The Day Of My Graduation

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“This morning as we find ourselves as seniors on the verge of graduation, I ask all of you to think back to August 2014 when we were freshmen,” I said in front of my class of 2018. Graduation was a significant moment in my life. It was an emotional event that makes us realize that we aren’t children anymore but adults entering the real world. It also made me start to cherish more little moments with my loved ones.

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I woke up to the sound of my alarm clock. It was eight o’clock and I was still shuffling in my bed. I was tired because the night before I stayed up to edit my salutatorian speech. A few moments later my best friend, Sierra, calls me. “Wake up sleepy head! Do you know what today is? It’s finally the day we awaited!” She said screaming into my ear with excitement. “I totally forgot, even though I was thinking all about it last night. Seems like just yesterday we were freshmen,” I said. We talked about our four years together but had to cut the conversation since we had to get ready. After hanging up I didn’t feel like this was real. I asked myself, did four years really fly by that fast already? I always awaited this moment just like all my other friends but I was hit with fear of growing up. I got anxious at the fact that my class of friends would be separated after this day. We have gotten used to seeing each other’s faces every single day and got so close that we were already family to each other, I wasn’t prepared for this sudden change in my life. I distracted myself of these thoughts by getting ready. I grabbed my makeup bag, my dress and headed to the bathroom. I applied my makeup and my mom helped me curl my hair, I was ready. I rushed to my room to pack my bag. I had prepared gifts for my friends and packed my gown. My childhood friend, Thomas, decided to drive me to my graduation because he wouldn’t be able to make it to the actual ceremony later that day. The car ride was silent and he played my favorite songs to calm me down. Rain drops started to drop down on his car window. It was a comfortable atmosphere and made me reminisce the times we spent together. We arrived to the graduation venue, Thomas turned down the volume of the music. “Wow after today we are both adults, kinda crazy right?” He said. “Yea, it’s pretty surreal,” I said laughing nervously. “Well, I just wanted to tell you that I’m proud of you. You’ve come a long way. Go out there and let your heart out in that speech,” Thomas said while pinching my cheeks. I nodded and walked towards the building where all my classmates were.

I entered Xavier’s Cintas Center where all my teachers and classmates were getting ready. I was greeted by all my teachers and was congratulated for surviving four years of high school. I walked into the rehearsal room to see my friends. Everyone was fixing their clothes, smiling and cracking jokes. I noticed that after all these years of fighting one another we had finally become a family in the end. That moment really touched me and stayed in my mind. I had gotten an hour early to the ceremony and my feet were starting to get tired. I squat down in a corner and went over my speech. Sierra came up to me and lead me to the seats in which our families would be sitting in. “Hey don’t stress yourself out. Go up there and say everything you have always wanted to say to all your friends and teachers. This is the perfect time to do that,” Sierra said. She gave me a hug and went to help people get ready. “Class of 2018, get ready to shine on stage! We are starting in twenty minutes,” my principal said excited. I walked up the line of about one hundred classmates. I was anxious due to the fact I was the second person to walk out in front of tons of people. I started to wonder if my speech would appeal to the audience and get their attention, wondering if it would compete against my other peer’s speeches. It was time to go out there and say what I always held in. We walked out, sat in our seats and I sat on stage amongst my peers. I heard my parents and friends screaming my name, it was quite the experience. The time passed and it was finally my time to deliver my speech. I was nervous but it didn’t show. It felt like a dream talking in front of so many people. I walked towards the podium and saw my whole class. All my friends screamed and jumped out of their seats. My principal had to calm them down before I started my speech. I adjusted the mic and gave my speech. It consisted of the struggles I went through with friends, thanking friends, family and teachers. I thanked one of my teachers who has always been there for me, I looked behind after thanking him and saw he was crying. I continued to thank my dearest friends. My speech was coming to an end so I wished all my classmates luck.

After my speech we all threw our caps and shortly the ceremony ended. We found ourselves in an ocean of family and friends. Everyone was taking pictures and some were overwhelmed with emotions. This day marked the day we started a new chapter in our life. I experienced the importance of cherishing moments and that growing up is not the problem, forgetting is.

11 February 2020

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