By Tony Giech
Class of 2022 Orator
Hello everyone, My name is Jason Ong- I mean Tony Giech. Y’all confuse us together so much I’m starting to get confused. Anyways, I want to say thank you on behalf of the graduating class of 2022 to all the admin, faculty, honored guests, family, and friends. None of us would be here without you. Shout out to Mr. Valente in particular for coming to my meets and letting me use his room as my second living room these past four years. Shout out Linda and to all of my friends! Y’all know who you are.
To the class of 2022, I know everyone’s said it about a million times already, but we really made it. We are really here at OUR graduation, about to close this chapter of our lives. We’ve survived a global pandemic, quarantine, and online school. Some of us may have gotten lost on the way and stumbled into New York Pizza or Dunks, but regardless, we’re finally all here. We are all standing at the conclusion of a 4 year long chapter of our lives.
Throughout these past 4 years, we’ve gone through a lot. From having to cram for midterms and finals till 4 AM to dealing with isolation during quarantine, to having cake thrown at us after JV’s ahem Dan. However, we’ve also had some of the best moments of our lives, whether it be getting into our dream school, making it to the state championship, or just seeing mayor Gary Christenson’s snow day announcements on Instagram. But with those accomplishments must come sacrifices. I’m sure everyone here has had to sacrifice something in pursuit of their goals. Some of those sacrifices have come at the detriment of grades, some at the detriment of sports, some at the detriment of sleep and personal health, and some have come at the detriment of your personal relationships.
It is this last sacrifice that one should pay attention to however. We have so many words for personal relationships that if you google the phrase “friend synonyms” right now you will see more than 50 different words and phrases come up. This is because personal relationships are what brings meaning to our lives and makes them special.
Not only that, but if you think about it, a lot of the events we cherish are special because of the relationships we have. Take birthdays for example, our birthdays are special because we are able to celebrate our lives with people we care about and who care about us. Prom is special because we get to let loose and have fun with some of our closest friends. Even this graduation is special because we are celebrating all our hard work with people who’ve helped us and supported us every step of the way.
After all, without these relationships, we just wouldn’t be who we are today. I mean, I know for a fact I never would’ve become the “fishboi” y’all know me as without the help of my parents, teammates, and coaches nor would I be standing here, speaking to all of you without the help of my friends and teachers. I’m sure many of you have similar stories as well of people who’ve helped you on your journey to this moment.
As much as others have influenced us, our connections also give us the power to influence others too. Raise your hands how many of you have had a bad day turn into a good day simply because someone complimented you? Or got you your favorite snack? Or just did something nice for you? I know I have. That power to shape someone is a gift and it is one of the most beautiful things life has to offer.
I can see some of you starting to zone out so I’ll try and wrap this up. Yeah, y’all thought you were slick didn’t you. Anyways, after this day, all of us will be heading in different directions. Some of us may cross paths in the future but this is when our journeys diverge. I know that every one of you has big plans, goals, and dreams for the future and I wholeheartedly support all of you in your every endeavor. But if there is one thing you remember from your time here, it is to never forget to take care of the relationships you have with your friends, teachers, mentors, and whoever else you value in your life. They are the people who’ve helped you get here, and they will continue to help you get to your next destination. Fishboi out!