Dear Class of 2017

Dear Class of 2017,

Like many of you, I am sentimental about graduation, I will deny it but it is, inevitably, true. Even now, as I’m writing this letter to you I am imagining all of the experiences we’ve had together. I feel it is important to start this story at the beginning, McHarg.

We entered our academic careers bursting with excitement and pockets with Kid Cash. We started relationships there that will last through our lives at Radford and, hopefully, beyond. We built a foundation that would keep us steady in the coming years. We all united during field day and chicken nugget day. We all waited impatiently for the book fair and the day that we could use rolly scooters in P.E. We received our first yearbook and had all of our friends sign; we learned (not really) how to play the recorder. We made it through the dreaded color changes or calls home, and we all became better people through our lives at McHarg, we learned life skills that will always be necessary.

Now, I would be remiss if I did not mention the visit from the RHS students on Homecoming Week. We idolized the football players and cheerleaders that came; they seemed so old and wise. The idea of high school seemed impossible; it was in the distant future, seemingly unattainable. I remember logging onto the school computers and using our graduation year in the username. I could not fathom the year 2017, it was too far away. Yet, before we knew it we had outgrown the halls of McHarg and moved forth to Belle Heth.

This was our first step forward in elementary school, we finally conquered Mcharg! These three years were filled with joy and excitement, our last years in elementary school. We worked with Ms. Q in the library or became peer mentors and safety patrols. We all survived watching Gone With the Wind in fifth grade. We are the last class that was taught in the old Belle Heth and one of the first into the new school.

Now, Dalton Intermediate, a school that, despite our few years at, was the location of a lot of growth and change for all of us. Middle School was our first time changing classes and our first time sitting with whoever we wanted at lunch. I remember walking through the halls of the high school to reach P.E and senior year still seemed so far away. The age difference seemed insurmountable while we were middle schoolers.

The last big change in our Radford careers was the transition to High School; finally we were the “big kids,” the people who our second grade selves looked at in awe. The end was in sight; still just beyond reach, but clearly achievable. These past four years have been packed full of events and assignments. We survived our first slow dance and went to our first party. We all learned how to drive while learning important life lessons. We have pushed each other to do more and it is apparent in our clear success.

Now, Class of 2017, here we are. The seemingly distant end has arrived. Over a decade after walking through the doors of McHarg, we prepare to walk across a stage to receive a diploma. This is the last collective action we will do together as a group and I cannot be more proud of all of you. The emotions that many of us feel are the same as our first grade selves; excitement, happiness, but also a little bit of fear and worry.

I just want to say a few things before we part, each of you has the potential to move mountains. Every one of your voices matters and I urge all of you to use them. The world is a vastly different place than our lives at Radford have been. As we all begin the trek into this unchartered territory, remember your roots in Radford. The future is intimidating but I know that all of us will do wonders.

Lastly I just want to give my personal thanks to all of the Radford teachers that have helped us achieve wonders, your effort is absolutely incredible and we will always remember you.

I want to say thank you to you, Class of 2017. You have made the past twelve years unforgettable. I will take what I have learned with you into my life in college and beyond. I cannot imagine a better group of people to have the honor of walking across the stage at Bondurant with. Congratulations to all of you, you have earned this. I will miss all of you so much and I wish you the best of luck as you move out into the world!

Much love,


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