The Time is Now

By Joseph Silva

The average life expectancy in the United States is seventy-nine years. In these seventy-nine,  and hopefully additional years), most of us will get a college degree, find a job, buy a house, start a family, and throw a killer retirement party. We will leave Pelham and start the next chapters of our lives, but Pelham and the Class of 2019 will forever be engraved in our hearts. Most of us have lived in Pelham for our whole lives, all seventeen or eighteen years of them, meaning 23% of our lives have been spent in this town. While 23% seems miniscule, that is almost a quarter of our lives that we have spent together, building relationships and forming eternal bonds. As we go our separate ways, we need to remember the lessons we have learned here and the experiences we have shared and apply them to the future. The next 77% of our lives will be the product of the years that we have spent in Pelham and it is up to us to make the most out of that percentage.

This class is made up of 215 unique, hard-working, and talented individuals who, despite a few bumps along the road, became a team. In these four years, we have learned how to overcome numerous obstacles and how to work together to achieve greatness. We showed our peers what it takes to be the Class of the Century. We have been a force to be reckoned with since the minute we entered this school, which is not something every grade can say. We have broken school fundraising records, won three Olympics trophies and donated over 10,000 cans to food shelters. We have won state championships and have participated in both the Summer and Winter Juniors Olympics. We have been accepted to colleges, ranging from coast to coast and even across the Atlantic Ocean. We have bonded over wins, losses, tragedy, accomplishments, and failures. We have shown everyone what we are made of, and more importantly, we did it together. We entered high school four short years ago as a class, and today we graduate as a family.

We have learned a lot these past four years, and not just about SOH CAH TOA or that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. We have learned how to make new friends, deal with failed friendships, apply for jobs, work well with others, and pace ourselves, along with hundreds of other lessons. We have learned how to get back up again when we don't succeed and while this quarter of our lives comes to a close, the lessons we learned in high school will be with us forever.

Four years ago, I found myself struggling to please the needs of our whole grade. I was under the pressure of dozens of kids contradicting and questioning my every statement. I never realized how big of a responsibility being class president was and our Freshman Olympics civil war opened my eyes to this. This even made me reconsider running for president the following year. I learned that there is always a way to compromise and please a majority. Ever since then we have worked together to show off our skills and keep the other classes on their toes. The lessons my classmates have taught me are ones I will be eternally grateful for and will apply to the rest of my life.

While we may not learn how to file our taxes or budget or money, our high school career was somewhat like a seminar on life. We know how to go about hundred of thousands of different situations thanks to our high school experiences. And for that, I'd like to thank those who gave us these lessons, whether we liked them or not. Thank you parents, thank you teachers, thank you coaches, thank you friends, siblings, and thank you to the class of 2019 for teaching me to never give up. Seniors, remember to apply these lessons the remaining percentage of your lives. Congratulations to the graduating seniors and thank you everyone for coming. We made it.

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