Forging new paths: Ghidotti students share graduation speeches | TheUnion.com

Forging new paths: Ghidotti students share graduation speeches

Grace Stubbs
Ghidotti Early College 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. The first is from Wednesday night's Ghidotti Early College High School graduation.

As children, many of us watched relatable teen movies. Movies which portrayed high school as a terrifying place where students faced the daily challenges of being trash-canned, eating mystery meat served by angry lunch ladies, and getting lost in a sea of students who don't know your name.

Ghidotti provided us with a high school experience free from those challenges, but presented challenges of its own. We all went through these unique struggles together, like having to enroll in college classes as eighth graders, never knowing what classroom we were supposed to be in, and doing embarrassing things in front of college professors.

Despite these challenges, Ghidotti became for us less like the scary high school that is often depicted in films, and more like the kind of high school in musicals where students randomly break into song, and we've all seen things like that happen here.

Over the past four years we've achieved some incredible things. We pulled off the first ever Ghidotti theater arts class and we even got a truck in the MPR. We started a Ghidotti news show that was informative and incredibly entertaining, and we performed a very moving recorder rendition of "My Heart Will Go On" at Ghidotti Idol.

We have a lot of memories to look back on fondly, but we also have a lot to look forward to. In movies, it often seems like high school will be the best time of our lives, but I disagree. While we've had a pretty great four years, this isn't the end of our storylines.

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I know that all of us will go on to do incredible things, whether it's writing an Earth-shattering book, saving lives in a hospital, or building a really cool castle.

The first couple weeks of freshman year we heard one phrase over and over: "Ghidotti is a family." At the time, it seemed cheesy, ridiculous even, but over the years, it started to take shape and gain real meaning.

Eventually, we found ourselves on the other side of things, relentlessly repeating that very phrase to each new class that came after us. The truth is, Ghidotti is a family.

At another high school, I might be addressing this speech to thousands of students who I may never have had a single conversation with.

Instead, I'm addressing 30 of my closest friends.

It almost doesn't seem real. Four years seem to have gone by in the blink of an eye. We've seen three previous classes walk across the stage and now it's our turn.

So here's to the class of 2018, and here's to everyone who got us to this point. Teachers, parents, and friends. We've come a long way since freshman year, and as we enter the real world and continue our journey, I'd like to leave you with a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson that sums up what we've been doing since we were freshmen, and I know we'll continue to do, "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Grace Stubbs is graduating from Ghidotti Early College High School.