Graduation Speech: What Is Next?

1064 words - 4 pages

What is graduation? Some people would say that it's proof of the freedom we will soon experience. Some say that it's the end of the best years of our lives. Some would say that it's when we're forced to grow up and become adults. Some would say that it's just another day, no different than any other day, other than the scrolls, the funny outfits and the clapping. Some go into it silent, awaiting their chance to be recognized for their victory dance. Some use stupid comparisons to describe it by saying that it's like the opening of a new door or that it's like taking another step on the never-ending ladder of life. Some praise it, some dread it. Everyone has a different opinion, but there's one thing that we all agree on. There's one question on the back of all our minds that we worry about every time we think about this night. And that question is: What's next?

There are a thousand things that can be compared to graduation, and some of them may be pretty accurate, but none of them can come close to the reality of what graduation really is. Graduation can't be described in words, other than it's an event 12 years in the making. We've waited 12 years, move than half our lives, to stand on a stage with a funny hat and robe, which if I'd see someone walking down the street wearing I'd throw something at them. But it's just really hard to think about. Twelve of our 18 years on this planet have been spend working towards this single night. From the building blocks in kindergarten, to kick and wallball in fourth and fifth grade. From standing in circles putting your arm around your girlfriend's waist in seventh and eighth grades, to pulling an all-nighter in Abbot's class in eleventh grade. It all prepares us.

Now, the people I know break into two different groups: people ready and willing to move on with their lives and people scared to death. Well, I think everyone experiences both of these overwhelming sensations. Why wouldn't they? It's a new experience that grants new freedom to lead a new life. But some people are so wrapped up in the goofy high school lifestyle or not really caring and having a good time that they're afraid while at the same time readying themselves for the biggest transition of their lives. The biggest fear is being forced to face seriousness. We all are reluctant to face that seriousness, to face reality, to face real independence and creativity. Now, when it comes to being serious, we simply don't want to do it, but a lot of us don't realize that real seriousness is not being a tight-wadded basket case without a sense of humor or a hint of charm. No, that's what people call obsession. Obsession and seriousness differ. Where obsession limits a person to one repetitive action or feeling, seriousness keeps an open mind while focusing on the given task. Where obsession devours your time into meaningless minutes, hours and days of wondering "what if," seriousness grants more time to wonder about...

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