony. I would like to start by thanking all the parents that raised this great group of young adults in front of me today. I wouldn’t want to graduate with any other group of individuals. I also would like to thank the teachers, administration, board of education, office staff, and every person that works their hardest for us to receive a quality education and enjoy in doing so. Finally, I want to thank all of my fellow classmates for making my high school so memorable and enjoyable.
I am honored to be speaking in front of the graduating class of 2015 as well as their friends and family. The group of students seated before me are an extremely intelligent and talented group of young individuals. It is my understanding that the selection committee had a difficult time choosing the person among this outstanding group of people to deliver today’s commencement speech. With that being said I have come to the conclusion that the final selection must have been based off of height. I would like to thank them for that and the step stool they have provided for me.
Over the past four years we have spent more time together than with any other group of people. Some would say we’ve spent way too much time together. We have all become very close in our four years. We’ve been through everything from grade murdering classes to triumphant sport victories to smelly bus incidents. But now all that has to change. We are all going our separate ways next year to become Wildcats, Gorillas, Shockers, Cardinals, Jayhawk, Golden Norsemen, Blue Dragons, Tigers, Lions or doing our duty to work and contribute in the community.
But no matter where we go or what we do we will always be a large dysfunctional family of students that have been a part of sports teams, band, pep clubs, and various other clubs. The positive of this bittersweet day is that this new endeavor will power us. Think about it – Monday, we don’t have to go eight straight hours of school. We can go to the bathroom without permission. And we can finally take more than one scoop of properly leveled off food. The memories that all of you and I have gained will keep a smile on my face for tomorrow and all of summer until I realize I have to go to college to start all over again.
The future is different but simple. The following quote from Carlton Fisk really captures how I believe we should all live the next chapter in our lives:
“I don’t want 15 minutes of fame – I want a life. I don’t want a flash in the pan – I want a career. I don’t want to grab all I can – I want to selectively choose the best. I don’t want to sell a company – I want to build one. I don’t want to date a model – OK, so I do want to date a model – sue me. But the rest of my goals are long term, the result of day to day determination. I stay steady. I redefine the world consistency. Along the way there will surely be moments of brilliance. I am, after all, me. But the moments will add up to something great. A record of excellence. A plaque in a hall. My name on a sandwich. A family that’s a team. I will never look back with regret. I will always believe in that ideal. I hope to be remembered, not recalled.”
These words are very modest and powerful. It really captures the idea of working for the long term and doing your best to give yourself the most chance for success. We are all able to attain greatness. I believe that we all will be successful in whatever we set our minds to.
Even though we have all said that we hated school, at one point or another I know that deep down we are all proud to be called Lancers and always will be. We have finally finished high school and as soon as we move these dangling cat toys to the other side of these geometric hats we will be done with high school and be expected to act like big kids. Yesterday we were students and tomorrow we will all be unemployed. I am proud to call each and every one of you, my fellow graduates, and wish you all the best of luck in your future. And Ryan, I hope you find yourself a big dog.
Before I end my speech I would like to leave you with a quote from Mark Twain:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
My fellow classmates, we arrived here four short years ago and now it’s already time to leave. How did it all go by so fast? It seems like only yesterday we were freshmen trying to figure out where our next class was, and looking clueless to everyone around. Now, we are seniors who sit here ready to graduate and move on to the next chapter of our lives.
How did we measure our time spent in high school? In the beginning, we measured it in class periods, counting down the day to eventual freedom. As the days and weeks passed, we measured it in semesters, and later, in years, as we moved from being those clueless freshmen, to becoming sophomores and juniors who were prepared to take on the world and who couldn’t wait to “rule the school.”
Now, here we are. Our rule is over and it’s up to the next class to fill our shoes. I know that as I look out at all of you, I will measure my time spent here in a much different way. I will measure it in all the friendships I’ve enjoyed these last four years. Some were casual and others were much closer, but I will remember each one fondly, as I’m sure you all will too. When many of our high school memories begin to fade, that’s how we’ll ultimately measure the time we spent here – not in class periods, semesters or years, but in the friendships that we made and the times we shared together.
Some of us are staying at home, others are traveling the world. Some will become doctors, teachers and engineers; others will join the military, take over their family farms or decide to start a family.
Whatever we do or wherever we go, we won’t forget today. Hopefully, in years to come, we will meet up with our friends again, for we are not truly saying goodbye.
Today we are throwing our caps in the air, getting ready to go our different ways to tackle the world. So, as we sit in this gym for the last time as students of Southeast High School, I would like to wish you fellow graduates – now doesn’t that have a nice ring to it – health and happiness in the future and the satisfaction of knowing that whatever you do, you will do it well. After all, you are the graduates of the Class of 2015.
Finally, I’d like to give my thanks to all family, friends and faculty for being there when we need you. Now it’s our turn to show you what we can do. Goodbye to my friends, until we meet again.