To Our Graduates, Take Flight Upon The Wings Of Your Dreams
To our graduates: may you find that your path is illuminated by the possibilities that lie in your future. As you take flight upon the wings of your dreams, let the life lessons you have learned be your guide, and allow the anticipation of what life can be fuel you to the existence you desire.
There will be many people sharing advice with you in these coming days and years, all with your best interests at heart, driving them to share their wisdom. Everyone wants their local graduates to succeed, to prosper, and above all, to never forget where their home will always be. Listen to them, and remember them. Wisdom lies within the experience of life, and what you may find objectionable today, might be your saving grace tomorrow.
With graduation comes the time to reflect. A time to cherish the friendships you have made in high school, knowing some of those friendships will last a lifetime. Your graduation will be a time for tears, hugs, goodbyes, celebration, and mostly change. Change for everyone involved from friends to family. In some cases, friends you have known since the first grade will take a different path than yours. Parents will find their nests a bit quieter and a little lonelier. Younger siblings will feel the bittersweet absence of brothers and sisters who for years were their competition, their idols, their protectors, their confidants, and their earliest playmates. Though change is hard and sometimes sad, growth cannot be achieved without change. Learn to embrace the journey.
The next chapter of your life is here and it is just the beginning. If you allow it to be, it will be the most exciting time of your life. Even when you feel the whole world is stacked against you and you just can’t do what is expected of you, always remember you have something that is only given to us once in our lifetime. You have the innocence of youth, where everything seems achievable if you can just allow yourself to dream.
Here are a few pieces of advice that may be helpful in your coming journey: Never stop learning; it’s a lifelong process. Don’t be afraid to speak out and help make things better. Never be afraid to listen to another point of view; the day you feel you have all the answers is the day you stop living and start merely existing. Try to volunteer in your community because there are lessons to learn in every story. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or say you don’t know how to do something. Never be afraid to say you were wrong, it will make a positive difference of how people will perceive you. Always treat others how you want to be treated. Stand up to be counted. Get involved, stay engaged and always exercise your right to vote, as many great men and women have given their lives for you to have that right.
No matter how good the advice you receive, there will come a time when you are hesitant in life. When you will not know where to turn or what to do. When that time happens and believe me, it will, I hope you reflect on this last piece of advice. When you are frozen by fear, the one thing you should do is take action. Every accomplishment, no matter how small or large, you have achieved you took action. For every job you have taken, for every date you have been on, for every class you have passed the one thing you did in every case is take action. You have a choice. You can either be a passive victim of circumstance or you can be the active victor in the life you choose to live. It will always be your choice.
Congratulations for reaching an important milestone. However, do remember that it is only the first one. A high school diploma is the first piece of an impressive resume. It’s time to build on that. The future is now. It’s your time to soar. We hope many of you will return to one day to live, work and play here, but no matter where your path takes you, this will always be your home. Congratulations and good luck. Now take flight, your destiny awaits.
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