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No regrets

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GOOD AFTERNOON and on behalf of the class of 2024, I would like to welcome our esteemed faculty, staff, special guests, proud parents, bored siblings, family and friends.  

We truly appreciate all those that are here to take part in this significant moment in our lives.  I am honored to stand before you as the salutatorian of our graduating class. First and foremost, I would like to say all glory to God for this incredible opportunity, with faith, I am able to be in the position I’m in today. I’d like to sincerely thank my family, teachers, and friends for supporting me in every way possible.

Next, I would like to acknowledge someone who’s influence and impact on me exceeded their title as simply my “teacher,” Mr. McGowan. The lessons he has taught me stretched far beyond those found in a textbook, they were the lessons of life. As much as he dislikes the college I will be attending, I will miss this man dearly, Hook ‘Em. I will forever cherish your words of advice, even when I become rich and famous.  I hope everyone here finds, or has found, a similar mentor to help guide you on your journey. Someone who will support and assist you, just like Mr. McGowan has done for me.

This time, three years ago, I sat in those seats to my right during graduation. As I watched and listened to my own brother’s speech, I felt the urge to do the same…and to deliver a wayyy better speech than him. So, I strived and worked, sacrificing hours and hours towards this very day. Although I didn’t get that Number 1 spot like “freshman year me” wanted, I don’t feel a sense of disappointment. 

As I look back, I contributed, got involved, made decisions, and appreciated all the experiences these past four years have provided me. I realized it wasn’t worth sacrificing more than what I already have. I chose the path where I kept my close relationships, maintained a good mental health, and remained faithful through it all. 

Standing up here, delivering this speech feels surreal, it’s an opportunity that feels almost, undeserved. Looking at my peers, I realized that I wasn’t the brightest in our class, there are graduates sitting in these seats far more talented and smarter than me that also put the work in. However, it was still my endeavor to achieve something, and still, I have no regrets, as it isn’t how knowledgeable an individual may be, but what they decide to do with that knowledge.

I’m sure all of you have your own, unique path, and I want everyone in this center to realize that. Everyone sitting in front of me deserves to be here, and no one should say otherwise. 

The Class of 2024 has proven itself to be tremendously resilient through many obstacles. I mean, we managed to survive two pandemics: Covid and senioritis. Like me, many of you probably have regrets, whether it was an opportunity, the first relationship, the second relationship, the third rela… you get it. But, despite whatever regrets you may have, I encourage you to appreciate them. Take it in as a learning experience, to ameliorate and learn from it. Have no regrets. Take the moments collected and cherish it, as every scenario, every moment, every decision, led you here today.

(Salutatorian speech at Poteet High School, Mesquite, Texas USA) 

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