Changes: Bear River valedictorian talks about changes past, present and into the future (PHOTO GALLERY) | TheUnion.com

Changes: Bear River valedictorian talks about changes past, present and into the future (PHOTO GALLERY)

Hunter Kennedy
Bear River High School

Editor's note: Graduation season has begun, and The Union will run photos and text from planned student speeches from many of the high schools in the area. This is from Friday night's Bear River High School graduation.

It's quite ironic that one of the most socially awkward people at this school is standing here, giving this speech. The years of hiding in the back and avoiding both eye-contact and conversation have not prepared me for this moment.

My high school experience was likely different than yours. Regardless, we share a common timeline. A timeline full of new trends, new knowledge, and new experiences.

Today we look back at ourselves, and think of the freshman that entered these halls. The young students with much to learn of themselves, and the world around them. We learned, we cried, we laughed: We changed.

Those freshman were different people than our sophomore, junior, and current selves. We went through twists and turns, traveling through wildly unexpected events, somehow making it out on the other side.

Opportunities we never expected knocked on our door. Some we welcomed, some we hid from and pretended no one was home. I don't think any of us could have predicted all that happened in these past years, and how those events would've change us.

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Of course, we didn't do it alone. Our friends, families, and teachers were right there by our side. They taught us how to do things, and sometimes how ​not​ to do things. They were there when you failed your first test, and when you aced that essay on a book you never read. They were there to distract you from doing your homework, and do their part of the group project at the last minute. They were there when you needed to bump your grade up to an A, and teach us lessons they had learned from life. You helped form and shape us into who we are today, and I thank you all for it.

Today marks the end of an important stage of our lives. A stage full of unnecessary drama, busy work, and waking up too early. A stage full of great times, new adventures, and meaningful relationships. A stage full of self exploration, and finding your place.

When I began high school, I had no idea of the rockets, languages, or pastimes I would become interested in. Think of the interests you've picked up over the years: the sports, clubs, and groups you decided to make a part of your life. Whether it was drama, FFA, Starlight, band, or anything else, you took on something unique, and made yourself stand out from the crowd.

Now we stand at the edge of our future. We are armed with new tools and knowledge, but what will we do with them? And where will we go? Where will you be four years from now?

If thinking back to our freshman self is any indication, we are in for many surprises. In the coming years, we will have jobs we never expected, passions previously unthinkable, and more stories than we will ever be able to tell..

Life will change many times over. Perhaps the only constant we have is change. Let us venture forth into the changing world, and craft a future we are proud to live in. We must be able to deal with the changes that come, but not allow them to rule us.

As Jimmy Dean puts it, "​I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination."

I hope that the memories, lessons, and changes we have gone through have all been worth it, and that we hold onto them as we move forward.

Congratulations on making it here, and I wish you all the best of luck. Thank you.

Hunter Kennedy is the 2018 valedictorian at Bear River High School.