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Graduation Speech

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Submitted By ivyt
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Standing before you on this day reminds me of my 8th grade graduation. I sat on the stage listening to three of my peers give beautiful speeches that had nothing to do with any of the feelings I felt. The speakers harped on the nostalgia of leaving a school they had been at for nine years; I had only been there for three. They spoke on how they would miss seeing the same faces everyday and that they feared the days ahead – however, I was excited. When I thought about the future I saw all the things waiting for me to come and try. I saw the new friends I would make, the papers I would write, the softball games I would win, the clubs and activities I would join, the boy who would be my first kiss, and the wonderful people I would meet who would inspire me more than I realized at the time. Graduation is a time to look at what the future has in store for each of us. It is a time to take a look at what path our lives are going to take once the caps and gowns are taken off and we are thrust into an unknown future. Changes next year will vary greatly for each of us, they will come in the form of new environments, lifestyles, and schedules. And these changes will bring an abundance of questions.

Will I be happy? Will I fall in love? Will I have a family? Will I be happy five or ten years down the road? Will I make a difference? Will I make a difference in my community? In my country? In the world?

El Cerrito High School graduates of 2010, we need to begin planning for our futures tonight. We all must dream our biggest dreams, bring them to life and never let anyone stand in our way. If you don’t like the path your life has taken, don’t be discouraged, don’t be negative. If your life so far is not making you truly happy, go out and create change you can believe in. Robert F. Kennedy once said "Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation." Tonight is the beginning of the rest of our lives. Tonight we leave behind our teachers and our high school, with a huge thank-you for all they have done for us. El Cerrito means “little hill”, sits upon a hill and as graduates, “the eyes of all people are upon us”, upon our little city upon a hill, watching to see what we will do next. We are the future of this country. Now it is our turn to influence others. Standing on this stage this evening I think back to that temporary stage in the gym at my 8th grade graduation. I think back to the people I sat beside then and all of the different directions we took. I think of the people I sit beside today and the different directions we will be going. I am excited to be leaving home and heading off to college and I hope that all of you are excited about the paths that you will be taking. I think about the future and all I see are the things I hope to do. I see new friends to make, I feel the tingle of my nerves before my first big job interview, I feel the anticipatory thrill of moving into a home of my own, and I see so many people in those once and future days that I will be blessed to meet because they will inspire me to believe in the beauty of my dreams. So, fellow graduates, the last thing I know to tell each and every one of you is that our time has come.
Our time has come, dreams bring thoughts, thoughts bring actions, action brings a new world. Our time has come – with the eyes of all people upon us. Our time has come— to take the knowledge we have gained and use it to the best of our abilities. Our time has come – to express our gratitude to the heroes in our lives and reach out to a world in need. Our time has come – to be the best people we know how to be. Our time has come!

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