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Graduation Speech: Ria Patel

Good morning friends, family, faculty, and most importantly, the senior class of 2024. Today we are gathered here to celebrate our achievements one last time before we all say goodbye to each other and never look back. We finally made it to graduation. Whether you flew, walked, or crawled your way these last four years, we are all gathered here today in the same cap and gown as everyone else, so we should all be proud of ourselves regardless of our struggles. 

  Times looked very different at the start of our high school career, when we only saw each other through a screen and never even imagined that one day we would return together, and be able to experience high school like normal. However, this speech isn’t about what we couldn’t have, a freshman year, but what we did have, and what made our last four years so special. 

As many of you know, NBTHS is celebrating fifty years this year, which makes us a very special class. NBTHS has definitely had fifty years of learning, but also fifty years of strength, opportunity, prosperity, and generosity. I have been a part of the North Brunswick community for the last thirteen years, which I guess makes me qualified and experienced enough to say that I am so grateful to have lived life in North Brunswick. My biggest highlight of NBTHS will always be the incredible diversity here that has allowed me to learn so much about different cultures and be proud of my own. From the students to the teachers, diversity surrounded us every day at NBTHS and has taught us valuable lessons about life even before we set off for college.  The community at NBTHS has been so welcoming and open that it is safe to say that I never felt so loved as I did here compared to anywhere else. 

For one last time, I wish I could sit down at my lunch table and experience the diversity of NBTHS. I would gather with those who look different from me but share the same soul. For one last time, I wish I could walk through the extremely confusing triangle, where each corner led to a different exit and outcome. For one last time, I want to thank all the parents and family members present here that helped all of us reach our goals and supported us every step of the way. Thank you so much, Mom and Dad! For one last time, I want to thank some of my favorite teachers here at NBTHS, who helped me reach my full potential. Mr. Weiss always encouraged me to pursue my various interests. Ms. Choi helped me go from a C to an A in a matter of days through her excellent teaching methods. Ms. Lachow constantly pushed me to create better art and helped me reach my full potential. I will miss all of my teachers so much, as well as the rest of the staff who kept us safe in times of uncertainty. 

In the face of adversity, let us be the ones who refuse to give up, who persevere and inspire others to do the same. Let us be the change-makers, the dreamers, and the visionaries who dare to imagine a better future and work tirelessly to bring it to life. Congratulations NBTHS Class of 2024, we are bound for greatness.


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