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Column: WHS graduates complete their high school chapter

By Bailey Kruse, District 518

Editor’s note: The author gave this speech during the May 25 commencement exercises at Worthington High School. Another student speech from commencement will be published next week.

WORTHINGTON — I would like to thank members of the school board, Mr. Landgaard, Mr. Noble, Mr. Hastings, parents and family for being here. Graduates, I have always been told that after high school you start your journey. I don’t agree with that. I look at it like starting another chapter of your book, like each big step in your life is a chapter of “The Life of Yourself.” We have written many of our stories together so far. The first chapter that we started to write together was the first day of elementary school. The first day of middle school started our next. When we came for our first day of high school as little freshmen, that was the start of our current chapter. Sitting here, we are writing together the last paragraph of our high school page. So again, all we are doing is starting a new chapter, not a journey.

But let's focus on the high school chapter, the first day of freshman year to right now — graduation. We may not have always gotten along with each other and we might not have been best friends, but we always worked it out. We have all had our firsts together. We all had our first football game that we played, parade that we marched, wrestling match, gymnastics meet, dance competition and so many more. And now we have had our lasts in everything. The important thing about all these is that through them all, we have always been together. We have always been the class of 2018, and being the class of 2018 will continue to hold us together even after we all split off to start our next chapter in our life. We will always have these previous chapters to look back in order to remember all of our memories together. I know there are a few parts in each chapter that we might want to change or forget, like that time we flunked a test or fell during starting lineups for hockey and of course couldn’t get back up. But all of those parts — even the embarrassing ones — helped us get to the point of sitting here ready to graduate.

This is the last paragraph of our high school chapter. None of us were able to write this book on our own. Everyone in this gym has helped us in someway. Parents that always encouraged us along the way and attended every event that we were involved in, family that was always there supporting us, friends who always made that bad day better, and teachers who always helped us succeed. Everyone is in our book, and each chapter will introduce someone new to help. Once we turn the page we will all start it in a different way; we won’t start it all together like we have with the past few. We won’t be all together like when we were scared little freshmen hoping we wouldn’t be late to our classes, or get stuffed in our lockers, or that we wouldn’t sit in a seniors spot at lunch.

Whether you choose to become a doctor, plumber, technician, go into the armed forces or right into the workforce, we will all still be together in that we are all moving on and starting something new. We have finished another chapter, but we can’t forget this one. We can’t forget our time as  a Trojan, and I don’t think any of us ever will. We need to have a second chapter to get a third, and we can’t have a fifth chapter without a fourth. No matter what don’t ever try to erase a chapter. Build off your last to make the next better, and try something new or do that thing that you have always wanted to do. No matter how you decide to start your next page, do what is best for you and what will make you happy.

People always say that high school will go by fast. I just never realized how fast it actually goes until I started to look back at what’s been written. We are the class of 2018. I hope you are all happy with the chapters that we have helped each other write. Thank you for your part in mine.

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