Lauren Freeman

So as many of you know, I set a goal to become valedictorian in the seventh grade, so I bet most of you assumed that I had written this speech a while ago.

But if you know me, you won’t be surprised that I procrastinated this speech just like I did everything in high school.

And even if i had written this speech months ago, I don’t think I could have gotten up here and said it. Months ago when it was announced that I would be giving this speech, life looked a lot different. The most important things to me were senior week, spring break, and senior skip day. Making the best out of the last months i had with my friends was the only thing i cared about,

but life was really put into perspective recently, when everything i cared about was ultimately changed. But what better class to handle change. As I'm sure all of you do, I have a few stories of how things unexpectedly changed over the past 13 years, but the class of 2020 has always been resilient, you, all of you, are some of the toughest and most hard working individuals I’ve ever met.

Whether it was doing extra credit on the weekends to pass a class, or writing a Perry essay on the way back from a football game, you all learned the value of hard work these past four years.

But that’s not all we have learned, school is centered around learning and we’ve all done a lot of that the past 13 years. We learned how to add and subtract,

how to somewhat manage our time, how our government works, we also learned how most of us aren’t good at chemistry, but most importantly, we learned how to make friends and how to be better people. While I'll take the lessons the teachers taught us with me, I'll also take the memories that we made over the last four years. the memories of winning a football game, studying with friends at Dunkin, frantically asking a friend what’s going to be on the test that I missed, dressing up for homecoming week, going to Dairy Queen before school, practically running into school because i was late, again, and the countless hours we sat in the same rooms every day.

Don’t think of this as the end, yes, it is the end of an era, but graduating high school is just the beginning of all of the great things you will do in your life. Use what you’ve learned in the past four years, from the teachers who have watched us grow and from the friends who have been there every step of the way, to make an impact on the world, and if not the world, your community, and all the people around you.

And when you wake up tomorrow, and you are no longer a high school student, go out and make a difference, whether you go to college, the military, or into the workforce, use what you’ve learned in the past 4 years to make a difference in the world around you.

Also, I want to take a moment to say thank you. Thank you to all of the parents and families that have supported us during our high school careers. A special thanks to my parents who have supported me and my crazy goals and dreams. Thank you to the teachers that put up with us and took care of us for four years, and thank you to all of my classmates. It was all of you that made high school memorable and exciting. Thank you all for making the last four years, the best they could’ve been.

And finally, listen closely because it’s probably the last time I’ll ever say it, Go Doggs!

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