May 25, 2021
Kenston graduates, faculty, staff, and family: Thank you for allowing me to speak to all of you today. Graduation is an incredible accomplishment and I am so proud of all of us. I never imagined this day coming so soon. Sitting in the KIS computer lab getting my Kenston Apps email in 2014, the number “2021” meant nothing to me. I thought, “2021 isn’t a real year”… but 2021 is this year. Since then, we have all shared countless memories together like field days, concerts, and grandparents’ day – Every choice we’ve made, every priority we’ve honored, and everything we’ve adapted to have led us to this moment. With a wide variety of extracurricular activities and opportunities, like the bowling team and the giving garden club, it is impossible to find two people here with the exact same Kenston career. But, one thing we pretty much all have in common is our Dunkin’, formerly Dunkin’ Donuts.
Waiting on the side of busy 306 to get into the Dunkin’ parking lot, we have had to ask ourselves many times, “Is this really worth it?” The answer is obviously yes. So what if we are already 15 minutes late to practice?… we need to get our iced latte. Mr. Link won’t be that mad at you. After you made that sacrifice, enjoy every last sip of that drink. It’s not just about the coffee though. We will find ourselves asking that question a lot, “Is this worth it?” Is sacrificing a good night’s sleep worth getting an “A” on an assignment? The answer is “probably”. But, once you get that good grade (if you choose that option), be proud of yourself and enjoy the accomplishment. If you choose sleep over grades, enjoy being well-rested and ready for the next day.
After we leave here today, there will be hundreds of choices we make every single day. College, military, or off to work? Should we do our assignments in our dorm or in the library? 1 pump of mocha or 2? Whatever we choose, it’s up to us. Our next step in life will be exactly like a Dunkin’ drink– exactly the way we’ve chosen it to be, so enjoy every moment of it.
The lessons we have learned from our time at Kenston will help us throughout our lives. Above all else, we need to learn to prioritize. I haven’t learned my lesson yet when it comes to procrastination, but I’m sure college will get me into shape eventually. Growing up means learning what means the most to us in the long run. Sometimes it’s worth it to procrastinate a little in order to make important memories. But, the key is to find a balance between our social lives and academics or work. Looking back, we all know how scary and humiliating it was to go up to our parents at 7:00 the night before Mrs. Blowers or Mrs. Krisfalusy’s IRP project was due to ask them to take us to the store for materials. You’ll have many late nights ahead of you, so don’t forget to grab your favorite Dunkin’ drink… you’re gonna need it.
One last thing before I leave you today. Adults- Stop pitying us for the year we didn’t have because the year we did have, was pretty amazing. I was only able to perform with the marching band 3 times instead of the normal season. But those 3 games were the best games of my entire high school career. Then, to my surprise, we were actually able to have 2 musicals this year, which is 2 more than most schools right now. Everyone was still able to have most of their sports season with just a few guidelines. We were still able to have our favorite lunch of the week, taco Tuesday. For all you pasta Wednesday fans, I admit it is a close second. Special thanks to Mr. Mendez, Kenston nutrition services director, for making those lunches special.
We learned to adapt this year more than we ever had before. Some of the changes we’ve made will last forever, even when things go back to normal. Things like the new senior parade, the idea of not going to school while sick, and Dunkin’s mobile pick-up are just a few things that will carry on long after us. We got so lucky this year at Kenston, so please remember to celebrate all the great things we were able to have. I am so thankful to be part of the incredible community of Kenston, Bombers really do fly together.
Congratulations, Kenston Class of 2021. I cannot wait to see what we all accomplish. Thank you.