Essay on Graduation Speech

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It is probably a mistake that I am standing here giving a speech for graduation. In fact it is probably a mistake that I am even graduating from this school at all -- believe me, just as most people in this class I have tested the limits of attendance, of sleeplessness, and of procrastination. At the beginning of my high schooling, I was even testing dropping out ... and if that wasn't a mistake, I don't know what was. After four years of Starr altering our minds, it seemed most fitting for me to spend my four minutes talking about mistakes. Thank goodness for them, by the way -- it is only when we truly screw up big time that we are ever stopped in our tracks -- stopped, briefly, to learn lessons of worth.

Sometimes, the value of
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You don't forget these little mistakes.

But it's the larger mistakes that matter even more; not keeping your word; losing the trust of a teacher or the confidence of a best friend; setting aside principles about cheating because it was just too easy to get away with or too hard of a test; letting lust get in the way of a friendship. We haven't been mere sponges for grammar, geometry, geography, and the Civil War the past four years -- we've been screwing up in a safe environment -- learning what the world is about; who we are about, through them.

A major part of maturing from those squirmy freshman bodies we once had was stepping outside of ourselves and admitting when we screwed up ... by doing that, we realize that we're all in this together. Anyone can steal our diplomas or revoke our rewards, but no one can take away the lessons we've taken from the mixed-up, crazy world in this building.

High school graduation is certainly a rite of passage -- a much delayed puberty ceremony -- but when we leave, I really don't think it is our mission to be rich and successful and pretty and have dark tans and perfectly white teeth, to be the biggest dog in a dog-eat-dog world. Instead, at graduation, I think we transgress our little mistakes ... it's time to make bigger ones now. Some of us will have marriages that will turn into divorces; we will all have regrets in how we raise our children; sadly, I'm sorry to say,

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