Graduation Speech (help!)

I’ve been wanting to enter the graduation speech contest for a chance to read my speech at graduation. In Senior Composition, we just drafted graduation speeches for an assignment and mine, well, needs help. If you want, rip it to shreds, so I can really fix it. Again it’s a first draft…(and yes, I added not one, but two Tom Petty quotes. That man was an inspiration).

Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!:

As we sit here today, the hands on the clock of life continue to move. They move at such a slow pace, that in the moment, we can’t tell that they’re even ticking by. But when we look back we can’t help but to gasp at how far they’ve traveled. Each one of our clock faces is different; they have seen rigorous AP classes. They have seen failed tests and perseverance. They have been to places like Italy, France, or Mexico. Each face tells a different story, but each face has ended up here: Marquette High School class of 2018 graduation.

Let’s turn back our hands of time to kindergarten. Remember the last few days of summer when your parents took you to your elementary school to register you? While your parents were off signing papers, you climbed the stairs of the giant yellow bus all by yourself. You proved to your parents that you didn’t need them right by your side anymore. Now, remember the first day of kindergarten? You marched in the door with your little Velcro light-up sneakers and sat at your assigned desk. This is the first day that you may have made your first friend, or first life-long friend at that. This day was the start of many beginnings in your education and social life. Remember how all throughout elementary school you would race off the bus, throw your backpack inside, call your friend, and play outside until the moon replaced the sun in the sky? Remember when playing outside was your only homework? You would take your little Razor scooter to the top of the hill and ride it down the sidewalk as fast as you could. But, without fail, every time you tried to turn that thing around, it sliced into your ankle.

Fifth grade was the beginning of the goodbyes. On the last day of elementary school, you had to say goodbye to the only place you’ve known so well for five years. But, just like that brave kindergartner you were, you moved on with a heart full of wonder and curiosity for the future and with your head held high. Tick. As you entered the doors of your middle school for the first time, you may have been a little timid. It’s not that you were scared, but it’s that it was a completely new place with new faces. You were growing up. For many of you, you received your first cell phone during middle school. Remember your first phone? I remember that mine had a touch screen, a slide out keyboard, and a texting limit: ancient, I know. You never had to use the landline again. You scoped the myriad of faces and found more people to befriend. You may have even developed your first crush. Middle school was a time where some of you may have found your lifelong passion: music (band, orchestra, choir)or art. Middle school was a time where some of you may have found your lifelong friend. Middle school was a time where you became very independent. But eighth grade was a time for more goodbyes. Tick.

Before you knew it, you were a “freshie”. You were thrown into another place with so many more new faces. You moved from “challenge” classes to honors classes and AP classes. You were presented with more challenges. High school was the start of the game “yes, it matters.” Unlike middle school, you now had to worry about your GPA. You had to worry about what colleges you wanted to go to. You had to worry about who you were going to take to homecoming. And some of you had to worry about surviving the newest challenge fads (cinnamon challenge and tide pod challenge)–not our proudest moments as teenagers. But despite all of our hardships and anxiety about the future, we made it here. We made it to the day we all have been waiting for for over a decade. Now, as we say goodbye to the past, we must also say hello to the future. Many of you are going to college. Some of you are going off to the military. Some of you are venturing directly into the workforce. If you are still unsure about what you want to do in the future, think about what you are passionate about. Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams (cliche and cheesy, I know, but it’s true). Tom Petty once said, “Do something you really like, and hopefully it pays the rent. As far as I’m concerned, that’s success.” You don’t have to end up the richest or most famous person from high school. You just have to do something that you are passionate about. Do something that will change this world: Start a new business, be the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg. Become a politician and incite change in this world: become the president of the United States of America. Again, no goal is too far out of reach if you put in hard work.

As the hands on the clock of life continue to tick on, you will start going down your own path. Don’t be afraid to wander off of that path, or don’t be afraid to take a different path. As you move on with your life, you will see more unfamiliar faces and less familiar faces. You might lose connections with your high school friends or classmates. But don’t use this time to say goodbye to those around you like you said goodbye to your past schools. As Tom Petty said, “You and I will meet again, When we’re least expecting it, One day in some far off place, I will recognize your face, I won’t say goodbye my friend, For you and I will meet again.”



One thought on “Graduation Speech (help!)

  1. I think it’s okay, but to really land the gig you need to put an original voice into it. These typically follow a pattern of remembering the various grades, etc., but maybe there’s a way your can be completely different and take a huge risk. With that said, I don’t know what that would entail, but if you pull it off you have a much better chance. Good luck and I’ll be happy to look at anything.

    Liked by 1 person

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