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Graduation Speech: Christian Mehalick

Hello, I’d like to congratulate everyone in the class of 2023 on this tremendous milestone. For all of us here, today marks the day we are done with high school.. forever. For some, including myself, today is also our 18th birthday. Receiving my diploma may be the best gift of my life. But we have already received an abundance of gifts in our time at NBTHS, like smoke filling up the science hallway freshman year canceling all our tests right before fall break, seeing stickers of Mr. Kneller’s face everywhere you turned, football games, GMC championships, Theatre Revue, and my personal favorite, going to school for three hours and then going home because LOCKDOWN. I feel that these small gifts brought us together as a class, trading Mr.Kneller’s face like Pokemon cards and even sitting in the aux gym waiting to be sent home created a bond between each and every one of us.

I think the saddest part of graduating from high school isn't saying goodbye to those who you know you will stay in touch with but leaving those people you may have already had your last conversation with. Whether it was the same class or lunch, I will truly cherish those acquaintances that I consider precious gifts, and I look forward to seeing those people at the reunion in ten years.

During my time at NBTHS, you have all seen me lose, a lot, like a lot a lot. Like if there was a Niyell McCargo of losing it would be me. Freshman year I was our class president… I lost reelection, then I lost the race for SGO president, and we can throw in losing homecoming court, not once, not twice, but three whole times. I lost and did it with a smile on my face. Over the course of these 4 years, I faced rejection, as I believe many of us did. Whether we thought “we ate” on that history test or thought our interview for whatever club went well it sometimes didn’t. I am a firm believer in “winning isn’t everything” but desire is. We will all lose and that is completely fine, losing something or someone, also means gaining something else. It is our agency, the action we take that makes us who we are. We all right now will be losing the supports we’ve had for the past four years. Whether it was a best friend, a teacher, a faculty member, or even a pet or a parent. We can take those memories, those lessons, and use them to create a happier, funnier, more exciting tomorrow…

As I look out and see friends and classmates I can say we are a class that is truly built different. Not only did we face COVID head-on, but we came back stronger and weirder, we came back hungry. We hoped for a normal senior year, but no matter what, we made it our own. Honestly, is any year in NBTHS “normal”? Remember the fire? I can say, for the most part, our dream came true.

Believe it or not, in a couple of minutes we will be sent out to what my parents call the real world. It is full of exciting adventures, new memories, new friends, and unfortunately, does not come with a travel guide. Instead, we become the guide, I never said a good guide, but it is our job now so get used to it… It is now up to us to take charge. The road to success is always under construction. We may not know where the road leads, we might lose some passengers and gain some new ones. Or was that a senior assassination? Anyway, we may even hit some potholes, but we all will reach our destination. It may seem shocking to some of you, but I’m going to miss NBTHS. Not the commons or Steve Libro field, but the memories we made within that building. To my friends, thanks for making these past four years feel like four of the best days. To my family, I couldn’t find a more supportive and helpful group if I tried. And lastly, to my teachers, thank you, I know we were your favorite class, everybody knows we were your favorite class. So seniors, or now semi-adults this is the part where I am supposed to say goodbye. Luckily for all of us, I don’t believe this is goodbye, so until we meet again, thank you and I wish you all the best of luck. Go Raiders!


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