Disillusioned but not disenchanted…
I would like to begin by greeting and thanking the various school officials, faculty and parents, as well as my own family and my fellow graduates for attending our ceremony today.
Earnest Holmes once said that people should “prepare your mind to receive the best that life has to offer.” Well, that’s what we have been doing for the last twelve years of our lives, preparing our minds for life, so that we may receive the best that it has to offer. We have done this with the help of our family, our friends, and our teachers, who have taught us various lessons other than just those that they were paid to teach. And now we pass yet another milemarker, with our futures before us and our school lives behind.
Many of those that have helped us in the past will no longer be there, but those that we have become true friends with shall stay with us, and the question is, what do we do now? What do we do now that our lives and schedules are no longer regulated for us, now that many of our choices are truly our own? Now that we are in the ‘real world’.
There are many paths that we may take once we are gone. Many of us may choose to go to college, tech school or some other type of school, some may choose to go into the military or directly into the work force, and some of us may choose to take a break for a while. Whichever path we may choose, I must say that I believe we will miss our school, and years from now looking back, and maybe already, some will regret not enjoying our days here enough, but we shall still have our memories. Now on this day, on which we are gathered to celebrate our transition into the ‘real world’, we go forward to make new memories.
All of our lives up until now have been the short path before the main trail, where there are many maps, warnings and guides to prepare us for the trail. But once we’re on this trail, we may find a time in our lives that we may come to a fork in the road, a mountain before us, and tow ways which seem to head up to our goal at the top. The one path is long and easy, winding for a long way out of the way through unnecessary terrain, and the other path crosses many creeks and obstacles, only before ending just out of sight and quite unexpectedly. Though there are two paths, there are three choices, and the third is to go straight through the wilderness, up the steep side of the mountain, and onward to the goal. The third choice involves going where there is no path, and cutting our own trail, for someone must always be the first, and no matter how steep and how hard the climb may be, it just makes the view all the more enjoyable from the top.
Our time here has been fun, but now we must be moving on. We must set off down the path into our lives, through the wilderness into territory unknown to us, but we will always have a guide. We will have God, our friends and family there to help us along, as well as the lessons taught to us by our teachers both from the books and those that were not.
I would like to once again thank all of you, and I’ll see you at the reunion, if not sooner. Hopefully once we have received the best that life has to offer, and I also encourage you to cut your own path, to be the first and to be different, so that you may reach your goals, and once you’re there at the top, be able to look back and say “now there was some time not wasted.”