Since they were unable to make their speeches in front of all of their classmates, friends and family, we asked valedictorians — and one class historian — from south Island schools to share them with us. This is an excerpt from one of the submissions.
Vivienne Nguyen and Mo Abdelghany, valedictorians, Royal Bay Secondary, Colwood
In this unideal situation, this grad class has had a lot taken away from us. We couldn’t wear our ridiculously expensive dresses on prom night, and most importantly, we couldn’t walk across the graduation stage with a cap on our heads — celebrating a great milestone in our life that we’ve all worked so hard to achieve.
Our senior year of high school ended on a random Friday. At 2:12 pm, we all rushed out of class without a second glance. Little did we know we wouldn’t be returning to finish what we’ve been told is the best year of high school. But, instead of dwelling on what we couldn’t have, we can reflect on many moments from our senior year this grad class will miss.
Today, we become high school graduates. Today, we celebrate who we’ve become over the past four years. Today, our world grows just a little bit bigger. I’m incredibly proud to have witnessed all of you make the first step in achieving your dreams that you’ve spent years striving for.
Nothing would have been possible without the continued support from our families, teachers, coaches and friends. To our parents and parental figures, thank you for encouraging us through the tough times, celebrating our big wins, and loving us unconditionally through it all.
Thank you to the Royal Bay staff, for taking us in four years ago and never giving up on us. You have all shaped us into who we are today.
Finally, to the students of Royal Bay, thank you for being the pure heart of this school, and never making a moment of our time dull.
There are so many new things awaiting us on our next adventure. Wherever we may be, and whatever we may be doing, it’s the start of our life outside of these halls. Ready or not, world, here we come.