Truckee High Class of 2019 celebrates commencement: ‘The final day we will stand as one’ (PHOTO GALLERY/VIDEO)
Special to the Sierra Sun
Editor’s note: As the Class of 2019 celebrates its commencement, the Sierra Sun is sharing speeches presented by graduating seniors.
Ryleigh: Good morning! On behalf of the graduating class of 2019, we would like to thank all of the people celebrating with us here today. The faculty, parents, families, friends, and community members that helped us through each and every step of this process deserve a round of applause. (applause) It is our honor to deliver this message and congratulate the Class of 2019.
Brian: We started our journey through high school four years ago, each one of us eager for change. We entered not knowing how to withstand 90 minute class periods, excited for the ability to eat lunch off campus, and terrified of being trash canned in the senior hall. Now, 720 school days later, after countless hours of preparing for AP exams, lamenting about standardized testing, and battling stage three senioritis, we not only know how to write rhetorical analysis pieces, argue our way out of assignments, and put together simple sentences in Spanish, but we also, more importantly, know how to be uniquely ourselves. This adventure has allowed us to find our true passions and realize what we actually want when we leave this place.
Ryleigh: Despite the fact that we all attended the same school and took many of the same classes together, we each shined in our own way. Athletes, scholars, artists, and musicians emerged from our midst. Our talents took center stage, whether it was our award-winning band members or winning Powder-Puff two years in a row… and technically bro-man… We were state champions, outstanding drama-queens (and kings), and memorably challenging to each one of the teachers we graced with our presence. Rather than conforming to the standards, we embraced our individuality and stood out as we each strived to meet our personal goals and be celebrated for the things that mattered most to us.
Brian: As renowned writer Henry Miller said, “Every man has his own destiny: the only imperative is to follow it, to accept it, no matter where it leads him.” High school is more than just about receiving a diploma, it opens up opportunities for the future, shaped by the lessons and experiences we faced. We studied too hard and most of the time didn’t sleep enough. We got sunburned at the docks, met new people that we now call friends, conversed with our teachers before and after class, and complained about how much we couldn’t wait to get out of here, even though now it seems as though the time has passed a little too fast. These are the things we will remember; not grades, class rank, or popularity.
Ryleigh: Today is the final day we will stand as one, united by our age, our era, and by our school that has helped us grow so much. As we leave, we will remember the late night trips to Safeway because it was the only place open past 10 o’clock, the complaints during the summer and winter weekends when the tourists didn’t know how to use the round-a-bouts, and the times spent digging our cars and houses out of what felt like thousands of feet of snow because it “built character.” The last two weeks have consisted of savoring every moment we have because this is the last time that we will all be here, together. Looking forward, for many of us school has been the place where we discovered our passions and began cementing who we are and what we believe the world around us should be. Regardless of the size of our school, we all collected so many different experiences, stories, and beliefs. As we move out into the world, our experiences will diversify even more by the new friends we make, the different careers we pursue, and the ideas we collect. As a class, we received over one million dollars in scholarships, and are attending revered schools across the nation, and world. Yet, we will remain connected by this moment — these people, this place — that have contributed so much to who we are and who we will be.
Brian: Leaving today, we hope you feel like you grew into yourself over the past four years. We will soon be entering a world full of problems that it is now our responsibility to create solutions for; whether it be combating climate change or creating a world community that works together on social justice issues. We will use our unique talents to create a world that will be better for having us in it and hopefully come back in 10 or 20 years with more stories, more experiences, and (hopefully) more money. But most importantly, we will be better for having started our journey here, today. As we enter into this summer of transition, we might not greet each other warmly in the Safeway chip aisle at first, but with time we will evolve to be grateful for all the people we had an opportunity to meet.
Ryleigh: We would again like to thank everyone that is here with us. Our adventure would have been near impossible without the support of each and every one of you. Despite the challenges we faced, we persevered, we surmounted each obstacle in our path, and we came out the other side better than when we started. Congratulations Class of 2019, We did it!