For the 270 seniors that sit before you tonight, this evening is a
tribute to the dedication that they have displayed in pursuit of an
education. We have finally reached a major threshold in our lives.
For this, we owe all of our parents, teachers, and other staff a great
deal of thanks for all of the support and time they have given us.
Now as we have finally finished our last exam, and returned all of
our books, some of us are glad to be through with high school. This
night is both a graduation from high school and an introduction into
college and beyond. It's the beginning of a different kind of education,
one in which the goal is not an "A" on a test but instead
personal happiness and fulfillment. Tonight, I’d just like to
talk about three simple ideas that I feel are important to enjoying
First, you have to be an individual. Follow your heart in deciding
what will bring you happiness, and then do everything possible to
achieve that goal. Other people may criticize, but you have to maintain
a trust in yourself. Anyone who’s familiar with the class of
2000 knows that most of us are very outspoken about our ideas and
firm in our beliefs, and that’s a reflection of the self-confidence
we’ve already developed.
Second, always choose your friends carefully. You should only give
friendship to those who are willing to return it and who will help
you better understand yourself. Keep in mind that it's a person's
character that's most important-not how they look, the clothes they
wear, or how rich they are. In a world in which the focus is often
placed on material wealth and physical beauty, it’s important
to have friends who seek nothing more than friendship.
And third, never limit yourself. You can only be as happy as you allow
yourself to become, so keep an open mind and don't be afraid to try
something new. After all, when we sat down for our first day of kindergarten
almost 13 years ago, simply becoming seniors and graduating from high
school seemed impossible, but here we are tonight. Tonight is both
an end and a beginning. Tonight will be filled with smiles, diplomas,
speeches, and tears. Tonight is the last time that the class of 2000
will be together as a whole.
To close, I'll leave you with a phrase that I believe summarizes the
journey of life: “Happiness is not the destination, it's the
enjoyment you will find along the way.” As the Tucker High School
graduating class of 2000, let's be confident, let's be proficient,
and let's continue to show the love and sense of humor by which we
will always be remembered. Thanks for coming, and enjoy the night.