A Graduation Speech for My Peers

A final message to all graduating seniors.


Pixabay, Creative Commons

Kristen Catterson, Guest Writer

Good evening Castaic families,

My name is Kristen Catterson, and I’m honored to be standing before you tonight. I’d like to start by thanking our wonderful administration, teachers, volunteers, and my classmates. At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, you have helped and inspired me a billion times over.

The road leading to this moment was not smooth, effortless, or painless, however the perseverance of the Class of 2023 is incredible. We took the promise of four blank, unknown years and filled them with remarkable memories.

Our story begins with us entering the gates of Castaic High School as puny freshmen, blind to what was on the journey ahead. We couldn’t predict Mr. Ferry entering the dance circle at Prom, what TikTok trends were to come, or the fire alarm going off because of burnt popcorn!

The most prominent antagonist that threatened our high school experience was the Covid-19 pandemic. Learning online for over a year was no easy feat—I know the only way I survived was because I could Zoom in my PJ’s! This felt like the antithesis of being a high schooler, because what was the point if I couldn’t see my friends every day? 

When we fully came back our junior year, the juxtaposition of post-Covid and pre-Covid me were starkly contrasted. Before, I took for granted proving geometry theorems, writing English essays, and running the mile—I still don’t wish The Mile upon anyone. Now, I am thrilled to be back on campus. I’ll still pass on those trig identities though…sorry, Mr. Turski!

That horror did not serve as the prologue for our high school experience. We’ve hosted two on-campus dances, our first-ever Prom, and now, here we are celebrating our first class graduating. Our “Year of Firsts” might’ve been dramatically ironic, but I like to think that our “firsts” were just extended over a longer period of time for a worthwhile experience. 

I want to thank a few staff members that left a lasting impression on me. Thank you to Mr. Turski, who answered every single one of my calculus questions with enthusiasm. To Mrs. Avanessian, who sparked my love of English again. To Mr. Welch, who helped me get a five on my APUSH exam, even though his Power Points are ridiculously long. Lastly, thank you to Mrs. Ferry, who happily checked my college applications every time I stepped foot in her office, as well as the other teachers and staff who’ve helped my classmates and I walk across this stage tonight.

Your future may feel like one big cliffhanger, but you are the protagonist in your story. Make it your own interesting adventure! Class of 2023, please forgive my literature puns. I have full confidence that you will go on to accomplish amazing things. Take this moment to be proud of yourself. We did it!