Hewitt News

Commencement Remarks to the Class of 2023: A Simple Hello
Hamilton A., Class of 2023

Looking back to when we were younger, everything started with a simple hello. While sitting crossed legged on kindergarten rugs, the person sitting next to us became our closest friend. Interacting with new people was easy then because everything was new. We were in a new school and we were surrounded by new people in a completely unfamiliar environment, yet we were able to thrive. After the initial introductions came many playdates where we would bond over a love of books or cartoons. At the age of five our lives were dedicated to Disney or Nickelodeon. I know that when I was little, princess dresses were the be-all and end-all. Leaving my house without my pink Sleeping Beauty dress was simply unimaginable. 

At one point we had our favorite toys that we brought to school and showed off to each other.  At the time, my prized possession was a pink polka dotted fluffy bunny named Rabbity Rabbit. Whether stuffed or electronic, our gadgets gave us the confidence to approach others. They were a gateway into sharing our interests with our new friends. Making friends then was simply that easy. 

Skipping past the awkwardness of middle school, in a blink of an eye we made it to high school. During freshman year, some members of the Class of 2023 were new to Hewitt while others were not, and it was a hard year for all of us in more ways than one. But together, we were taught to look forward and persevere. I came to Hewitt sophomore year. Before that I lived in Shanghai, and to say I was nervous for the first day of in-person classes at Hewitt would be an understatement. The idea of saying hello to new people and introducing myself seemed truly unimaginable. Then someone said hello and offered to get coffee with me over the summer, before the start of school. She became my first friend at Hewitt, and knowing someone calmed my nerves about moving to a new school. 

However, it also taught me that at age 15 I was no longer confident enough to do what my five year old self could do naturally, which was to say hello. It was daunting to be thrown into a new environment and try to make friends. Over the next two years our class expanded, not by much but just enough. We welcomed new faces to the Class of 2023, and with just a simple hello we introduced those new members to our community. Without putting ourselves out there we would not have been able to accomplish what we have today. We have all successfully gone through the college process and secured our futures with further education. 

Beyond our academic experiences, I know I have enjoyed our final moments of high school. We welcomed the idea of a senior sleepover and had a blast, but we definitely stayed up too late. We jumped back in time and went to a trampoline park - a place I know I personally have not been to since the eighth grade. Lastly, our senior prank was definitely one for the books. For those of you who weren't there, we threw a dance party in the Hewitt lobby at 8:00 am.

We all sit here today as high school graduates. College is just on the horizon for us. We have made it past the hardship of junior year, and now we are ready to embark on the next chapter. And yet, a new challenge has arisen. Some of us have recently been the “new kid,” while others have not experienced that feeling since kindergarten. I know that I personally will have some nerves stepping into college and being thrown into a different environment, but those feelings will teach us to persevere like we have done in the past. Yes, it will be a little rocky in the beginning, but knowing this class, I believe that we will be okay. We have introduced new people to our class with open arms and we can only hope that this same kindness will be shown to us in college. 

When we were young and in kindergarten, making friends was easy because everyone was new. Now, as we move to the next part of our lives in college, we will again be new. Some of us will be in different states and others in unfamiliar countries, and we will be surrounded by new groups of people. If we could make friends in kindergarten because we were new, we can do it again now. If you remember anything from this speech let it be this: Sometimes all you need to do is say hello. Saying hello wasn't so hard when we were younger, so why should it be now?

A student stands at a wooden podium wearing a blue graduation gown

Hamilton A., Class of 2023, delivers her remarks