2012 Area High School Commencement Address: One you, one life — it’s up to you to live it to the fullest

By Olivia Zajac, Guest Columnist

Wow. You all look really nice. Did you get together at someone’s house and plan what you were going to wear or something because you all dressed alike? But I like it though. It looks nice.

But did you ever wonder about those caps you are wearing? Why do we wear such funny hats? Well, actually our caps used to be called hoods hundreds of years ago. These hoods were used by priests and monks, but they have now been adapted into our graduation attire. The cap stands for knowledge, and the tassel you wear with it stands for the learning you have done.

Anyway, when I first found out I had to give a speech I was really nervous. But then I did some thinking. There are two people after me. Two extraordinary people. Preston Weber and Mr. Brown. So it doesn’t matter what I say because you will just forget it after you hear what they say. I was told to keep this short so here we go.

I really enjoy listening to music. Thank you.

Just kidding, you didn’t get that lucky. I was going somewhere with that believe it or not. I’ve noticed that some song titles are sort of inspiring, even if the actual songs aren’t.

1 – “We R Who We R” — Each and every one of us is our own person. There is no one else like us. And like I said before, we are all wearing the same outfit. However, we all wear it differently. Some of us cock our caps a little more to one side and some of us walk in our gowns with a little attitude. We each make the gown unique on ourselves.

Never should we try to be someone we aren’t. We should only strive to be the best version of ourselves. The choices we make, make us.

2 – “It’s My Life” — This life you are living, and you only have one, is “your” life. It is up to you as to what it will contain. Only you hold the reins. No one is going to tell you what you should or should not do. It is up to you to decide for yourself.

Sometimes we will make mistakes, but that is when we learn. And we know for future reference what not to do. It’s a learning process, but it’s your life.

3 – “You Get What You Give” — If you give 10 percent of what you could, you will only yield 10 percent of the profit. But if you give 100 percent, then you will reap all the benefits of that hard work. If you want it, go get it.

But you have to be prepared to work for it, to go all out in order to achieve it. If you want people to be honest and kind to you, you first have to be honest and kind to them. For like the title of the song  says, you get what you give.

4 – “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” — I don’t know about any of you, but I want to live every moment of my life to the fullest. I don’t want to miss out on anything going on around me. It is important to enjoy the moment you are in, not to be preoccupied with some other worry or anxiety.

Take things one day at a time for the only thing you have control over is the present. Don’t miss a thing by worrying about your past or your future. Focus solely on the here and now.

5 – “Thank you” — It is important to always be grateful in life. This is why I have a few thank yous to say.

First, I would like to thank my parents. They have guided me in life and taught me great morals. They have shaped me into the person I am today. Without them, I wouldn’t be the Olivia you see standing before you today.

Second, I would like to thank the teachers and staff I was lucky enough to get to know throughout my school years. You have taught me so much, not just about school, but about life as well.

Finally, I’d just like to say that I am so grateful I was able to attend Pierz Healy High School. I can’t imagine going to school anywhere else, and I can’t imagine graduating with anyone else.

And just a shout-out to my grandma for all the Sunday dinners she has cooked for me. She has really taught me the true meaning of family.

So you’re probably thinking “Wow, that girl really uses her hands a lot.”

But I promise you, there’s a purpose behind it. If you take everything I said and put it together into your life, you’ll go far.

And as an added bonus, if you put together all of the little hand gestures I did when I was counting off the songs, you will get a little dance like the “Wave,” which means it’s time to say goodbye.

Thank you class of 2012. Congratulations.

Olivia Zajac is the salutatorian of her class and gave one of the commencement addresses at the Pierz Healy High School graduation ceremony.