I was asked a few months ago to prepare a graduation speech and of course, I agreed. I couldn’t think of what to say though since I had just come to this high school this year (senior year) and mid-semester too! I was here at Diamond Bar High School for about 6 months at most, and I wasn’t able to experience the entire high school experience here, but I found a few friends here who made me feel a part of their family as though I had been here all four years. As I wrote my final draft for the graduation speech, I thought of the friends I made here. And this is how my speech came to life. I gave the speech last week, and everyone loved it! I was tearing up at seeing everyone leave, but I was unbelievably happy too, and so I decided to share my speech.
–It all starts with a smile, an invitation, a memorable event.
By: Muskaan Nanda
Here it is:
Strangers. Five months ago, all of you were strangers to me. Perfect strangers.
And the thing is, strangers tend to give the best advice and be the best friends. Of course there’s always stranger danger, but I had a class full of strangers who I can now call my best friends. I didn’t know anyone in this room before I moved here, but one decision I made a few months back brought me to this school. And I am so thankful I came… because I met a room full of perfect strangers impatient to create a legacy worth remembering throughout history. I was fortunate enough to come earlier this year and still make friendships that I know will last longer than the decades to come and then some.
And today, coming up to this stage, I am not alone. I have a room full of such individuals.
The only guarantee I can give is that the second you leave these halls with your caps and gowns, things will never be the same. Don’t assume things won’t change here… Make them change. Always take that extra step. The next step is always what will take you to your goals. To success. To make a difference in the world. One person at a time.
Before exiting the halls of this school, look around. Remember those familiar faces. There are the teachers that look upon us fondly. And of course, those that look the other way.We have come a long way with these familiar faces, and now as we part, look inside and remember the journey you’ve shared with these people. And never forget.
Remember the pride in your parents’ eyes when you leave this hall. Remember that what you’ve have done with these 4 years do not define you… life will go on. If you didn’t get that 4.0 in high school or if you took classes way out of your league, don’t you dare cry. Don’t tell yourself that you aren’t smart because your grade doesn’t define you. It isn’t about how well you do on standardized tests or crammed the night before. It’s about what you take out of the class and out of these four years of high school. So, forget your high school grades and your SAT scores. Forget the project and the stress and the AP tests. and Forget the disapproving looks, but never— NEVER forget the first smile you’ve shared with that perfect stranger.
There will always be uncertainty in life. Did I make the right decision?? And there will always be moments in which desperation causes us to do terrible things against our better judgement even–but that’s why I believe in superheroes. I like superheroes. I know some too. The one’s that go above and beyond what normal superheroes can. They don’t hide behind a mask. They don’t wear their underpants on the outside, much to my disappointment. Yes, that’s you. In the flesh. Without the cape. You are the source of inspiration. We are the source of inspiration. To our descendants and to history.
And, I am lucky to know you . I am honored to have each of you in my life. You have all been a blessing, and I hope. I hope all of you will go out to college (all of you are going to college right??) and do something crazy wonderful and then call me up and fill me in because I wanna know. I wanna know. And our teachers… They want to know! …So don’t forget them. Don’t forget them.
And if you see me again sometime a billion years from now, I expect you to yell my name as loud as you can and come charging at me. I will think you are nuts. absolutely.. but I love nuts. Truly.