........ 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 life.
........ 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.


Ferdi Tjandra
Class of 2000