Editor’s note: The graduates that were awarded Summa Cum Laude wrote one speech based on the analogy of a house and how it relates to life. Each student chose a part of the house and wrote their speech based on that part of the house.
Intro/Front Door – Callan Haldorsen
Through these past 18 years of our lives, we have been taught many useful skills by our parents, teachers, and peers. Skills such as perseverance or caring for yourself. Skills that ultimately lead us down a road to success. The use of all of these life skills can be compared to the process of building a house. There are different components to building a house.
First, it needs a foundation, and then a frame. On their own, these pieces do not have a huge purpose, but when you put them all together, it makes a house. Just as in life, you can have a few of these skills and live just fine, but when you have all of them, that’s where the magic begins.
Every house needs a door, and right now, we are entering through the door, to begin our journey of the rest of our lives. Behind those doors are endless opportunities that will benefit the rest of your future.
Foundation – Tyson Gass: Safe Place
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Every house needs a foundation. A sturdy place to fall back on when the going gets tough. This place may be your friends, family, or your favorite place to hangout. I know that this kind of foundation is important for success because I lived it, we all lived it.
I know that I wouldn’t have survived these last four years if I didn’t have some powerful friends that had my back. Thanks to these people, these past four years and all the years to come, will be the greatest of my life.
Frame – Xylia Greeson: Character
Every house needs a frame. A frame is what outlines and supports the house itself. Our frame in life is our character. No amount of money, makeup, or even status will alter character just like nothing can be painted, decorated, or moved in to change the frame of a house.
This is because character is what we hold to be morally important…not materialistic. A truly good character exemplifies traits such as responsibility, respect, and integrity. These are all qualities that we have learned throughout our education by listening to those who have not only taught us right from wrong, but also given us the tools to frame the rest of our lives.
Thank you Mattoon High School for making me who I am today and best wishes to my classmates.
Walls – Delainey Bryant: Determination
Every house needs sturdy walls that keep it standing through all circumstances. Having sturdy walls can relate closely with having grit and determination completing any task.
With determination, we can accomplish anything. We can graduate high school, get into the college of our dreams, graduate college with a bachelor’s degree, get our dream jobs, and start a family of our own someday. Having determination and grit will help all of us accomplish whatever we want to. If we put our minds to it, we will be able to overcome any issue that we come across.
Our class has shown that we have grit and determination through any obstacles thrown our way throughout high school. We can use these experiences to build a future of our own.
Roof – Tinley Risinger: Self-Care
To build a house you need a roof. This is an essential part of all homes because it is what protects you from the elements. Without a proper roof, there would be water damage and no protection from the sun. When it comes to people, our roof is how we take care of ourselves.
Self-care is one of the most important aspects of setting yourself up for success. In order to take on what life throws at you, you must first tend to your own needs. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating right? Are you making time for social interaction? Without these things, you may find that you have a leak in your roof. It is hard to move on and be ready for life’s challenges when you constantly find yourself tired, hungry, or lonely.
Just like a roof is necessary to protect a home, self-care is necessary to put your best foot forward and accomplish your goals.
Windows – Josh Ramage: Future
Every house needs windows. With windows, we can let the sun shine in and look at the positives of life. Some days we must stay inside and watch thunderstorms through the windows, but it pays off when we see rainbows after the clouds pass.
Through these windows, we can also look off into the distance to see what the future holds for us. As we graduate, we must leave the comfort of our home to venture out into the world and chase after that future, whether through thunderstorms or sunny weather.
Interior – Kegan Kirts: Memories and Experiences
Every house needs an interior. An interior of a house holds the memories and experiences we have had, similar to how we hold on to the memories and experiences we all share.
As a class, we have endured more than enough experiences to shape us and prepare us for whatever life throws our way. Now it is up to us to hold these memories and close and use them to prosper through the future.
Every house needs a strong foundation, a sturdy frame, thick walls, a protective roof, clear windows, and a bright interior but this is not what completes it. It’s the people living inside that house that have the ability to turn it into a home. The cliché statement about a home being where your heart is fits perfectly into this.
For the past 12 years, school has been where you spend a majority of your time. Countless hours have been spent for this moment right now. It is now time to set loose and experience the world for yourself. It is time for new adventures, but never forget the time you spent here and the connections you made with others.
Mattoon High School has been our home for the four past years. Take a piece of it wherever you go and remember…you can always find your way back home.