Remember me? We haven’t talked since late March… but I have a really good excuse for being so inactive.
I graduated high school last Friday! (I also finished my finals, went to prom, hosted a grad party, and went to 7 grad parties in one day).
But I haven’t forgotten about this blog, and I have much to share about my colorful life that I hope you’re excited to hear about.
I wanted to share the speech I presented at my high school graduation. I was given the honor of having to speak as Salutatorian of my class (#2). Below is my speech, which is filled with inside jokes but also meaningful content that applies universally.
Let me know what you think of it in the comments!
Good evening everyone.
On behalf of my fellow classmates, I would like to say thank you to our families, friends, and the teachers who have helped us reach this moment in our lives. I want to specifically thank Mr. Crawford, and welcome Father Bober, Father Ken, and Father Fazio who are celebrating with us tonight. Without these wonderful people, we would not be standing here today in our cap and gowns.
I am very honored to be here, and I am glad we are all together celebrating the class of 2019’s successes and achievements, one of the biggest of which is simply making it to this day. I was thinking back on the last four years, trying to start at most notable freshman year memories, but I soon realized freshman year was not just notable, it was iconic. No one could forget walking into Mr. Amoruso’s religion class, shaking in our sperry’s praying he wouldn’t call on us to list the 6 divisions of the New Testament, or walking toward Mr. Fronk’s class on a test day, hearing the motivational ACDC pump-up music from down the hall. And who could deny that watching Mr. Flecker walk onto stage in his bright orange pants, emulating Steve Harvey for family feud during Catholic Schools’ Week was truly iconic. Freshman year was great because we were in our own little world upstairs, but sophomore year was arguably better simply for the fact that we were no longer the lowly freshmen.
Do you ever realize how much you’ll miss a moment while you’re still living it? I have experienced that a handful of times over the past 4 years – like the great memories made by going on the New York City trip sophomore year, cheering on boys’ soccer in the WPIAL championship in the city sophomore year, and then again junior year, and in Hershey, and all of us hyping up boys and girls basketball at the Pete year after year. These memories will stick with us forever – like marching with hundreds of thousands of people on our school trip to the March for Life, watching robotics competitions on the TVs at lunch, going to musicals and being blown away by the talent of our class, and watching Excel Academy slowly dominate the North Catholic student body. It was amazing to watch girls volleyball win WPIALs this senior year, and play our last tennis match with girls with whom I’ve grown so close to. Everyone will remember alternating between football and hockey games every fall Friday night, always dressed in theme and speaker blasting. Singing Mamma Mia along with every girl in our cafeteria at senior year homecoming was a moment I will miss. And to everyone graduating tonight, this moment right now!
Every moment, every successful test grade that made staying up late after getting home from work worthwhile, every stressful Thursday we were – thankfully – wearing the correct mass uniform, and every person, those who have been the source of our joy and those who have been the source of heartache, has taught me something about myself that I want to pass on to you. North Catholic’s high school experience has taught me to always strive to be the best version of myself, without fear.
Class retreat days and monthly adoration, dealing with people from all backgrounds and opinions, discussing controversial yet interesting and vital topics in history, english, science, and religion classes, and motivating one another’s goals through sharing personal aspirations or relatable self-deprecating jokes, has taught me that every one of my classmates is unique, and we should never conform to any pressure to fit a certain image. Every individual of the class of 2019 has a specific role and multi-dimensional personality that allows us the freedom of authenticity. We are the best versions of ourselves when we are being true to ourselves.
And we should never try to compare ourselves to another, because everyone is on a specific journey. This moment is just a step forward on our journey to being our best selves and fulfilling our potential. North has laid the foundation for us to bring the motto of “forever true” to our next step. Forever true to ourselves. Forever true to our wonderful families. Forever true to our inspiring teachers and selfless faculty. Forever true to thee North Catholic High, which is the only line of our alma mater we all shout confidently.
In my AP US history class last year, Mr. W occasionally played the famous song from the musical, Hamilton, to encourage us and relieve some stress from upcoming exams. In the song, Hamilton says “there’s a million things I haven’t done. But just you wait.” Class of 2019, there’s a million things we haven’t done. But world, just you wait. Just you wait. Thank you.
UPDATE: my speech is now on Youtube! Check is out at https://youtu.be/3x-WZFpIPeE