Figuring Out Who You Are
By Adriana Naples
On behalf of the Class of 2019, I would like to start my speech with a few thank yous. I would like to thank all of the families here today as well as all the Cardinal staff members for being here with us on this eventful morning, as well as the people who made this beautiful ceremony possible, especially you Mrs. Turon. Your care and support is greatly appreciated. I would also like to congratulate Jordan and James on becoming this year’s Salutatorians.
Now… I spent countless days, weeks even, deciding what would be a good topic for this speech. I read what seemed like hundreds of speeches from past Valedictorians, and I probably restarted this speech about five or six times to be quite honest with you. I wanted it to be perfect. I wanted it to move the hearts of everyone sitting before me, but that in itself is a difficult task to achieve. So, I got to thinking … thinking about who we are, who we used to be, and who we will become as we walk out of those doors for the very last time.
I think we spend a lot of our high school careers figuring out who we are, or who we wish to be. We constantly try to plan out our futures and lay them out piece by piece, but you’ve probably come to the same conclusion I have – it doesn’t exactly work out that way. We’ve been pressured into finding our true selves for quite some time now, constantly being asked, “What are your plans after high school?” or my personal favorite “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Well here we are, all grown up, and some of us still have no idea what we are doing with our lives. And as we are sitting here celebrating our latest achievements we stop and question, “Will we ever figure out who we truly are?” Sometimes we may think we know, and other times we are back at square one. But we cannot settle for mediocrity, because I have hope and huge expectations for all 81 of us.
Ghandi once said, “Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
Spending the past 13 years with the same group of wonderful people has opened my eyes to so much. Watching all of us accomplish our goals has made me realize that success comes in so many different forms. And here we are accomplishing the one goal we all have in common: graduating high school.
Although we may never know our final selves, or even come close to knowing the possibilities our futures hold, I know the journey will be great and worth it at the end. And as we turn the page, ending this chapter, we open a new one filled with blank pages to be filled with hope and aspirations. A lot of us are going off to college, others planning to begin work right away, and others joining the military; the future ahead is bright. As cliché as it might sound and although it has probably been said on this stage nearly a dozen times, anything is possible if you set your mind to it.
Sadly, I come to the final seconds of this speech, but I have a few important people I would like to acknowledge. To my parents, and my biggest role models, although it annoyed me at the time, I appreciate all the nagging to get my homework done, because of you I am up here today. To my younger brother Dominic, keep working hard. I promise it pays off in the end. To my two best friends, Hailey and Kailyn, we made it. I love you girls with my whole heart and thank you for the lifelong memories, I cannot wait to make more. I would also like to show some appreciation for Trey Shirkey. Thank you for everything you have done for me, big and small; you are amazing. Lastly, I would like to thank every single person who has influenced my life up to this point, you all have helped me grow into who I am today, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Before I go, I want you for just the next few minutes to forget about who you want to become and focus on this very moment, because today we are high school graduates and we only get to say that once in a lifetime. Lives are made of moments and the world is waiting for us to make those moments great ones.
Thank you and congratulations to the Class to 2019!
By Faith Peters
And here we are – sitting before me are the people who I have grown up with for a huge majority of my life. I thought, perhaps I should share a few memories that some of you may have forgotten, or just didn’t want to remember.
We all know about elementary days … Santa shop, running over your fingers while racing your enemies on the scooters, being forced to stand on the line during recess, and most importantly all of Mr. Z’s crazy science experiments that always left us amazed.
Then there was CIS, colored, skinny jeans WERE THE MOVE, Mr. Cicero threatening to throw our shoes out of the window, and girls … we all know that basement bathroom is haunted. No one can change my mind!
Oh! And let’s not forget all of the GREAT things that we did in middle school. From our crazy, awkward phases to going on the Gettysburg trip, there was never really a dull moment. Not to mention, on that trip Jack Cochran made all of our phones shut down AND the boys were allowed to swim but the girls weren’t? I’m still a little angry about it. But it’s fine, it’s whatever…
And high school couldn’t come any sooner. We received our school issued iPads in Freshman year and downloaded as many games as possible. Needless to say, we may or may not have ruined it for the underclassmen, but what’s done is done. We also had some very interesting “epidemics” as I call them. Upperclassmen fought over a rock. And there was a photoshopped killer clown on the loose. We also went all four years with four different principles!
Through all of this, we still managed to finish this chapter of our lives. And now, it is time to create more crazy, funny and sometimes scary memories that we can share later during our reunion.
By Jordan Weaver
First and foremost, I would like to thank all of you for being here today to support Cardinal High School’s graduating class of 2019. As we all embark on our next chapter of life, I want to remind you all to embrace whatever life has in store for you; even failure. Failure is something that most people see as negative. No one wants to fail. However, failure can be a good thing.
Throughout history there have been many failures that led to success. Milton Hershey, the founder of Hershey Chocolate company failed numerous times before finally finding success. After being fired from his first job at 14 he moved on to work at a candy factory. This inspired him to open his own business years later in Philadelphia only to have it fail. He then moved around the country seeking promising opportunities. In New York City, he began selling candy on the streets. This, again, failed. Due to failure, Milton moved back to his childhood dairy farm where he experimented with chocolates and different candies. Eventually, at 36 years old, Milton Hershey was able to establish his own business, the Lancaster Caramel Company, which was then sold for $1,000,000 just seven years later. This allowed Hershey to start the company that we all know today, the Hershey Chocolate Company. Even though he failed many times, Milton Hershey still persevered and found the success that he longed for.
As we go through life, we will all be faced with hardships. No matter how well we think we have our lives planned out, from here forward things will go wrong, they will not be perfect and that is okay. Every failure brings you one step closer to success. With every failure you learn how to improve and how to turn your goals into a reality. There has surely been a point in all of our lives where we have felt like we have failed. Whether or not we have moved on from those failures; they have brought us here to graduation day where we join together in this gym to celebrate this success brought on by many failures.
Today, we succeed in closing this chapter of our lives and beginning a new one. Today, we say goodbye to the people we’ve known for many years And I wish you all success in overcoming every failure and learning how to improve on them. Thank you.