When I “graduated” from preschool – if you can even put such a word on the event- they made us paper caps that we decorated and handed us diplomas for our various achievements in coloring and listening to read alouds. The reception was themed like the Dr. Seuss story “Oh the Places You’ll Go!”, the book that my parents gave me as a gift and read aloud to me that night – tears welling up in their eyes as their youngest child started school. You can only imagine the emotions circulating my house today, 13 years later, when they’re done with the Westport Public School system all together. But 13 years later and some things just have not changed. Dr. Seuss and others seem to still be able to say it all in the right way.
“Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!”
Whether you’re the type of person who has had a countdown for this day going since the first bell freshman year. Or if you’re that someone who feels like high school just started and now it’s over in the snap of a finger, the reality is that the day is here. All 462 graduates have made it to this humid and claustrophobic field house, overheating under pounds of cap and gown, ready to cross that stage. And whether your post graduate plan is that ‘Great Place’ or not, there is something waiting for us all.
“You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.”
For this, we have our teachers, the administration, our parents, our friends, tutors, coaches, everyone else who has played an important role in our high school careers to thank. Westport and everything it has to offer has made sure that we are prepared, and while facing life after high school may seem like we are out of our league – we know more than we think; as a class full of athletic recruits, math champions, theatre stars; with a mix of journalists, radio announcers, dancers, chefs – we are bound to succeed. 10, even 3 years from now, I am confident the people sitting on those bleachers today will impress you more than they already do today.
“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!”
It could be down the road or thousands of miles away: everyone in the class of 2015 has a journey waiting for them to fulfill. We just have to remember: that no matter the places that we do go we always have something to look back on and a place to come home to.
And I also suggest reading the book in full: it’s no green eggs and ham, nor does it count fish by colors but it holds true to our graduation day.