Gratitude and Resilience While Looking to an Uncertain Future

a graduation speech

I never thought I would appreciate the privilege of having a high school graduation ceremony.

Throughout our lives, we may have taken these life-changing events for granted, that is until the massive curveball of a global pandemic caused us to more deeply appreciate not only these moments, but even small non-life-changing events like going to the store without a mask.

Class of 2021, we have had a very interesting senior year to say the least.

Although all of us were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, our graduating class has accomplished many great successes such as spring football, scholastic bowl, fall cross country, and a volleyball season. There were also many successes within the fine arts like the virtual musical and the 1-day senior musical.

I am so proud of all of us for what we have achieved throughout this crazy year, but we would not have been as successful without the help of our parents, friends, teachers, and everybody else in our lives who have helped us along the way in order  to get us to where we are today. So thank you again, parents, friends, teachers, and everyone else for all of the ways you have motivated us throughout these past four years and brought us to this important milestone of our lives. We are so thankful for all of you for everything you have done in order to help us throughout this amazing journey. 

While it’s important to celebrate these accomplishments we made with the help of our friends and family, graduation is also about looking to the future.  As we look to the seemingly uncertain future, our class can use this year’s earthquake of a global pandemic to prepare us for forging ahead.

We’ve learned that it’s helpful to make plans, but we must remain flexible, positive, and open for unexpected events.

As we’ve seen this year, life can throw supreme challenges at us all. Our world needs creative, positive thinkers who are willing to deal with setbacks and seek positive change. As we’ve watched people respond to this pandemic, we’ve learned that it’s okay to fail, for it’s through failure that we can learn and grow in order to move towards success.

It’s important to consider how we view our achievements. As members of the graduating class of 2021, we have succeeded in many different ways. Many of these achievements we accomplished together, but some we accomplished alone.

As we commence our careers and embark on our next adventure of what life looks like as young adults, it’s important for us to remember that although we achieved a lot over these past four years, it’s okay for us to fail while we are taking these next steps to find out what the future has in store for us. As we step into a new part of our lives, there will be challenges and trials when it comes to questioning who we want to be and what we want to do, but these questions we have about ourselves will only help us to move forward onto a better path for our lives. 

We all have different stories. I find it so amazing that our graduating class is filled with all of these incredible people who are incredibly talented, but in different ways. Over the course of high school, we have learned about our talents and interests and these are the important things that we will take with us into our lives as young adults in order to find out how we will make a difference in this world.

Class of 2021, congratulations! We are [almost] officially graduates, so let’s step onto this next part of our journey with the large amounts of strength and resilience that we already have, and continue to be the leaders of today and tomorrow.