Farewell to the Class of 2016: Sara Serdy, Class President
Good morning, faculty, parents, relatives, administrators, and most importantly, the class of 2016. It is my great honor to be speaking to you today as your senior class president. I’m going to be honest. I spent many sleepless nights, days without eating, and my grades began to suffer because the thought of what to say in this speech was absolutely daunting. After contemplating how to write the perfect speech, I finally had an epiphany… no matter what I say in this speech today, someone out there will hopefully feel obligated to clap. I eventually decided to put some words down on paper. After a few hours, I reread what I had written, but was it inspiring? I wasn’t so sure. I began to panic…should my mom write this speech? Should I plagiarize and simply hope for the best? No, not this time. I would write this speech and hopefully what I say today will make you laugh and reminisce about good times that we shared. This day is not meant to be easy. We worked four long years for it. Simply sitting in these seats is an accomplishment. It is with a heavy heart that I stand here and deliver this speech.
Behind me sit some of the greatest human beings. Each person here has dreams and aspirations.Words cannot express how proud I am of this class. 90% of the class is going on to higher education, 7% is entering the world of work, and 1% is enlisted to serve in the military. The remainder 2% is undecided or taking a gap year. We have been through it all together. We all walked into Sandwich High School on September 2012 with no idea what to expect. All we had were scary preconceptions of high school from those eighties movies. We nervously texted friends, asking, praying that they had the same classes as we did. The hallways were a labyrinth and we were lucky to find all of our classes or go to the right lunch. If you were as lucky as I, you would have walked through the door of the girls bathroom the first day of school, only to realize it was the boys bathroom. Although the first few days may have been a whirlwind of emotions, we all quickly adjusted. Each one of us found our niche. We joined new clubs, tried out for our first sport, or got our first jobs. These milestones taught us to learn the value of cooperation, hard work, and perseverance. We formed new relationships and some old relationships faded away. And that was okay. We made a healthy amount of mistakes and sometimes we failed. All of the choices we made these past four years helped to shape who we are as individuals today. As I talk about how individual you are, I cannot help but notice how many of us picked the same outfit today. Ironic.
Without a number of people, we would not be sitting in these seats today. To all of the wonderful teachers that have shaped us into the young adults we are today, words cannot express how grateful I am for each and every one of you. Dr. Booras, Dr. Canfield, Mr. Hill, Mrs. Wagner, Mrs. Carlyle, and Ms. Melanson: you have each been instrumental in helping our class achieve our highest potential in every way possible. Thank you for your guidance throughout the past four years. Senior week, prom, homecoming, and every other event and fundraiser in between would not have been possible without Ms. Austin and Ms. Meara. I cannot thank them enough for all they have done for our class and for always supporting us through thick and thin. To my incredible fellow class officers, I cannot believe this day has come! After years of walking around the eighty degree town fair in elmo costumes, yelling at people to buy our homemade cookies at bake sales, or decorating for prom hours before it began, it has all come to an end. Thanks for spending some crazy moments with me. Thank you homeroom C324 and Mrs. Murphy for making me want to go to school every morning. To my brother and sister for dealing with my early morning singing in the car, I’m sorry, but hey you made it. Lastly, to my wonderful mother and father, I love you both. Thank you for your unconditional support and for being my number one fans.
Although each of us traveled on our own paths, some of my best memories are the times we shared as a class. One time I would like to reminisce on is our Prom. Who doesn’t love Prom? You get down to some good old American Classics such as “Get Low”, “Hollaback Girl”, and “Turn Down for What”. In middle school, it was not much different. At the monthly school dance, the DJ would yell, “what did you all come here to do tonight?” and on cue he would play “Dynamite” by Tao Cruz.. I came to dance, dance, dance… this joke got old after the December dance. Of course, who could forget the thrill of these middle school dances. The angsty “tweenage” years where girls put blue eyeshadow on up to their eyebrows. Guys wore backwards snapbacks… all to spend a night jumping up and down fist bumping with the occasional awkward slow dance. No matter how awkward or how old these dances got, they all had one thing in common: they brought us all together. It is difficult to think that after four years of 166 of us being together everyday, that soon we will be off on our own journeys.
In a few hours, we will all part ways and carry on with the rest of our lives. I am sure we will see one another this summer, attend college with a few, run into someone down the road, and of course, there will be a fabulous reunion one day. But it will never be exactly like this ever again. Our ears will no longer hear the words, “What day is it?”.Thatcher will not begin our morning with the incorrect words to the Pledge of Allegiance. Ms. Meara’s homeroom will no longer sweep the floor in Tuesday Trivia. Mrs. Grant will not be a hall down from us and we will not have her kind words and enthusiasm. We will no longer run to our cars in the parking lot to join in on survival of the fittest. Jeff and Tommy will not be around to fix the wifi for us.
And then there are those other moments. Not the day to day moments, but those moments that in that exact point in time, were infinitely perfect. It happened in tenth grade when the peer leaders went to Bournedale. We all gathered around the fire and Thatcher took out his acoustic guitar.Next thing you know, we are eating smores, singing Banana Pancakes, and fighting our curfew to go back into cabins. It happened again junior year when we were the underdogs for the pep rally skits. Freshman year, we did not have a single person sign up. We all sat in the bleachers wondering, how would we ever be able to pull this off in the future? Sophomore year, we got our act together, but it was junior year that we came alive. Let’s just say the skit ended with a lift…yeah it was that good. It happened again last night. As the sun set on our dinner cruise, we sailed off and spent our last night as high schoolers together. And that brings me to where we are today.
Class of 2016, we made it. We tripped down the stairs, we tripped up the stairs, we even tripped on even ground. We got two solid snow days and the seniors last year got nearly the entire month of January off from school. We evacuated the building a few times in the bitter cold… thankfully no one contracted hypothermia. We participated in the first lip dub, watched Chin pitch the winning ACL game for the first time in 21 years, empowered one another during our women’s self defense training, applauded the talent in the KTC productions and Sandwich Soul, and cheered when our classmates achieved career points and sports awards.
So, you might not become famous, you might not gopro in a sport, or discover how to cure a disease. You might hit roadblocks and get discouraged but know this: Your life is not lived for others, it is lived for yourself. You choose how others define you. From now on, your life will be based on your choices, and I hope you will make the ones that are best for you. I wish you all a lifetime of happiness and success. I hope you will live the life that you have always dreamed of. I cannot wait to hear all of your stories one day. I am endlessly thankful for these four years spent with all of you. Class of 2016, “Congratulations! Today is your day.You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!”