Our Opinion: Grads, remember where you come from

Published 5:19 pm Friday, June 3, 2022

Graduations can sometimes be cliche, but there are times for cliches. Sometimes the moment warrants it in order to truly encapsulate the event.

“We made it,” is heard throughout graduations, and why not? Graduation is a milestone worth remembering for those graduates year in and year out. It’s one of the first real sign posts these students will come to that directs them down their future path.

However, while eyes inevitably turn to the future and begin taking graduates away from the present comforts many have only known, it’s worth reminding them that the past should never be far from your thoughts.

To that end, it’s a kindness to remember those classmates you’ve walked the journey with.

This became apparent during Pacelli Valedictorian Caitlin Drees’ speech Wednesday night during the school’s commencement at St. Augustine Catholic Church.

Her speech included all of those words speakers before have uttered, but she also took the time to say something about each of her 14 other classmates.

It wasn’t just a funny story or anecdote providing a bit of levity to the evening, though she was sure to add a sprinkle of humor throughout.

Her words to her classmates were thoughtful and often profound and took the time to speak to the strengths within each. Caitlin’s words were from the heart, her eyes making contact with each person she spoke too during the speech.

So focused was she on these moments, that one easily had the feeling that Caitlin and her classmates were the only ones in attendance.

But her words, maybe more than she knows or maybe right on point to what she hoped, were more than simply strengthening the chains that have kept them bonded during their years at Pacelli Catholic Schools.

It was a reminder of where they came from and should be taken as her hopes for the rest of their futures.

Now we’re not suggesting this works for all schools. Clearly a speaker from Austin isn’t going to go down the line of hundreds of classmates, many if not most of them they don’t even know, and say such words.

But the sentiments can stand for those you do allow into your inner circle and maybe those who need a circle.

Graduation is the next step, but it need not be taken alone. If we have one piece of advice to give graduates of 2022 it’s that you continue to take a little piece of where you came from and hold it in a lock box within your heart. You will want these memories in those times when life adds its weight.

But let us return to Caitlin, who can sum up our hopes in far simple terms.

“I would like to thank each member of my class. I hope we can all remember where we come from.”