Four years ago, I was planted in the soil right where you are sitting today.
I sprouted up slow, looked toward the sky each morning and begged for my days to be numbered.
Now that it’s here, and I am full grown next to my peers, limbs long enough to touch the stars,
I find myself with empty hands, longing so dearly to hold onto the days which I shed as easily as the leaves in Autumn.
However, this is not the end.
I walk through the crowded halls of this school, shoes squeaky against the linoleum,
Catching bits and pieces of familiar faces, some of which I have greeted each day since kindergarten,
Some of which have slipped underneath the door without notice, leaving me to wish they had navigated the messy map of my life much sooner,
With teenage indolence, we roll our eyes, tell ourselves that essay can be written easily in just one night,
Feeling like we are handcuffed by the people above us, yet in reality we are given every key in their collection;
It’s up to us to find the right fit.
Certain careers are pushed toward us, poured over us like water, almost drowning us
Yet others are little prizes. Locked behind secret trap doors, knocking, begging to be released by the beautiful talents that are buried deep within us.
As a senior, I have been hiding behind the curtains, pulling down a single blind and peeking out at all the pathways set before me.
It can fill even the bravest with fear.
But, my favorite quote goes something like, “This world is made of sugar. It can crumble so easily, but don’t be afraid to stick out your tongue and taste it.”
That is what we must do.
Whether you are traveling miles from home like myself,
Or rather sticking to the roots which have held you so carefully all these years,
We are setting off on this journey together.
We will be scattered across the nation like lost puzzle pieces,
Connected in ways that not even the greatest among us can comprehend.
From 800 miles away, I will reach toward this pinpoint on the map of my life,
I will trip over my own feet searching for those old writing classes where I first found my voice,
I will laugh at the tears that reached the brim of my tired eyes and spilled out on the floors of AP Calculus,
I will find myself lost when I reach out to embrace the teachers who have been a bright light in terms of my future,
But I will grow.
Seniors, we were planted here years ago.
Now is our time to spread our roots,
Grab our dreams, hold tight, and grow taller than the treetops we thought we’d never reach.