Editor Note: This was a speech given by Randi Peterson, Valedictorian – Class of 2013 on June 1, 2013 at the Huntley High School Graduation Ceremony.
This is Randi Peterson, former student,A-K, 10-12 here with another friendly reminder…you never have to sit in Huntley High School traffic again.
I’ll be honest. Being up here, speakingin front of all of my teachers, classmates, and my classmates’ friends and families is easily the scariest thing I’ve had to face in my four years at Huntley, which is saying a lot because I took three classes with Mr. Styers.
I think I’m supposed to give you some advice, so, here it goes…Converse high tops are appropriate for any occasion.
I don’t know what advice I’m supposed to have to offer, because I’ve only been legally an adult for all of four months, and about half of you are older than me, but one thing I do know is that “Good things come to those who wait” is a lie.
In school, in sports, and inextra-curriculars, I have found that that is never true. Good things come tothose who work hard and go out and get it themselves. Those who wait maybe havean easier time, but the only things that come to them are those things that areleft over after everyone else has had their pick of good things.
Another thing I do know is a lot can change in four years. In the grand scheme of life, four years isn’t much, but alot can happen in that time. We came into high school as scared, timid freshmen.We were the little guys and everything was new. Sophomore year was more fun. We had learned the ropes, and we finally weren’t freshmen. Things were looking up,but then junior year happened. But we don’t talk about that year. Those werethe dark times. Then senior year came. We were finally on top. At first, we didn’t really realize this was our last year here. It came too fast. But it slowly sunk in that we would be leaving each other and everything we’ve known behind, and we were a little sad. But then we looked into the future, tocollege, the military, a career, or whatever plans you have, and we wereexcited to move on. But we’re still a little nostalgic. High school wasn’t asawesome as it seems in those classic ‘80s movies, but we still had some goodtimes.
And even though many of us will never see each other again, we will still sharememories of football games, classes, spirit days, fights, dances, Bonecrusherand Jesus, random mustache-themed parties in the cafeteria, and those guys whohad a beach party in Lake Huntley.
We’ll always remember the Raider Way.The dictionary defines “raider” as one who raids, that is one who steals orperforms a sudden assault or attack, as upon something to be seized orsuppressed. But, even though I never got a Raider Way ticket, I still know that being a raider means being respectful, responsible, and involved, even if thatmakes the title “Raiders of the Lost Ark” more than a little confusing. And let’snot forget, once a Raider, always a Raider.
I’ll admit, Huntley was never my firstchoice. When I was 6, I planned on spending my high school years at Hogwarts.Unfortunately, the summer after fifth grade, I never received a letter. I stillmaintain that my letter was lost in transit. You know how those post owls can be. But there are still some pretty good memories from Huntley.
But hopefully these won’t be your bestdays. Some adults have told me that high school is the best four years of yourlife. I don’t believe them. I believe if you live life right, you will alwayshave something to look forward to, and you will always have something that youenjoy, be it college, a career, marriage, kids, or even golf or bingo when were tire. I put that part in for you, Mr. Johnson. There’s always anotheradventure, big or small, waiting to be undertaken, and where we are at now,there are a lot of adventures before us.
And you can’t manage your adventures alone. Luke Skywalker couldn’t have blown up the Death Stars without the help of Han, Leia, Chewy, and the Rebel Alliance. So don’t be afraid to ask for help. It won’t make you look weak. Every hero had help in his or her quest, andeach of us is the protagonist in our own story.
On that note, I’d like to take a momentto thank everyone who has helped me up to this point: teachers, counselors,advisers, coaches, Google, Wikipedia, Urban Dictionary, and finally myfamily—especially Mom, Dad, and Max, who I wouldn’t be here without.
I’d also like to take the chance to give a shout out to Dylan Ladd, who said I could bean honorary member of Project 2 if I gave him a shout out. Remember, it’s okayif you get a little emotional today. Big girls do cry. And another shoutout toAndrea Klehr, who has pretty much been asking for one for as long as I’ve known her.
Right now, we stand on the threshold ofthe next stage of our lives. To borrow from “A Walking Song,” which was written by Bilbo Baggins in J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings:
“Home is behind, the world ahead,
And there are many paths to tread,
Through shadows to the edge of night,
Until the stars are all alight,
Then world behind and home ahead,
We’ll wander back to home and bed.”
I’m going to end this with a cliché quote,because every speech needs one of those. As Ferris Bueller said, “Life movespretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
And as we all know, you only live once.
Thank you and Live long and prosper.
Photo Courtesy of Cassandra Peterson, Huntley Resident