It may seem cliché, but it's true: You did it! The buzz of excitement will soon be settling, and you will be fully immersed in summer. Some are anxiously waiting to move into their college dorms, and others are preparing for their careers. Either way, you have completed quite the race. As you enter into this in-between time before you continue on your path, there are some things we would like to remind you...
You are resilient. This is especially true for this class because of all that you have endured over the past year. Your year of lasts has seemed to be more of a year of firsts, but it doesn't make crossing the finish line any less momentous. Through all of the struggles, you have prevailed. This resilience will serve you well in life as you move forward, facing new challenges and conquering other obstacles. Your ability to push forward even amid uncertainty says a lot about you.
Say "thank you" – and mean it. You are stronger and smarter than you could even believe – but you didn't get there on your own accord. You have likely had parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors championing you along the way over the last several years. Take a moment to consider if you've ever thanked them – and really really meant it. If you haven't, now is an excellent time to do so. If you have, say it again. In the words of Alfred North Whitehead: "No one who achieves success does so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude."
Remain teachable. You are a high school graduate, and you are a great deal smarter than you were 12 years ago, six months ago, or even two weeks ago. You have been very accustomed to being taught, but as your career or schooling continues, you will likely find yourself becoming very knowledgeable in certain subjects. Even when you feel your smartest, remain teachable. Know when to lead and when to listen to the advisement and knowledge of another. Some of the smartest and most successful people are always willing to learn more – no matter who it may come from.
Our last piece of advice for the class of 2021 is to be ready for all that life has to offer. There are great joys and great struggles, but with that struggle comes immense growth. The Cherokee County School District has prepared you well for what's ahead and the Cherokee County Educational Foundation is excited for what you will do in the future. Don't forget – remember where you came from.
Congratulations Cherokee County School District, Class of 2021!