Saturday, October 12, 2019

Graduation Speech: Regrets :: Graduation Speech, Commencement Address

Let me begin by saying that I am very honored to be addressing the County High School Class of 2012 as students of this institution for the last time. We've spent these last four years creating some serious memories: four years of chieftain power, leaking roofs, questionable Homecoming skits, and musical principals. Four years of good teachers, bad teachers, new teachers, old teachers. Four years of youth, music, growing up and breaking free. Four rubber chickens, four yearbooks, four ASB presidents and four chubby bunnies. But consider this question for a moment: what is your single biggest regret from the past four years? If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be? I asked Ms. Parks to pose this question to two classes full of Seniors and I have here some responses. For those of you who answered, thank you very much for your honest and thoughtfulness. Now some of us, in pondering our biggest regret, probably think immediately of a relationship we've had. Here are some examples: "I regret having the same boyfriend throughout high school." "I regret putting so much time and emotion into one person, when that one person should have been me." A very common subject of regret was decisions people made concerning academics: "I regret screwing around during my first years of high school because I had to make it up and almost didn't graduate." "I never studied or did all my work in classes, and slacked off when I have the potential of a 4.0 GPA." There's a note at the bottom of this one, it says, "Oh, well, I've got another chance." On a somewhat similar note, behavioral regret made a strong showing among our class: "My biggest regret is waking up and not knowing what I did the night before." "Letting Robbie Ford eat crab cakes on Prom night." "100 hours of disciplinary community service." "I made so many stupid mistakes, disrespecting my friends and family. Thinking drugs were the thing to do. I was stupid!" Occasionally, we have had to deal with watching our friends struggle. By the time we summon the courage to take action or offer help, it is often too late. "I regret standing by and doing nothing while people I cared about destroyed themselves." "My biggest regret -- not forgiving someone before they passed away." "I regret not telling my best friend how much he meant to me, and before I knew it, it was too late because he killed himself.

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