I am hoping to share graduation speeches  from a variety of high school students on this blog, and today's is from Sarah Zola of Centennial High School. She gave the speech May 22, 2012.
If you spoke at your graduation ceremony this year, please email me at meg(at)news-gazette.com with the text of your speech, a photo and information about your plans for next year, and I'll be happy to feature it.
As Jill said, we’ve had countless memories. And although it hasn’t always been easy, the last four years at school have given us a strong foundation for the future. We are at the end of one milestone and at the beginning of a new phase in our lives.
Many of us are eager for that transition to happen. But do we all really mean that? As much as some of us are ready to get away, do we really want to completely leave behind everything we’ve become over the past four years? Probably not. Yes, it’s a time for change, but our high school experiences form foundations for the rest of our lives.
Mr. Newport says, “Relationships are based on shared experiences.” Together we have laughed, cried, celebrated victory and accepted defeat. But all of our favorite memories are those we shared together and the last four years would not be the same for any of us without those shared experiences.
My idea is simple. High school was not a dress rehearsal. This was the real thing. Everything we choose to do matters. We have to build from our foundation and make things happen.
Just consider the things that our class made happen this year. The seniors in Interact put on the first ever flash mob and haunted house at Centennial. Our class started both traditions, which are sure to carry on. Our Scholastic Bowl seniors are headed to nationals this Memorial Day weekend! What and accomplishment!
And, who can forget the winning buzzer beater shot that Taylen Alexander made to win the regional game against Urbana! But most importantly, congrats to all of us for being the last graduating class with open lunch all four years! And those are only a few of the impressive achievements we seniors have accomplished this year.
We had a great run in high school. Our show received much applause. But now it is time to move our cast to a new venue.
William Shakespeare once wrote, “All the world’s a stage; and all the men and women merely players.” Life may be a stage. But tonight is not a dress rehearsal, it’s opening night of the rest of our lives.
Sarah Zola plans to attend Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, next year. She'll be enrolled in the honors program and is pursuing a double-major in psychology and sociology.
Photo courtesy of Sarah Zola.