Welcome - Senior Class President Robert Podmore
Students, faculty, family members, and administrators; I’d like to welcome you to the Class of 2018 commencement ceremony. After countless nights without sleep, gallons of coffee to keep us awake, and procrastinating to the last minute for pretty much everything (this speech included): we’ve finally made it. It took me so long to try to figure out something inspirational or meaningful to say here, that hasn’t already been said before. Everyone tries to come up with an original idea to instill some kind of great wisdom for the class; but I guess the fact of the matter is that I’m only 17 years old, and although I’d like to think that I’ve learned everything I need to know, I definitely have not. Regardless, here’s what I have taken away from my experiences in high school.
I can easily recall the first time I was able to ride my bike down the street without falling. I remember the pride on my parents’ faces, and the joy I felt that I could finally ride alone. I had been trying for months to learn how to ride. Waiting, for that one moment where I could finally make it down the street. However, I can’t really remember countless times I fell and failed. I’m sure it was funny to watch as I hit curbs and swerved back and forth in the street. And alongside my failures, I probably had little achievements, like moving from a tricycle to a bicycle with training wheels, and then to just my parents holding me as a I went down the street. However, I was so focused on the idea of riding alone that I don’t really remember all the little milestones that I had along the way.
So here we are now, 4 years later from starting high school. Our training wheels are off, and we’re about as ready as we’ll ever be to move on to the next stage in our lives. Have you ever stopped to think about everything that we have achieved? Our class has exceptional talents in every field. We’ve all participated in All-County sports teams, award winning clubs and organizations, and a show stopping music and fine arts department. Now I can go on and on about the awards and achievements that we’ve gotten, but what I really want to focus on, is the minutia we had along the way.
Yes, your sports team may have won the league championship, but have you ever thought about all the hours that you put into practicing, and how close your team became over that time? The same goes for the music department. Each ensemble spends at least 40 minutes a day working towards performing for only 15 minutes during a competition. I know that in those countless hours practicing and performing I made some of my best memories, however seemingly irrelevant they are. However, there is no time that is not relevant, every action we take, brings us to the place that we are in the present and for better or worse we should take the time to acknowledge the memories.
What I’ve noticed is that we tend to find ourselves always looking into the future, searching for that one big moment, that win at a game, a perfect show, a gold with distinction at NYSSMA Majors. But, naturally we tend to become so entangled with what is ahead, that we lose appreciation for the little things that we have in this moment. I’ve only realized this as we approached the end of high school. I was so concerned with grades, and where I was going to college that at times I didn’t get to appreciate what was right in front of me. We strive to look for those big moments like tonight that we miss the little things and our little achievements in life. In hindsight I probably should have tried to appreciate those countless late nights with friends, school concerts and events, and despite me not wanting to admit it, fun times in class a little more.
So, what have I learned during my time at high school? I’ve learned that it’s time to stop looking to the future for the next big thing and start enjoying the present. Because those big moments in our lives are going to inevitably come, and they will mean so much more if we appreciate the little things along the way.
Our time is limited, so I’m going to challenge all of you to follow in the same suit and live in the moment.
Thank you all for a great four years, and I’m so excited to see what you all do in the future.
Congratulations, we made it!