Welcome, everyone. Thank you for joining this wonderful event to celebrate the graduating class. Thank you to all of the teachers, faculty, advisors, and administrators who have been on our journey up to this moment. And an extreme thank you to all of the parents and support systems each student has had in the past four years.
Since the moment we all walked into Patio A in 2018, the most unforgettable events have occurred. I mean, how do we even begin to discuss a mold infestation, gas leaks, a pandemic, a virtual year, global movements, climate catastrophic events, and everything else we have gone through? The time we have spent together for the better or worse has led us to be gathered today, and for that I am glad.
To my peers, take a moment to look around you. This is all for you. Perhaps you are conflicted with different emotions: happiness, sadness, excitement, or all three, and you’re overwhelmed. You’re either thinking: “I will finally be free” or “I can’t believe it’s over.” Whichever mentality you have in this bittersweet moment, let’s think back to a time long ago.
We started 13 years ago, the very first day we were dropped off at our kindergarten classroom. The real beginning. Some of us lived in different towns, different states, or even different countries. We grew up thinking we were the center of the universe. We cried when we scraped our knees on the blacktop in recess, or when the last ice cream was sold during lunch. We left elementary school ready for the dangers of middle school where we thought we could conquer the world and in reality, this was probably some of the messiest or most embarrassing times of our life. We then moved on from middle school thinking that we were ready for whatever was coming to us on 98 Raider Road. In reality, there is no way you can tell a class to prepare for a pandemic, natural disasters, and everything else we had going on, but hey, all of this made our class unique. We have made it out to the end of the tunnel.
Despite everything, there were golden moments when we were smiling, laughing, and dancing: during competitions, sporting events, club meetings, in class, or just with our friends. While forming our social identity we have also been severely influenced by the rather fast-paced and changing world. With everything that has happened around us and as a product of it I know that we will be impact the world wherever we go. The ability to not give up and to navigate through a new world has led us to the skill of perseverance. We are always pushing and making it to the end.
My fellow students, you have worked so hard trying to understand the stages of cellular respiration and attempting not to fall asleep reading a book you had a whole week to read the night before the paper was due. Adapting and returning to school was no easy task. Yet, looking back this year has given us a second chance to grasp at all of the moments we missed during our virtual year. We have shared more Friday night lights, cheered at SGO and club events, attended prom, and so much more. To all of my peers, I hope you look back at your time here as a place where you learned to grow and where it was okay to learn from your mistakes. Never forget the friendships and the lessons you have been taught in the classroom and outside of them. NBTHS has made its impact on you.
To the Class of 2022, celebrate your hard work. Be bold in chasing the things you want in life. You have come far and will still go so much farther. I sincerely wish each and all of you continued growth beyond this point. This is only the end of your beginning. Congratulations. You finally have done it!