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YOUTH: Salutorian speech by Eric Semborski

Gary Trudeau once said, "Commencement speeches were invented largely in the belief that outgoing high school students should never be released into the world until they have been properly sedated."...

Gary Trudeau once said, "Commencement speeches were invented largely in the belief that outgoing high school students should never be released into the world until they have been properly sedated."

My intent is to reflect on our high school experience and inspire rather than put you to sleep so I found another quote by Isabel Waxman that I feel really does sum up how I think all of us in the class of 2007 have been feeling lately.

"It is indeed ironic that we spend our school days yearning to graduate and our remaining days waxing nostalgic about our school days." Although I'm sure you have heard similar words of wisdom many times and just ignored them, I think that we are all coming to realize that it is indeed true.

I know that when I walked in here as a scared 14-year-old freshman, I didn't think that the time would ever pass fast enough. I was afraid that high school meant I would be getting stuffed into lockers and garbage cans and it seemed like the four years ahead of me would last an eternity.

But as my freshman year went on, I realized things wouldn't be that bad. Someday I would grow big enough where I wouldn't fit into a locker. But as we all learned those things don't really happen.

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After getting involved in some sports and making connections with some great teachers, I figured that high school might not be as bad as I had originally thought, even though each grading period felt like it lasted an entire year.

As we progressed though our sophomore and junior years, we kept busy with a bunch of different activities and loads of sometimes seemingly pointless homework that teachers love to give. By the spring of our junior year, we started to deal with looking at colleges, taking the ACT, and a little thing that we all know and love, the senior project.

This is when it began to occur to me that I might not have all that much time left. I was excited to become a senior in the fall and knew that it meant only one more year at this big, brick circle that we call Superior High School. At this point, time couldn't move fast enough for me. I was ready to be done and finally be free.

Over that summer, I had a lot of fun with all of my friends. But as summer progressed, I started to hear more and more of my friends talk about how we only had one more year left and how some of them already didn't want high school to end. I just brushed off those sentimental comments and still thought about how long our last year of school would be.

When senior year began, I once again was busy with all the typical high school things and applying for college and scholarships. I didn't listen too much to those who said that we didn't have much time left. Important moments passed along: like finishing my senior project in the early winter, the end of the first semester, and getting accepted into college.

I was just a senior with a busy life: school, sports, going to football and hockey games, and hanging out with my friends whenever I could find the time. I was simply living for the moment and not getting sentimental about the time that we had left.

It seemed like school was still dragging on and even slower than ever. More time and another season passed and then in the mid-spring, when the weather started feeling like summer, it finally hit me. I would be leaving this place in just a couple months.

I began to understand the way some of you had already been feeling. The time that had passed so slowly during my first three and a half years was now flying by. A part of me couldn't believe that I was actually hoping time would pass slower.

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Things flew by while I tried to have as much fun as possible in the short time that I had left with all of you. And then my wish for time to slow down finally came true, finals week came. During the last two weeks teachers still tried to cram one last bit of info into our heads, tried to plow through that last chapter, to get that last big test or gi-normous project in, which made time seem slower than ever.

But now all the tests have been taken, books turned in, grades completed, and senior projects passed. We as the class of 2007 are finally finished! All that remains is listening to a few more speeches that will probably be better (and hopefully shorter) than mine and waiting two hours to walk across the stage and finally get our diploma holders that don't have anything in them yet.

After tonight, high school will be officially over and most of us will never come back to this building again. I'm also pretty sure that we won't ever eat another school lunch.

Tonight will be the last time that we are all together, and I just want to say thanks to everyone for all the great moments. I'd also like speak on behalf of the whole class of 2007 and to take some time to thank the people that we've spent the last four years with.

I'd like to thank all of the coaches, the advisors, and especially the teachers for just putting up with us. You have taught us things like how to improve a mile time or take a harder shot, how to run an assembly, how to solve a quadratic equation or about what happened at the Battle of Tippecanoe (Thanks Mr. Smith).

All those things are feats in themselves. But you have also taught us more important things like how to be more responsible, more reliable, to work harder, and to be overall better people and those are the things that we definitely won't forget. We walked in here as immature 14-year-olds and are leaving and going into the world as adults.

I'd also like to thank all the parents and family members. You have put up with us for 18 or more years. You've helped us with the tricky math problems until even you couldn't understand them anymore. You've given us rides to everything and then dished out gas money once we could drive. You've bought us all the glue sticks and notebooks and just about everything else that we've needed throughout the years.

The list goes on and on. But more importantly you've given us the values and skills that we will use all of our lives. And the most important thing you've done, is loved us. So I just want to say thanks Mom and Dad and the rest of my family, for all that you've done, and that I love you guys.

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We've accomplished a lot and have a lot to be proud of ourselves for. So thank yourself for all of your hard work over the past 13 years. But now isn't the time to stop.

There are so many amazing people graduating tonight. We have accomplished so many great things so far and If we continue working hard, being ourselves, and breaking the mold, there will be even more greatness to come.

In the words of Dr. Seuss, "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who'll decide where to go." Congratulations class of 2007

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