Baccalaureate Speech by Matthew Freire ’13

Aristotle once said “We are what we repeatedly do. Then excellence is not an act but a habit.” It’s not about what you have done in the past, but what you will do now and in the following years, to make yourself a more knowledgeable student, a better athlete, a more talented musician, or just a better individual.  Whatever you do in the following years do it for yourself, do it so that you become a better you. Whether that translates into starting a foundation and helping others, serving your country, or study for your college major, set your goals and aspire to achieve them.  Be the one to take the initiative and guide others in everything you do. Why sit back when you have to opportunity lead, the opportunity to perhaps help someone and change their lives.

In the coming years I hope that we will all go out and do something meaningful in our lives. I pray that we pursue things that we love and have a lifelong passion for. We’re young and our futures are bright. Take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves to you. Surround yourself by people whom you appreciate. Love and honor your families for they have raised you. Thank your families who have always wanted the best for you and have lost countless hours of sleep worrying about you and praying for your success. I pray that we may all continue to share the treasured memories we’ve had with them over the years. Thank your teachers who have taught you much more than academic material within the classroom. As your advisors, dorm parents, and coaches they have been there for you and provided you with wise advice over the years.

Let us now pause, close our eyes, and ponder the following words as we close this Baccalaureate Ceremony: I pray and I hope that as we embark on the journeys that life will take us on, that we always remember who we are and where we came from. As we graduate from Williston and follow our passions, I hope that we learn to set short-term realistic goals that we aspire to achieve. Even if we don’t achieve these goals do not be saddened by your failures, but embrace them and use your failures as obstacles that you will overcome. Because failure is not a certainty, it’s a choice. As we finish our high school careers, I pray that you never give up until you find success in your endeavors. May God bless you and protect you all as we move forward in our lives.

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