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SALUTATORIAN: Don’t look in the rear-view mirror


Breann Breithaupt finished her academic career with a 4.3980 grade point average. She was also the senior class treasurer and delivered the welcome during graduation ceremonies Friday. 
Reporter/Mike Brown Breann Breithaupt finished her academic career with a 4.3980 grade point average. She was also the senior class treasurer and delivered the welcome during graduation ceremonies Friday. Reporter/Mike Brown Editor’s note: Following is the salutatory address delivered during commencement exercises by Breann Breithaupt:

Graduation: The best known cure to senioritis and similar diseases. Side effects include long gowns, flat square-shaped hats, diplomas, responsibility, college, and/or a career.

This is what I found when I looked up the definition of graduation on urbandictionary.com. Although it may not be the most technical definition of graduation, it is however extremely accurate and a much better definition than the one found on dictionary.com which just read “the act of graduating.”

We wouldn’t have made it to this “cure to senioritis” if it weren’t for some very important people in our lives, however. On behalf of my classmates, I would like to thank all of our teachers, administrators, coaches, counselors, and other faculty that have helped us along the way.

Also, a huge thank you to our families for supporting us all these years. I would like to thank my parents, specifically, for always being there for me, for motivating me in everything I have ever done, and for always being my biggest fans. I couldn’t have done it without you both.

The most important thank you of tonight, though, goes to God, because without him none of this would have been possible.

And of course, thank you to my classmates. It has been a great pleasure to spend the last 13 years of my life with all of you. It may have been a rough journey at times, but we made it.

While trying to write this speech, many thoughts occurred to me. I realized that writing never has been and probably never will be my favorite subject.

I realized that trying to find a happy medium between a humorous and serious speech is not easy. I realized that trying to summarize your entire life in just a few short minutes is a very difficult task.

And I realized that none of this was going to matter after tonight. Everyone will be moving on with their lives and probably won’t remember anything that was said tonight. But if there is one thing that is going to be remembered, I want it to be this short story that has been told my many different people.

Life is like a car ride. In comparison to the size of the windshield of our car, the rear view mirrors are very small... of course the reason for that is obvious.

We can’t drive safely unless we spend more time looking at the road in front and not behind us. Yet, we still need a rearview mirror for a number of reasons.

It shows us where we came from and that we’re not there anymore. It also shows us if anything dangerous is coming up behind us, so we can avoid getting hit. But, our main focus should be looking ahead through that huge windshield.

This is a good analogy of the impact our past has on our present because although small; rear view mirrors reveal things we left in our past, so we can avoid them now and in the future.

When we drive, we only look through our rear view mirror when changing lanes, making a turn, or when starting a journey. The same should be true in life.

When starting on our new journey tonight, by graduating, our past should be behind us, not a passenger in the front seat.

If we remember this while we embark on the next chapter of lives, I believe that we can become successful in everything we do. Thank you again to everyone for being here with us tonight. And to my classmates, congratulations!


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