To the class of 2018:
One more week! One more week of homework and classes and exams. One more week of waking up early and going to your locker and buying overpriced pizza in the cafeteria. We’re almost there.
We’ve been through a lot as a class. We’ve written and performed rap songs about literature in Mr. Russell’s KIC class. We’ve seen just about every school dance theme there is (social media homecoming?). We watched classmates shine on stage and on the court. We knew the outer concourse before the comfy chairs and the second floor before there were gym and bathrooms we aren’t allowed to use. The freshman will never know the struggle of not having a single, consistent, trustworthy bubbler. Kids these days, am I right?
We’ve also grown up a lot. It’s no secret that our class made a lot of waves at DHS. Upperclassmen seemed to have no faith in us, automatically joking that we were the worst class. But the truth is, we’re also incredibly resilient. We’ve worked hard to push past petty drama and rebuild broken relationships. We’ve dealt with a lot of changes; big and small. We’ve forgiven each other and stuck by one another. We’ve cried together and cheered together and grown together.
Our class is a wonderful composition of so many different people with a wide range of interests and talents. We have artists and athletes and scholars and humanitarians and activists and techies. We speak a multitude of languages; we represent different creeds and faiths and belief systems. We have different stories and backgrounds. But we are one class and rather than letting those things divide us, we’ve accepted diversity and allowed ourselves to celebrate it. It does not tear us apart; it unifies us.
I guess my main point in writing this is to just say how proud I am of us. High school is weird and difficult and at times, it kind of sucks. But it sucked a lot less when I had the class of 2018 to fall back on. I don’t think our class gets enough credit for that. Even in the midst of arguments or drama, when it came down to it, we were there for one another when we needed it. We got off to a rocky start. We were clique-y and afraid to step out of our comfort zones. But as the years rolled on, we learned more about ourselves and each other, and we grew up. We set an example for the underclassmen; one of cooperation and forgiveness.
I’m excited to see all of you guys succeed. Our class has some of the smartest people I have ever met; some of the most talented writers, most beautiful artists, and kindest souls. I have met some of the most generous people, the strongest young men and women, and the most determined students. Our crazy mix may not have always meshed well, but that doesn’t mean that we didn’t help each other to grow. I think these past four years have been an incredible learning experience, and it has had a significant impact on who I am. I’m incredibly thankful for all of you. Good luck, guys.