By Dustin Luca
---- — KINGSTON — The rain did little to dampen the dreams at Sanborn Regional High School’s 125th commencement last night.
The school graduated 181 seniors at a ceremony packed into the school’s gymnasium due to the weather.
Principal Brian Stack told the students to “dream big and don’t sell yourselves too short.”
“Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something,” Stack said. “If you have enough grit and determination, anything is possible. Let’s start the dreams today.”
Student speakers carried a similar tone. They spoke of childhoods left behind and cautioned against letting dreams go unrealized.
Class valedictorian Jonathan Brown cautioned his classmates to not limit themselves in life.
“When I filled out my scholarship packet a few months ago, I wrote that my life goal was to be happy,” Brown said. “There are so many ways to pursue it. How can I know which is right for me? I can’t right now. And to be honest, I’m perfectly OK with that.”
Brown then detailed a recent visit to Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He said he “went through the day in a daze, following the schedule but not myself.”
“From a young age, we’re always asked who we want to be when we grow up. It’s part of our nature — we like to know, to be certain,” Brown said. “However, we already can’t change the past, so why are we trying to solidify the future? We become so focused on the future — about what’s to come — that we forget about the present, about living life.”
Graduate Emily Richard also offered her thoughts on growing up when she addressed the graduates.
“There’s a part of us that doesn’t want to leave childhood behind,” Richard said. “Our families are imagining us getting on the bus that first day of first grade, and as their little toddlers, stumbling across the stage receiving our diplomas.”
Richard encouraged the class to adopt what she called childhood 2.0, which “allows anyone to think like a child while still being an adult.”
“Maybe we can’t think exactly like a child,” Richard said. “But we should aspire to dream the endless dream they do, see a better world filled with imagination like they do, and live in the moment, like they do.”