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Column: One song done - another will follow

District 518

Editor's note: The following is one of the three student speeches given during the Worthington High School commencement ceremony May 20. The other two speeches will be published in future editions.

WORTHINGTON -- Wow! The day is finally here! Soon we'll cross this very stage and receive our diplomas. If you look around at everyone in this gym, you'll see something very unique. Though we may be involved in many things, with many different people, no two people have taken the same path to get to this point in our lives. We've all done different things, with many different people, and we've all been successful in our own way. Whether your definition of success is to icy hot all of the toilets in a single day, create the world's next vaccine, or to win a Grammy, our success can be directly attributed to our ability to make, work for and finally achieve our goals in life. It's been a reoccurring theme ever since kindergarten. We had to start somewhere didn't we? As we grew up the goals got bigger, and more challenging, and the more goals we began to achieve, the more confident we became with ourselves, and our abilities. It is that confidence that has made us who we are today, and has brought us to this point in our lives. We've all become composers of our own individual symphonies, and as this movement ends, a new movement will surely begin.

And to think, it all started with a single note. A single melody called childhood, the peak of our innocence and curiosity. This is where our song begins. In kindergarten we learned to tie our shoes, and read Dr. Seuss books all by ourselves! As you can see, our goal-setting process was very basic at this time, but we learned very quickly to set our goals high and keep reaching for excellence.

Our next big movement came when we transitioned into Prairie Elementary. As we pulled up in the almighty cheese boxes, we became wide eyed at its size. And when we showed up for the first days of school, our nerves were soon calmed by the recognition of old friends. And although the school building seemed to have changed, the familiarity and friendship we'd already created as third-graders passed the test of time. And then before we knew, we were presented with another test, and had to create yet another goal.

As fifth-graders, we seemed to rule, but as sixth-graders, we hit the bottom of barrel full of brand new experiences, all of which were piled on to the facts that we no longer could control our bodies because although we didn't fully comprehend it at the time, everybody was changing, and all at different times. Some boys grew tall, while some stayed short. It seemed like every other word was accompanied with a loud squeak . And guys, we slowly watched the girls become the lovely ladies they are today, and didn't quite understand where all the cooties went. As we began to grow collectively as a class, we united with the St. Mary's students becoming for the first time a group similar to the class we are today.

In eighth grade, we were graced with the everyday morning announcement teem and its vast amount of wisdom, featured pledge of allegiance guests, and catchy closing phrase, "Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours." It seemed as if we were again, on the top of this new world, and nothing could stop us now. Until high school.

Again we experienced the shift from the top to the bottom. As freshmen we found out firsthand what, respect for your elders truly meant. We involved ourselves in homecoming for the first time, the pep rallies, sporting events, and discovered-what it meant to have pride in being a Trojan. Our sophomore year brought about less change, and more of the same, as we became extremely accustomed to our block schedule, Doysher's long lectures, and not being able to look at the clock in Mr. Koller's algebra 2 class. Our junior year we began to figure out what we wanted to do with our lives, and the career choices we would soon have to make. We are very blessed to have a school that prides itself in the many different activities and opportunities. Ranging from FFA to Robotics club, we have nearly every club or activity imaginable, and we should all know that because of that, we will achieve our goals in life because we have something for everybody here.

If we think back, we've all had favorite teachers or subjects. But some of us forget we've also had teachers or subjects that we weren't too fond of. Some of us also forget that it takes both good and bad situations to point us in the right direction. How can we know if we don't like doing something unless we try it out?

And now we are here today. The almighty graduating class of 2011. We've waited 13 years, for this moment. As I said before, if you look around at everybody here today, no two people took the same path to get here. We have state champions, band geeks, math nerds, jocks, singers, songwriters, artists, farmers, cowboys, cowgirls, nearly everything imaginable. But do you know what else we have? We have future pediatricians, future engineers, future teachers, future musicians, future producers, future athletes, we have people who will benefit and impact this world in a way no other class has. Why do you ask? Because we set, and achieve our goals. We write our symphonies, with our hearts at the forefront. We have such a passion for excellence that we will settle for nothing less.

We started our lives with one note. One melodic line, one phrase, one chord. And through our elaborate goal setting, we've all written our own symphonies. And through these symphonies we've felt the rise and fall of the good times, and the bad. But we've also figured out one thing. Who we are, what we want and how we will achieve our goals. So I stand before you today, to congratulate you all, because we've finally made it here! And you can guarantee that as this movement of our songs comes to a close, a newer one will shortly take its place.

Thank you.