Write On: Graduation Speech - May 2022
August 13, 2022
Destiny Wennerstrand, Senior
Roseau Community School
To the class of 2022, Today I stand in front of everyone, knowing most of you since pre-K, and all I can think about is how I wish we had more time together. I reflect on my younger self's ambition to graduate, and now I wish I could go back to relive it, cherishing every single moment. But I wouldn't change anything. I believe everything happens for a reason, good or bad, and we learn from our experiences.
Every day is a new experience, and I believe we take time for granted. As we long for each day to come to an end, thinking of what was and what is going to be. I wish I would have been more present, taking my days one at a time, content with the now. I feel we rush to grow up and are constantly thinking of the future. What is the next step along our journey? We're at a milestone where our futures are filled with opportunity, but we must expect the unknown. Take each opportunity by the hand and push yourself to do what you truly desire.
Every single one of you has the opportunity to create an amazing life for yourself. Follow your passions! Take action and do the things you desire instead of just keeping them as ideas. Even though it might seem scary sometimes, if you follow your heart and are truly happy with who you are, that's the only thing that matters. Before you take your next step, think about what you are truly meant to be doing on this earth. Everyone has a reason to be here, you all play a part in everyone else's story. Whether you think so or not, you're here for a reason and make an impact daily.
There should be more of us here but unfortunately two of our fellow peers were taken too early. I remember the confusion, and wondering why? But maybe it happened for a reason, that's what I tried to think anyway. What would life be like with them here? There isn't an answer, because life happens and we must not dwell in the past. We can reminisce on the good memories, but we must not let unanswered questions affect our daily lives. Life is hard but it only gets harder, and we must keep moving forward day to day. We have to take into account that we aren't able to alter the past, but can live in the now, learning from each experience. We learn from every experience, there may be unwanted feelings, but those feelings shaped you. Every one of you is who you are meant to be, but the only person that can make sure of that is yourself. Take accountability for your actions, and be proud of your successes. Celebrate the good days and my grandma Loretta always says "if you're having a bad day go dig in the dirt", I take that literally. From digging in the garden to burying my toes in the dirt while dancing in my backyard. The closer with nature you are the more at peace you may feel. Don't let your bad days ruin the good ones.
One day you may realize that you've dwelled on what happened instead of what is happening. Life is filled with regret. Wishes of things we could have done differently, it doesn't have to define you. You may learn from it and continue. As I already mentioned, life is filled with opportunities, take risks! Or one day it may be too late. Ask yourself what's holding you back? It terrifies me to come up here and speak in front of you all today, but I pushed myself out of my comfort zone because it is something I have wanted to do all year. I've tried a lot this year to push past the anxiety and not worry about what others think. From MC'ing at homecoming to joining One Act Play. I wish I would have pushed myself sooner. Your view of yourself is more important than anyone else's view on you. Do make the time for a relationship with yourself!
One last thing I would like to acknowledge is the importance of kindness. One can say they're a good person, but it doesn't mean anything unless their actions account for it. When showing acts of kindness it makes one feel good about themselves and may even have a positive impact on someone's day. My grandma Gerri told me "being kind to others always seems to make its way back to you", so if you need a little pick-me-up, do something out of the kindness of your heart for someone else, it will be rewarding in the end. Whoever has left sticky notes with positive messages on them in the bathrooms, I want to thank you. Everyone has their own battles, and those words can make someone's day. Small acts can have large impacts. I want you to look where you can create these moments, because we never know what others are going through.
Speak up for minorities, use your actions and words to make a change. Now is the time! Everyone has a choice, you can be judgmental, and worry about what others think of you, or you can think about your view on yourself. Take advantage of opportunities that may arise, be spontaneous. Live day by day trying to be the best version of yourself, choose to not think about what people think of you. Act as if no one's watching and if they are, choose not to care. I'd like to close with a quote by Taylor Swift herself " no matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind".