The Salutatorian Address
By Lindsey Rose McGovern
I would just like to thank all of my family and friends who have always been there for me, and a quick you’re welcome for helping everyone with their homework in middle and high school. I stand before you all this evening as your class of 2022 student council president and salutatorian. I’ve been approached by many people last weekend saying, “Oh my gosh! You’re the salutatorian. You must be so… proud,” but am I though? Well I’m here to tell everyone how bittersweet it is to be standing up here today.
I’m walking out of high school with regrets. Regrets that I didn’t go to Red Sox games with my brother because I had math homework. Regrets that I didn’t go out for Frostys at Wendy’s with my friends because I was too busy and then ended up skipping meals. Regrets that I didn’t spend enough time on my dream college application because I had prioritized that current high school grade of 100 rather than my future. Regrets that I literally didn’t just enjoy my childhood when it was right in front of me. I ranked school over having fun every single weekday, weekend, and vacation. And if I was doing something fun, I would plan out how many hours I would be sleeping that night because I remembered I had something to do for school.
What did this speech and diploma cost? Everything. My hard work and achievements came at the expense of my lack of attention given to personal relationships. Nothing is more important than your relationships with friends and family. Not class rank, not a GPA, not a job. Your self-worth does not equal a grade. This may not come out so salutatorian-ish, but ditch your homework every once in a while. It is not worth getting four hours of sleep every day. Live your life before you settle down. I was too young and naive to realize these statements these past four years, but I hope this message will teach others that it is okay to take a break. Burnout is real. Senioritis is definitely real. Take that mental health break if you need it.
I’ve lived in Saugus all my life and I sure didn’t love every minute of it, everything I have I owe to this town. We grew up here. All the relationships I’ve been trying to maintain have started from Saugus schools. I have a lot of memories of people: people I’ve lost touch with, people who’ve hurt me, people who passed away. But I have a lot of other memories too. This is the place where I learned how to ride a bike, the place where I eventually learned how to drive, the place where I made a name for myself, the place where I created a home. This is the place where I learned that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. This is the place where I met all of you. So, I figure this town has given me as much good as much as the stress it’s caused me. I’m choosing to hold onto the memories, good and bad.
I’d like to rephrase the beginning of my speech because I don’t want this title of salutatorian to overshadow the work you have also all put in right next to me, and the sacrifices you all have had to take to graduate. I stand before you all this evening as Lindsey. A friend, a sister, an aunt, Taylor Swift and Harry Styles’ biggest fan, and a Saugus High School graduate. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22. Congrats everyone. Go Celtics.
Editor’s Note: Lindsey Rose McGovernfinished as the second top-ranking student scholastically in the Saugus High Class of 2022, thus earning the honor to deliver the Salutatorian Address at the school’s 151st Commencement Exercises. She is also President of the Student Council and plans on attending the University of New Hampshire in the fall to study NeuroScience.