By MIKE CHAIKEN
The Bristol Eastern High School Class of 2018 said hello to their future with mixed feelings at last Wednesday’s graduation ceremonies.
When thinking about the future ahead of her, graduate-to-be Emily Douglas said she felt “a little bit nervous but excited… (I’m nervous about) being away from home but that’s also why I’m excited. It’s a little bit of both.”
Graduation senior Nicole Cuevas also was of two minds about the future. “I’m very excited to pursue my career in nursing. But I’m also a little bit nervous to see what college is like and if it’s different from high school.”
Emma Guilmette, another senior, however, had no qualms of what lies ahead. “I can’t wait. I’m so excited. I had such a great high school experience but I’m looking forwrad to the future… I know that my school is really great. I’m going to get a great education and create new experiences.”
In his speech before classmates, friends, family, and dignitaries, class president Nick Cote told the graduates, “Anything you wish to achieve can be done. It only takes your courage and your drive to achieve it. The first step to success is to say you can get there. I will, rather than I might. I know, instead of I think. I can, over I’ll try… Our generation will be the greatest the world has ever known. We will be the generation to cure cancer and solve world hunger. We will be the generation to end climate change and to bring about world peace. We need only to step up and do what needs to be done.”
Anna Korpanty, class valedictorian said, “It takes courage to go through every day of high school, and it’s going to take a lot more courage to walk off with our diplomas tonight. We have to determine what our desired path is and how we’re going to travel through those windy roads now presented to us.”
Alex Mika, the class essayist told his peers, “Be courageous, because it is with courage that we take steps on new roads. Be passionate about whatever it is you choose to do, whether it is further education, work, or military service, because it is passion that makes a job a career, and a chore a hobby. Be curious, because although your days at Bristol Eastern are over, your education never is. Always strive to learn new skills, new facts, new pieces of useless trivia that make your friends question why they even bother with you.”
In her poem, graduating senior Rachael Kuda reflected on the mixed feelings of the day, “Four years flew by/Like flailing chickens or graceful herons/ You choose./So this goodbye is teary-eyed,/And exciting.
Maybe in the future,/ Big steps won’t be as terrifying as this one./ At least we won’t be back anytime soon.”
“All of you will experience some sort of failure,” said principal Marisa Calvi-Rogers to begin the proceeds. “These challenges should fuel you to work hard and never give up.”
“As you continue your life’s journey, keep that having a strong voice (of your generation) and keep fighting for what you believe in,” said Board of Education vice chair Karen Vibert. Plus, she told the graduates, “Never stop learning.”
And in her advice to the graduates, Superintendent of Schools Sue Moreau said, “Go forth, be innovative, be flexible, and be dynamic.”
PHOTOS by MIKE CHAIKEN