Senior Address from Lancelot Marcel Marcano At The Rose Ceremony

“One valuable lesson I learned during my time here is that there is always more than what’s on the surface.”

Seniors, this journey of ours started twelve years ago, leading up to today where we are about to finish this chapter of our lives and turn the page to the next. And yes, although it’s sad we are all going our separate ways it is also quite beautiful at the same time. 

We are slowly figuring out who we want to be in the future, and this is not easy, but it is also so overly exciting. The future will, for sure, have obstacles we are going to need to overcome but we as a class have created over the past years a strong backbone within ourselves that no matter what life throws our way, we will overcome it. 

We are embarking on a journey like no other, and for the first time, we truly have the ability to choose what we want to do with our lives. Naturally, and hopefully we are going to make ignorant decisions along the way, but we are also going to make memories that will last us a lifetime. 

One valuable lesson I learned during my time here is that there is always more than what’s on the surface. From our Main Lessons with Ms. Bärtges where we talked about the Microcosm in the Macrocosm, to the Origins of Life Main Lesson with Dr. Martin, where we learned about not only the origins of life but how life was created; learning in the process how lucky we are to be here. The process in which life was created is something very special.  

This life has a funny way of making you realize something only after the fact. As seniors we have cared for and accompanied our first graders. Seven of us have gone full circle. twelve years ago, we were the ones walking down the aisle and sending our seniors off into the world with a rose; only now will we be the ones receiving the rose and the ones being sent off. 

First graders, you’ve started off the year with your class teacher Ms. Finch a loving and kind individual who is determined to guide you step by step throughout the next eight years of your lives until high school, teaching and shaping you into the great individuals you are already. My first-grade teacher was Ms. Kelly, and there are no words to describe how caring and dedicated she was as a teacher — something I have never forgotten. 

With that in mind, I wanted to give you first graders some advice for the future. Advice I wished I was given twelve years ago. Although it might seem like twelfth grade is going to take a long time to get there this is not necessarily the case. Imagine yourselves as eggs; you have just cracked out of your shell, opening your eyes to the new world.

Everything around you is new and different; you are learning something new every day. Sometimes you are going to have to try something for the first time like jumping over the fence at the park with no hands, which can seem scary the first time you do it. I know the first time I did it I tripped over my feet, breaking my glasses. It was the fence’s fault. Nevertheless, remember first graders: a bird can never learn to fly if it does not take the first step in flapping its wings.

Embrace all the wonderful emotions you will go through, and memories that come along with growing up. Take risks: it makes looking back worth all the hard work you put into getting where you want to be. 

Middle school to high school is a BIG change. One day, you go from being the kings and queens of the lower school to becoming the babies of the high school. It can be intimidating at first, but you get used to it. 

At a young age I was diagnosed with a learning disability. Having a learning disability throughout my years at school has not been easy. The stress of having to count the people ahead of me so I could practice the reading passage a couple times so I would not mess up in front of my friends was something I hated but had to do. This was not easy during middle school and especially not easy in high school. When it became apparent that I was falling behind I had to really work hard to stay at par with my peers. I made many sacrifices and spent countless hours with tutors making progress every day. The reason I am telling you this is because I had many opportunities to give up; all my friends would go to the park after school to play sports with each other while I had to go home and study; and believe me there was nothing I would have rather done than play with my friends all those years ago.

Think of it this way: life is like a bow and arrow, life might pull you back, but when it is done pulling you back it will release you forward and all the bad and negative will be behind you. 

Time went by too quickly, and hopefully this will not be the case for the rising freshman. I will say though: enjoy high school. Before you know it, one of you will be speaking up here in four years, going down memory lane and giving advice to the rising freshman. And believe me: it is hard to sum up all the memories and advice you have been given throughout the years within five to six minutes. 

As I stand here today, I want to finish off my speech with some advice for the class of 2023 and something to look forward to. 

Although we are going into uncharted waters, knowing little to nothing about what the future has in store for us, it is important to remember that others have gone into those uncharted waters and emerged stronger. I encourage us all to embrace the unknown and enjoy the next years of college; these will truly be the last years of being a kid. Make those memories we have always wanted to have, make not only your younger self proud but also your future self proud for having not missed the opportunities and wonderful experiences that lie ahead of all of us. Let us all have wonderful stories to tell each other ten years from now at our 2033 reunion. 

And finally, seniors, I leave you with this to look forward to within the near future; if you want to throw your teachers off balance by the end of this ceremony after we have been given our diplomas, we will technically be considered alumni meaning we can finally call our teachers by their first names; so Carol, Marisha, John, Jordan, Alex, Ilan, Mr. Marsh, and for all of the other teachers who’s first names I still need to learn: a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for the last four years. 

Thank you, and congratulations again to the class of 2023.