I stand here today as someone who has avoided public speaking like this for
years. (Seriously, I’ve been dreading this moment for weeks.) I’ve never been one to
talk to people I didn’t know too well, especially not hundreds all at once. But me getting
up here to do something I would never usually do is exactly what graduation is all about:
trying new things, getting over fears, and taking every opportunity you can to grow.
For four years, we’ve walked the halls of Centereach High School and grown and
matured together. We’ve made memories that will last a lifetime and formed
relationships that have changed our lives.
We wouldn’t be here today without the teachers and administrators that have
worked hard everyday to make sure we got to this point. To all the teachers in this
school: I thank you, on the behalf of every student here today, for giving us advice,
spending extra time with us to guide us with schoolwork, and being the wonderful, kind,
and giving people you are. To deal with dozens and dozens of teenagers everyday and
somehow still come back the next day is seriously something I can admire.
And to our administrators: I know it can’t be easy to deal with a huge group of
teenagers constantly complain about rules, but you make memorable days like today
possible, and it means the world to us.
High school has never just been about learning to us, and these four years have
been about growing and developing into the people we are today and the adults we’re
going to be soon. Without our parents and families, we couldn’t have made it this far in
one piece. I want to thank my family for having stuck by me through everything that’s
happened throughout my 18 years, and being a lovely and ridiculous group of people. I
love you so deeply, and I’m glad to have you here today.
I also want to give a huge thank you for the incredible close friends I’ve made
here, and I want you guys to know that you’ve helped me through so much, whether you
knew it or not. I love you so much, and I’m thankful for you each and every day.
I want to thank every student here today for shaping my high school career and
providing me with some, well, interesting memories that I will always cherish. We’re a
big group of people, and we may not all have known each other personally, but just
being able to say I knew all of you makes me so grateful. I’m so proud of all of you for
working so hard to be here today, and I know we’re all going to go on to do great things.
There is someone missing here today, and I know that we can all say that we feel
it. Whether we knew Matt personally or not, his struggle has inspired all of us and
brought us closer as a class. I know he’s here with us today, and he too would be proud
We’ve been preparing for today over 14 years of school, and even then, it
doesn’t really seem real. I can’t even begin to imagine how many tests we’ve taken,
how many hours we’ve spent doing homework, or how many pieces of paper we’ve
used over the years. It seems so strange to think that many of us won’t meet again for a
very long time, and we’re all going on separate paths in life. After years of seeing each
other’s faces every day, everything is about to change.
It’s scary. It’s weird. And yet, there’s nothing we can do about it. Life never stops
evolving and passing us by, and all we can do is enjoy it. Life is going to get hard, and
at times we’ll be too caught up in this responsibility and that one to stop and enjoy it, but
that’ll be the end of us. I really am so proud of all of you, and I wish every single one of
you the best. Thanks for being exactly who you are, I won’t forget you. Thank you.