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As individuals graduating in the year 2000, preparing to go our separate

ways, we all share something in common: those wonderful memories from growing up

in the eighties. Back then we had no worries or responsibilities, except for the

chance that we might not, for some reason, get home in time to watch

Transformers, Scooby-doo, or Thundercats. Being employed and finishing a

research paper at the same time wasn’t an issue. Our only job was to have fun

playing with He-Man, Shera, GI Joe, or My Little Pony with our best friend from

around the corner. Boys and girls and even Barbies conformed to the style of the

time wearing jams, stone-washed jeans, pinned pants, and big, spiky hair.

Listening to Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, Cyndi Lauper, and Boy George was "rad."

Michael Jackson and his glove were "cool." All the girls wanted to

look like Madonna. We looked up to these people and they were our heroes.

Television was worth watching then. Our favorite movie was and still is The

Goonies. It was hard to decide if you wanted to watch the A-Team, Knight Rider,

or the Smurfs. We were so innocent and carefree. We believed the CareBear stare

actually worked.

But now we are grown up and we have bigger, more important decisions to make

about colleges, majors, and jobs. Having fun still matters, but our

responsibilities take precedence over recreation. We have left the imaginary

realm of the Fraggles and entered the real world where we have realized that

nothing can be taken for granted anymore, especially friendships. Wasn’t the

reason for coming to school in the first place, to see friends and have a few

laughs?! Life thus far dealt a lot with our relationships with others. Our

friends, family, and teachers have helped to influence who we are and they will

continue to shape our lives. I have learned a lot about people throughout high

school and I’ve come to the conclusion that most fall into one of three

categories: those who can count, and those who cannot. But what is more

important is on whom you can count. The bonds we have made with one another are

very strong. Even though some of us will be going away after graduation, the

memories will endure and always put a smile on our faces and perhaps even a tear

in our eyes.

We grew up during a unique time that encouraged us to develop as individuals.

Retaining your own identity is imperative and you must never take yourself for

granted. I believe that these are the essential elements in achieving success,

which you must define for yourself. Be proud of who you are and admit that you

have weaknesses as well as strengths. You are your own person and have unique

abilities, so use them to turn your dreams into feasible goals, and then to make

your goals realities.

Finally, I would like to share with you a perspective with which I try to

view life. Just as each one of us is different and special, so is each day. We

are giving twenty-four hours of our lives in exchange for each new day. Because

each day is a part of your life and becomes your memories, strive to do

something worthwhile. Make the present count for a promising future and a

meaningful past.

In closing, I would like to leave you with some valuable words of wisdom from

William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. "This above all: to thine own self be

true."


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