Throughout my four years at Hewitt, I’ve found myself surrounded by blue and white. Blue and white Hewitt magnets on classroom whiteboards, blue and white events, blue and white jerseys scattered on the soccer field (and no, I don’t mean in a strategic formation kind of way, I mean scattered in more of a “No, you were not supposed to be in the other team’s 18 yard box as a central defender,” kind of way). I immediately took pride in these colors as I pulled on my “I am a Hewitt Girl” shirt (which now comes in handy on the days when I’m running low on clean school clothes) on my first day of ninth grade. But it wasn’t until I sat down to write this speech that I realized how our colors truly symbolize the short time we’ve spent together while also foreshadowing the bright years that await us outside those doors.
At Hewitt, blue represents depth and stability, loyalty and wisdom, confidence and intelligence, and of course, faith and courage. These are all traits that I have seen exemplified by this year’s graduating class. Whether it was providing support when two tests, three quizzes, and an essay were accidentally scheduled on the same day, or having the conviction to speak out during a town meeting when we felt that it was important for our voices to be heard, this grade has always been there for one another. This inspiring spirit also branches from our symbolic white. The color white can be seen as oppressive, used to shame young women for their “lack of purity” and power. We, however, have seen the good in the color, as Hewitt girls are destined to do. In white we see possibility, humility, sincerity, new beginnings, and hope, which is why I am so proud to wear white today.
As I stand here looking at all of you decked out in white, I see symbols of hope and opportunity. I feel young optimism from the littlest Hewitt girls, and a bit of seasoned ambition from the rising Hewitt women. In this moment, I ask you to reflect, sit, and grasp everything as we start the next chapter of our lives. Kindergarteners are moving on up to first grade. Our parents, family members, and friends are learning to let go and watch us grow into independent women, and we, my fellow classmates, are moving into the hardest chapter yet: having to be truly independent.
I ask you to remember the hope you feel today and turn it into strength for the weeks and months to come. Hope fuels ambition, it fuels your drive for success. When you’re struggling to get on the plane or in the car to go off to college, when you have to let go of the hands that have picked you up and dusted you off more times than you can recall, or when you have a 20-page paper due in two days and you still aren’t really sure what the class is even about, remember that you’ve hit all those rough patches before, whether it was leaving your parents for camp for the first time or taking that hard and all-consuming AP your parents warned you, nay begged you, not to take. You survived and you conquered, leading yourself to this moment, so remember it and let that feeling of pride and accomplishment spread throughout every inch of you. Use that feeling to push you when you hit the rougher patches, which are inevitable, as we all know.
All those struggles over the past 18 years got you to this day, one of the happiest days of your life so far. A time of strength, ambition, and triumph. Let none of that leave you when you walk out those doors filled with hope, welcoming your next chapter with open arms, knowing everything, well, pretty much everything, feels worth it.
Thank you to my parents, family, and friends who have helped for years to get me to this very moment, as well as the ones we’ve passed and the ones yet to come. Thank you to the Hewitt faculty and staff for giving me and my classmates the tools for success that we will use in the years to come. And thank you to my classmates for giving me the hope and strength to not only get up here and speak today, but also to conquer and strive for greatness.