Graduation Speech 2021

In honor of graduation being a year ago I’ve decided to post another one of my favorite things I’ve written. I spoke at my high school graduation last June. Wachusett is one of my favorite places and it holds a very special place in my heart! Below is the speech I gave, one of the most heartfelt and real/raw things I have written! 

Closing Time 

“Closing time. Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” Semisonic. As I stand among my teachers, teammates, friends, classmates, and the class of 2021, I would like to celebrate the four years we shared together at Wachusett. 

Although shortened and marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, we choose not to remember what has been taken away from us, but all that we are grateful for in these last four years. During these unprecedented times we learned more about being thankful for the small joys of daily life. 

Even after returning to school in 2021, I personally never imagined an end to high school where I could see my friends in the hall everyday, buy cookies for only 25 cents, or have a sub in my long block class. I never imagined washing and officially returning my #7 jersey. Or the excitement of seeing all the football jerseys on a Friday knowing soon you’d hear the band playing and the badlands screaming. Or the rush of finishing homework in the cafeteria five minutes before it is due. We enjoy our lasts more when we can appreciate them the way we want to and I feel blessed that March 2020 was not our finale. 

Realizing how amazing and comfortable our small world is at Wachusett makes it challenging to leave, and I know, like others, I wish I could wear the green and white uniform forever. 

Freshman year, in seminar, they told us how quickly this time would fly by, and I never quite understood that because we always had another year, another month, another week, or another day filled with chemistry labs or the long wait for the 3rd lunch. 

Remember when you couldn’t tell C hall from E hall and five minutes in the hallway never felt long enough? We will no longer pass our friends on our way to pre-calc or scramble for a seat at lunch. Even with the end upon us, it doesn’t feel real.

June 2021 had always just been a date, far off in time. So as we hang up our cleats for the last time, return our uniforms with our favorite numbers, attend our last stuco meeting, and pull out of parking spots for the last time, the sun sets over the hill and on our high school career.

Sunsets symbolize how every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end, because despite fading into a sunset every night, the sun always rises again the next morning. 

Let the sun rise on new beginnings and despite walking out and closing those glass doors for the final time, you can always look back upon the memories and lessons you learned inside. 

We are onto bigger things- new things that we have yet to experience and conquer. These beautiful paths that we have the freedom to build with all that we’ve learned from our four years at Wachusett. Whether you are taking on a collegiate or a career based future, you are more ready than you know.

We’ve learned so much within the classroom-, our spanish conjugations, the rules of a works cited, or the challenging ins and outs of algebra. We’ve also learned so much outside the classroom: The value of being on time. That even though sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, there’s more to life than the game on Friday night or the stress of the project due at 11:59. 

We’ve learned all about friendships, relationships, and have been granted the opportunity to make friends we will have for a lifetime. Which is why, leaving here today, knowing we are all going separate ways, is so hard. You have the paintbrush and a clean canvas to curate whatever you aspire for in your picture. Watercolors, pastels, or acrylics, it is all in your hands. Whether you paint a dream of pursuing your career, enlisting to help others, or reaching your academic goals at the next level, paint the best version of yourself. 

Take a deep breath in. Because according to Taylor Swift,  you should “Hold onto the memories and they’ll hold onto you.” Congratulations to the class of 2021!! 

Of course there’s a Taylor reference! The sunset/sunrise metaphor as well! I hope you’re all having an amazing week!

Xoxo,

Hannahlane

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