Welcome everyone! Today is the day many of us have been impatiently waiting for, the day some of us have been dreading, the day some of us just want to be over. 

This is an important day: the end of one life and the beginning of another with new freedoms, new opportunities, new chances. It is finally here.

Dr. Seuss wrote a special graduation message in his book Oh the places you’ll go! Here are his words of wisdom: “Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away! You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the guy who decides where to go. You’ll look up and down streets. Look ‘em over with care. About some you will say, ‘I don’t choose to go there.’ 

With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street. And you may not find any you’ll want to go down. In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town. You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest. Except when you don’t. 

Because, sometimes, you won’t. I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you. And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done. 

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on. But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go though your enemies prowl. On and on you will hike. 

And I know you’ll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.) Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way!”

Dr. Seuss talks about the general path that will be taken by each of us. The ultimate message is this: You are now in control; You have the choice; You build your life; You have the power. Excuses cannot be made now like in the past for your lack of success. You are the adult now.

As we wait for our new lives to begin, the hunger for freedom builds within each of us. We are ready to get out and be independent, making our own decisions as to when we go out, what time we come home (if we even do), who we hang out with, and where we go. 

This is mind-consuming. However, this new freedom is not going anywhere. You have it from now on. Don’t think it’s going to expire or that you only have a limited time with this freedom. There is no need to go crazy with it. Keep this in mind as you make decisions.

We are fortunate to live in such an opportunistic place: America. You can find work somewhere all of the time. Unlike many countries, here, anyone can go to college. It is easily accessible.

More specifically, Rockwall has opened many doors for students through generous scholarships. Our opportunities are endless.

As we leave high school behind and pursue our future plans, we have the opportunity for change. Now is the perfect time to start over, to change who you are, to change your path.

This is truly your only guaranteed second chance. Seize it! Every decision you make now has an immense impact on your future. It is not the same as high school. We are entering a whole new game of life.

Take the time to think before you act. It pays off in the end. We are all headed in new directions, and even many of us are headed to new places. “Oh the places you’ll go!”

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