Hello! My name is Annabelle Golden, and first and foremost, I want to extend my warmest congratulations and appreciations to the Class of 2016, and to every teacher, parent and companion—we are beholden. I think we all deserve a standing ovation at this celebration because, withstanding all of the stressful complications, tiring obligations and lifelong preparations, we have all made it to this graduation.
I think that one of the most important parts of growing older is that while you’re out in the world becoming wiser and bolder, you should always remember the foundation you came from. At this point in timing, you may be questioning my rhyming. You see, I had a hard time finding the prime method to deliver my message, so I chose to turn towards my childhood, and borrow from a man we all love and know. Please listen closely, to some ideas that I will introduce from the one, the only—Dr. Seuss.
The most important life lesson that I can profess is to be yourself, or as the Dr. would say, “Today you are you that is truer than true, there is no one alive who is youer than you.” For a student in high school that is the most golden rule. As a little freshman, for fear of not being cool, the person you are versus the person you let people see is the ultimate duel. But, by the time you are a senior, I hope that you have learned that pretending to be someone you are not is surely the act of a fool. The friends you make here will have nothing but respect for you doing what you love and for being who you are, and I promise it will have an effect on those around you, and it will be by far the best choice you could select.
One of the many talents that I’ve tried to hone is the fine art of balance. Whenever my mother would say, “Do your homework before anything other,” I would mutter a moan and a groan. But I have found balance to be the backbone of success, and so she has been shown to be right, as mothers always are. That teaching would prove to be very far-reaching, because with the dozens of hundreds of possibilities and responsibilities of being a teenager—friends, family, schoolwork, yourself, the list tends to goes on and on—it is essential to give each of these differential aspects the proper contemplation and consideration because I must mention or call to your attention that there is a time and a place for every intention. So from Dr. Seuss, to me, to all of you, “Step with care and great tact, and remember that life is a great balancing act.”
As my time, like this year, comes to a close, please do not tear or fear, because I here, I have one final piece of advice, that should suffice any worry you may have regarding the years ahead. They say you learn something new every day, so on the way from freshman year, to senior year, and back around again, learn everything you can, and seize every opportunity before you because the chance may not come again, and because: “The more that you read the more things you will know, and the more things that you learn the more places you’ll go.”
Read the complete graduation speeches from the Great Neck North Class of 2016: Adir Vegon, Graelin Mandel, Isabelle Sehati and from Great Neck South: Annabelle Golden, Annie Yang, Emily Bae, Haley Roach, Lance Kim and Michael Shen.
Learn about the 2016 valedictorians and salutatorians here.
Find out about other 2016 award winners here and here.
See who the 2016 Great Neck North graduates are here.
Find out who graduated from Great Neck South here.
For a list of The Village School graduates, click here.