A few weeks before graduating from Crothersville High School, Kaitlyn Silvers told her mother she wasn’t ready to leave and go to college.
That’s when her mother did what any mother would do. She offered some reassurance.
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“Kaitlyn, you have worked so hard to achieve your goals, why stop now?” Silvers’ mother told her. “Follow your dreams, and make them come true. No matter what path you choose, I will always be proud of you.”
That allowed Silvers to feel more confident about going out into the real world.
“In that moment, I realized that my life was about to become more complicated than it already was, but I knew that my friends and family would always have my back,” she said in delivering her salutatorian address during the school’s 122nd commencement ceremony Friday night in the gymnasium.
“We have all come together as a family,” Silvers said of the 24 members of the Class of 2018. “We all may argue and get on each other’s nerves, but in the end, we all help each other out, whether it’s homework or working with each other to solve conflicts.”
Silvers said she has grown very fond of her classmates and was glad to graduate with a group she calls family.
“One of the quotes that I have stumbled across is, ‘You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing, but what you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself,’” she said, quoting Alan Alda.
“What I took from this quote is that we will all go through many obstacles throughout our life, but we have to decide what is best for ourselves,” Silvers said. “We have to be true to ourselves and figure out our own values. I hope that everyone works hard toward their dreams and that you all stay true to yourselves in the process.”
Valedictorian Megan Fisher said just because graduation marks the end of high school, that doesn’t mean that it’s over. She said high school was just the tutorial.
“Because this forgiving time is over, some of us will continue to act the way we do, copying the actions around one another, trying to fit in, like a puzzle piece from the wrong puzzle,” she said. “Others will grow into their individual personality and become their own person, creating their own puzzle.
“Remember, it has just barely begun, so don’t shut yourself up and hide away your mind,” she said. “Continue to work your way outwards, always expanding and extending yourself to new paths and possibilities. Keep learning and embrace with an open mind, but do be careful as you move forward. Good intentions and dreams can sometimes be buried within clouded views and piles of laundry.”
As her classmates take different paths, she said they will continue to grow for a long time to come.
“We may not know how to understand or how to deal with certain situations, and that is OK,” Fisher said. “It’s natural to feel overwhelmed by the oncoming future, a presence which feels as if it is towering above you. It will take a steady hand and a steadfast heart, willing to brave the adversity and shoulder any load. For it is not a depiction of fate, it’s a depiction of will. Each of us has the potential, it’s just the matter of unlocking it.”