The following speech, provided by Medfield High School, was written by Jennifer Thomas and given at Medfield High School graduation on June 8, 2014.
Well class of 2014, we did it. For some of us this day has been long awaited. We’ve counted the years, the days, the hours, and maybe even the minutes. For other’s this day is bitter sweet—closing this chapter in our life means moving on to a new and unfamiliar one. Yet, let’s take a second to recognize what getting to this moment means. I want all of you to look around at each person dressed in a blue or white gown. Now really look at each face, and remember it. Remember it because today is the last time all of us will be together in one place. Remember it because each person here has played a valuable part in your life. Even someone who you may have never really talked with, never really got to know, or never really crossed paths with, has shaped who you are. Because each person sitting around you has defined what is means to be a graduating member of the Medfield’s High School Class of 2014.
Today is our day. The past is concrete, unchangeable, and what tomorrow holds is still unknown. But today we all sit here and can breathe a sigh of relief. In a few minutes each of us is going to be handed a diploma that signifies our completion of high school, but this piece of paper is more than that. It is a ticket. It’s a ticket that gives each one of us a new start; a clean slate to follow our dreams. A first class boarding pass to where ever you want to go. And maybe that place is right down the street in Boston or maybe it’s on the other side of the country—but the destination does not matter. What matters is that now is the time to cast aside anything that has ever held you back. Your GPA? Doesn’t matter. Your SAT scores? Insignificant. caption-ships, popularity, high-school quarrels—all of these things are slowly going to fade from importance. College, or wherever you decide to go after this, is a fresh start to redefine who you are in the world. Now, this is not a chance to make yourself up to be someone you’re not, but rather an opportunity to embrace the extraordinary person that you have the potential to be. Everything you have achieved in high school has lead you to where you are today, and none of us should ever take for granted all that this school and this town has given to us.
How many times in the last year alone have you heard someone say, “I can’t wait to get out of Medfield”? How many times have you yourself said this? My guess? A lot. Well guess what, it’s finally time for us to pack our bags. The people sitting around you are the future teachers, inventors, businessmen, doctors, lawyers, and CEO’s. We are the future leaders of this country, and we are even the future mothers and fathers. We are growing up. By law you become an adult when you turn 18 years old; but in my opinion, the moment we receive our diploma is the moment we cross the threshold into adulthood. We earn this beautiful independence and responsibility that should be enjoyed but not abused. We gain what we’ve all be longing for—freedom. Still, let’s not forget our roots. We are about to receive a ticket not only to chase our dreams but a ticket home.
Everyone here knows that Medfield is a small town that never changes much. I mean, getting a Starbucks was practically revolutionary. Growing up I always complained about how stagnant life was here. Now I see that Medfield isn’t dead—it’s just beautifully unchangeable. That means that when the real world becomes too much to handle there will always be someone more than willing to help you out. Don’t use this town as a crutch, but also afraid to come home when things get tough. We are blessed to be raised in such a dedicated and caring town. So as you walk up the steps, hold your head high. Be proud of everything you have accomplished to get you this far. Be proud of the classmates around you who have been by your side every step of the way. And as you shake hands and receive that long awaited piece of paper think of where you want that ticket to take you. Think of who you want to be because there is no one that can stand in your way.
time is now. Go fourth and conquer your future class of 2014! We made it!