The Graduation Speech I Never Got To Give
Start writing a post
Student Life

The Graduation Speech I Never Got To Give

45
The Graduation Speech I Never Got To Give
The Huffington Post

Since my days of high school, it was always an aspiration of mine to deliver a speech at at least one of my graduations. When my speech wasn't chosen to be read at the end of high school, I set my sights on college, knowing my writing skills would develop enough to make what I had to say worthy of a podium. Soon, I joined Student Government, and learned that this dream was on path to be achieved. However, many of you know that this was derailed over time, and I would come to find myself no longer a student leader, or even a student. So naturally, watching my peers and colleagues deliver addresses I wish I could have is a pang I still feel today, particularly as commencements go by in these recent weeks.

While I am disqualified from delivering one on a stage in front of cap-and-gowned colleagues, I am taking it upon myself to deliver a graduation speech via social media, with the hope that at least one of the people that reads this may find encouragement from it, so without further ado:


Peers, friends, and family,

First of all, congratulations on making it to today. No matter how small or large today this is in your mind and heart, it is unequivocal that you making it here today is a testament to your own perseverance and capability. For that, you all owe yourselves a pat on the back. Next, I'd like to take the time to distinguish a point that I have watched myself and others get tangled up in over the years. I emphasize my own confusion with the topic to follow, as making clarity of it is not an endeavor that is quite fully conquered, especially for myself.

The topic I want to share with you pertains to placing proper credit in our achievements. More importantly, when and how we distinguish thanking others, and thanking ourselves.

Today is a perfect example. Today is a milestone that cannot have occurred without your determination and effort. But I believe it is concurrently self-evident that we all have several people we want to thank for helping us get here today, be it the people who gave birth to us, or our friends. Maybe it's one person, maybe it's one hundred people that you owe thanks to. But we all have at least one person we owe thanks to.

That emphasis of this, though, is not that we owe thanks to others, even though we do. It is also certainly not to say that we would not be anywhere without everyone else, because that is also not true. Rather, the point to be made in what I bestow upon you today is that no matter how many people in this world help us, your achievement and progress still rests on your own shoulders.

You can be given money, books, popularity - you name it! But without your own desire to continue and determination to reach a next milestone, all of it would be wasted. You may have people in your life that will try to minimize your achievements by citing their participation in getting you to them. I say to you today, let no man's help take from you the spirit of perseverance. Let no person rob you of your determination through accusation or generosity.

In couching the words I have to offer you, I'd like to also say that help and generosity is not to be taken lightly. Some of you have lived a life that has met you with more helping hands than others. No two people walk the same path in reaching their destination, even when the destination is identical. But you are all sitting here today because you all wanted to reach this point, and made the decision that you were going to make it here. So you did.

When I was fifteen years old, my body had built a tolerance to the medication that was keeping Crohn's disease from laying me to rest, rendering my medicine useless. With my insurance coverage refusing to help pay for the medicine I needed, I was then left for roughly three months untreated; I was left to waste away. Obviously that is not how this story ends, because I am standing here today. I had helping hands. I had friends and family on that journey, and a wonderful medical staff. But I can look each one of you in the eyes today to tell you that if I did not have the personal will to continue, that this story would have ended two sentences ago. I have several people to thank for helping me through that time, but I will never let a single soul tell me that I did not put myself here today. Because I did.

Keep moving forward, and never feel diminished at seeking needed help. Never think less of yourself because you had a helping hand. Settle your debts and give thanks where deserved. But never let a 'please' or 'thank you' be a parameter when setting goals. In the words of my personal hero, Muhammad Ali: "Impossible is nothing."

I'm proud of you for making it here today, and know with steadfast confidence that each and every one of you sitting here today will rise tomorrow and already be in the works of their next milsetone. Congratilations, and thank you for giving me the honor of knowing each and every one of you.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

13 Ways Barbie Movies Shaped My Childhood

My childhood would not have been the same without them.

2107
Taylor Hawk

Barbie movies were a huge part of my childhood. I mean huge. If you are like me, I welcome you to take a healthy dose of nostalgia as I explain how Barbie movies shaped my childhood. The movies...

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Pride Doesn't End With June

Here's seven ways you can be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community after pride month ends.

5549
Pride Doesn't End With June
Photo by Sara Rampazzo on Unsplash

As July begins, the month we call 'Pride Month' is technically over. However, just because pride month is over doesn't mean we can't still show pride and support for our LGBT brothers and sisters. This article here will tell you seven ways to be a supportive ally to the LGBTQ+ all year round.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

My 4th Of July Look

MISS SWISS - Glamour On The Go

5054
My 4th Of July Look

Whether I can get to the beach this weekend or I'm just at a friend's pool, I know I'll be picture ready. Fourth of July weekend following so close behind Pennsylvania lifting the state mask mandate has me anticipating many smiling faces, eager to capture the moment.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Eat and Drink Your Way Through Los Angeles With Me

When i die spread my ashes at the Bubba Gump at Citywalk

3848
Eat and Drink Your Way Through Los Angeles With Me
Hailey Hastings via Canva

First and foremost, I am a foodie. In any city that I am in, the first thing I want to know is where the best places to eat and drink are, and I imagine a lot of you are the same. Los Angeles happens to be one of the greatest food cities in the United States, so it's only right that I present you guys with this list. These are the best places (that I have tried) in Los Angeles to eat or drink.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Your Guide to Dryness-Preventing Nutrition

You might be surprised to learn that nearly half of women over the age of 50 struggle with uncomfortable symptoms due to vaginal dryness. This is an extremely common issue for those entering menopause, but it can also affect those of a younger age as well.

4079
Dryness-Preventing Nutrition

You might be surprised to learn that nearly half of women over the age of 50 struggle with uncomfortable symptoms due to vaginal dryness. This is an extremely common issue for those entering menopause, but it can also affect those of a younger age as well. Common issues like UTI’s, yeast infections and medications can cause vaginal dryness but one of the big culprits for both cause and prevention is diet. Supplementing your diet with nutrients and vitamins to encourage your body to produce the hormones it needs are one of the many home remedies for dryness. There are many factors that can cause dryness and the uncomfortable symptoms that come along with it, and diet is one of the big culprits on the list. Keep reading to learn about adopting nutrition habits that both alleviate and prevent dryness!

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments