Dear Class of 2016,
Even though it's only April, I think it's pretty safe to say that we've made it. We've made it through long nights full of homework that teachers have insisted will help us in the long run (even though we aren't sure if it ever actually will). We've made it through lost friendships, family drama, and much more; we've been through the works.
As this final school year winds down, I find myself thinking about a lot of the amazing experiences you've provided me. The rival sports games, the school concerts, and even just the simple "hello" in the hallway on some of my worst days.
I want to take a moment to thank you all, for I've grown in so many ways since I walked on campus four years ago.
Academically, so many of you have challenged me to go the extra mile; making that study date with my textbook and laptop at the coffee shop just another hour longer. For those of you who protested my opinions on issues in class debates; thank you for making me look deeper within my own mind and heart, and sometimes changing my own opinion in the wake of the ideas you presented me. The competition you provided me in the classroom taught me not to give up on myself; for I could master anything if I really set my mind to it and put in the work necessary.
Athletically, I commend my teammates for showing me what a team really is so early on in life. Thank you for teaching me compassion even through the most frustrating times on the field, when it seemed like nothing was coming together. Practice makes perfect, but so does dedication. This is a skill that I will carry with me far beyond our stadium, into many facets of my future.
Musically, I'm so grateful for the moments, hours, even nights I got to spend with my ensembles. Nothing has ever made me feel more alive than singing and performing with all of you; there's nothing like making music with some of your most cherished friends. Thank you for all of the help and support you've given me over the years. With you all, I learned that if you're going to make a mistake in life, make it confidently and then learn from it.
Finally, I want to address my friends. Thank you for sticking with me through good days, bad days, and everything in between. I acknowledge, entirely, the fact that my high school friends are the reason I even know what true friendship is. By treating me with respect, dignity and love, among other things, I now know that those are some of the most important ingredients. I'm so proud of each of you and all of your accomplishments, and I promise you that no matter what happens, I'll do anything for you. I know you'd do the same for me.
Class of 2016, I thank you; I can't wait to see where you go beyond this place. You'll remain forever in my heart.