Breath of Clarity

8th Grade Graduation Speech 2008

We are brought up with a basic knowledge that gives us a starting point. From there we learn concrete concepts to get us flowing. Soon we move onto the more complicated material, slowly building up to the big stage. As we blow by the years of elementary, we don’t even realize that this is only the beginning. Life begins to complicate as we start to question the world and develop our individual perspective.

My perspective has changed constantly over my years in middle school. As I walked into the doors as a sixth- grader, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I approached most of my life in a carefree manner and had never expanded my thinking. Over the course of my three years in middle school I have come to fully understand concepts that I had not even thought about before both inside and out of the classroom. Being in different positions have caused me to problem solve and think on the spot. My grandmother once told me that, “Wisdom is so great because it is the one thing that others will never have the power to take away from you.”

I approach my new journey into high school as an opportunity to broaden my perspective, and as an opportunity to absorb all of the knowledge I can possible. Often we truly don’t know what we are missing until we go out into the world and explore. I am challenging all of you to test your limits to see how far you can go. I promise you that as we all reunite on the stage 4 years from now, everyone will have experiences with them that will have changed their lives forever. Now is our time to open ourselves to the world around us. Change your perspective and you change your reality. Often what determines what others think of us has to do with what we think of ourselves. Yet it is often overlooked, confidence is the key to achieving excellence in life.

Last season, I played for an intense basketball program called Miracle. When I showed up at tryouts, I knew what I was getting myself into. Still, I had never experienced anything like what was yet to come. At tryouts I was playing just for fun, doing my best and hoping that it would be good enough. When I got on the court I was explosive, nothing was holding me back. I was playing full of confidence and completely carefree. Once I was on the team, things changed. I witnessed how the coach would treat my teammates and began to change my style of play in order to not be yelled at. I was playing out of fear that the coach would get mad at me if I committed a mistake. Since he lowered my confidence I didn’t play the same way that I played that day at tryouts; I played scared in complete fear. I felt like the coach’s opinion meant everything because of the power that the he possessed on the team. Over the course of the season I saw myself playing for him, instead of playing for myself.

As we move on to high school, it is important to never live in fear. Approach every new experience as an opportunity to grow, and not a showcase. Others come and go, but we are forced to live with ourselves forever. Life is simply too short to work on impressing others around us. The only judge that truly matters is our self.