Marissa Petersile: Success "Bound to Come Our Way"
Class of 2011 National Honor Society President Marissa Petersile's Class Night speech.
Editor's Note: The following is the text of the speech delivered by Marissa Petersile, President of the National Honor Society, at Class Night on May 31.
Over the next few days, Stoughton Patch will be publishing the speeches and accompanying video footage of all five student speakers at Class Night and Graduation, as well as Principal Matt Colantonio's remarks at Graduation.
This is the second in a series of six. Read the speech or follow along while watching the video in the media gallery.
Good evening everyone, I hope you’re having a wonderful time at our Class Night ceremony. I’d like to start off with a huge congratulations to the Class of 2011 and also a few more thank you’s, especially to administration, Dr. Rizzi, Mr. Colantonio, the guidance department, our teachers, our families and our friends, as your support and efforts are greatly appreciated. Thank you also, to our class officers and Mr. Beaulieu, for all of the tremendous hard work and dedication to our class throughout the years.
So I’ve found something that I’d like to share with you tonight; it’s an excerpt of something I wrote, and I think it is suitable for tonight. Basically, we have a girl about our age who is finally coming to the realization that her generation lies upon the cusp of adulthood. It comes as quite a shock, and eventually she comes to a point in which she seems to mourn her childhood, and does so by saying the following:
I guess all we ever really do is either plan or reminisce. We grow up reaching forward, dreaming, wondering, praying the clocks whirl around and around until happiness gets delivered at the front doorstep like a package arriving right on time.
Then, the moment we get there, our necks snap around and we look over our shoulders and we cry out and demand that we can dream once more, and that our futures are not so painfully solidified by smoke, or a college degree, or even some undefined it. But that our futures are mere dreams, beautiful lies laced with hope and love and endless bowls of Cheerios.
I am not this narrator, but I cannot deny that the foundation of her emotions and her experiences are our own. Like she says, we’ve grown up thinking about tomorrow, and now that we’re here, we’re realizing that the journey to this point was so beautiful and so incredible that we’re crushed and shocked it’s over.
You know, on the last day of school, I went in and I knew I was not going to cry; and I think I speak on behalf of a lot of our class on that one. I had totally come to terms with the fact that the last day of school was just another part of the plan. But then the last bell rings, and you look around, and you see rushing people and tears and hugs, and most importantly, I think, is that façade of people that if you saw even one of them anywhere, regardless of whether or not you’re even friends, you would know they are from Stoughton.
Once we leave here, we lose that. We lose that safety blanket of familiar faces and sounds and mannerisms that characterize our community and make it so much easier to focus on success. Next fall, we start over. Back to zero. …At least that’s what I thought when the last bell rang.
…But now I don’t. I know that we would not be who we are today and who we will be tomorrow without everything we have achieved and overcome together. When something or someone impacts us that much, it never leaves us. On the way home from school that day, a song came on that I found surprisingly applicable, and quite meaningful, and so I’d like to share some bits of it with you tonight: Fast Car by Tracy Chapman.
You got a fast car
I want a ticket to anywhere
Maybe we make a deal
Maybe together we can get somewhere
Anyplace is better
Starting from zero got nothing to lose
Maybe we'll make something
But me myself I got nothing to prove
We came here in the fall of 2007 with nothing to lose. But together we made a deal, and together we got somewhere.
I remember we were driving, driving in your car
The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped 'round my shoulder
And I had a feeling that I belonged
And I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone
Thanks to each other, we are all someone. And the foundations of our lives will not lay to rest on the grounds of Stoughton High School, but rather in our cars, and in our dorm rooms, our first real jobs, and at our weddings, and in our kids, and in our spirits. Congratulations again to the wonderful Class of 2011, and another congratulations in advance for all of our successes and joys that are bound to come our way. Thank you.