Salutatorian Speech

Just thought I’d share the speech I made almost a month ago [insert gasp here] when I graduated from high school. I decided my theme should be “Time”, since I have had such difficulty with nostalgia, growing up, and preparing for the future. And yes, I did reference Mean Girls and quote Doctor Who.

“Good evening parents, teachers, board of education members, siblings who are wondering why they have to sit out here just for that ten seconds during which their brother or sister get their diploma, and, most importantly, the Class of 2014. Graduation seems to always focus on two things: the past and the future. This fall the Science League participated in the Ocean Science Bowl at Rutgers, and we decided to commemorate this experience by buying a fish for Mr. T’s classroom. We named it Fetch, both because this is a type of wind pattern which causes waves, and because of the movie Mean Girls. So, Class of 2014, you’re welcome, we made fetch happen. All of us, no matter what we have been involved with, have these inside jokes and special experiences with those we are close to. Though I cannot name all of these, because they are your own individual experiences, I really hope these are the things you remember about high school.

As a wonderful friend reminded me while I was writing this speech, graduation is not about perfection; we’ve already passed all our classes and possibly trashed old papers. We’re done. Graduation is about honoring us. Let’s honor our high school adventures and the teachers who have enriched our lives. Sorry Ms. F, there are no Shakespeare quotes in this speech. Let’s celebrate each other. Though I am honored to be your salutatorian, there are so many of you out there who are just as or more qualified to speak to our class. You are experts in political science, chemistry, or theatre. You are incredible dancers and athletes. If you are artistically inclined, I envy you, because five year olds have been disgusted with my drawing skills.

Finally, we look towards the future. Elton Pope, an obscure character in a TV show called Doctor Who, states, “When you’re a kid, they tell you it’s all… Grow up, get a job, get married, get a house, have a kid, and that’s it. But the truth is, the world is so much stranger than that. It’s so much madder. And so much better.” Some people say our high school years are the best years of our lives, but I challenge you to get better and better each year. As we look forward to our futures, I challenge each of you to depart from the norm and create your own strange, mad, better world.

My final advice to all of you is to take time. Take time to figure yourselves out, to realize what it is you want. Go out, live, take risks, make mistakes, come back to square one, try again. Fail as much as you possibly can. Take time to be open to new ideas, and to love and be loved. Take your time growing up, and don’t forget to be a little immature and rowdy every now and then. Congratulations Class of 2014, and good luck, though I know you will not need it.”

MOM Day 25-Nights Like These

Lately so many things have been bothering me. Whether I have the right or not to be bothered by them, they were still troubling me. However, when I hang out with my two best friends, all of the problems seem to go away.

And, if they don’t go away, it’s because we’re talking them out. Everyone puts in some input. Everyone has their say. There is not exclusion or putting down or obnoxious comments (which is what I’ve witnessed too many times in average day to day interactions between teenagers).

Of course, I feel a little guilty that I didn’t share what I think I might have to do. I’ll probably tell my one friend so she can help me make a decision, and tell the other when I’ve made my choice, because she had the most problems we discussed last night, and I don’t need to worry her anymore. It feels a little dirty, but she understands because she’s done the same for me. Maybe I’ll tell her anyway, just mention it and tell her I’m figuring it out so it doesn’t worry her.

I love these two girls. We spent the night watching Doctor Who and  Mean Girls 2, then talking and talking and talking. They make me feel completely at ease. Our talks really help boost my self-worth because I actually feel useful, helpful, and wanted.

So, motivational advice for today, rely on your friends and loved ones for help. It can even be a sibling or relative, but everyone needs someone. Finding the someone is hard to do, I understand, which is why I feel so blessed to have these two girls in my life. Nights like these remind me why life is not worthless.

“One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood” ( Lucius Annaeus Seneca). 

If anyone ever wants a friend, I’m always here on the other side of the computer. As you can see from this blog, I have my own issues and usually feel like my help and advice is worthless, but I will listen and I will care.