Molly Hoch: Do not hesitate to move forward

Thank you, Dr. Sanzo. Good evening family, friends, faculty, and the class of 2014. It is an honor to speak to you tonight.

Today we stand on a threshold. In the room behind us stands our high school years, and the hallway before us holds our futures. But before we take our first steps forward, it is essential that we reflect on how we reached this point. None of us would be the men and women we are today if it were not for our years at Wilton High School. Every class, every teacher, every interaction made an impact.Your peers surrounding you today made up the particles of your individual universe, constantly colliding and disrupting your orbit, nudging you one way or the other, each time changing you slightly. For better or for worse, these past four years have shaped us, and wherever we head next, we will carry them with us.

All that said, do not dwell on these years. Do not let your nostalgia stop you from forging new connections and disrupting new orbits as you move forward. Your decisions and interactions in high school have shaped you, but so will your new choices. If you are lucky, what happens in the next few years will change you for the better, and you will become someone “right now” you would not recognize. You will transform further with every new experience. It goes without saying that the world keeps turning once we leave; classes will resume in this high school even if we are not there to occupy the desks. Just four years from now, all the students will be different, and so will the community, because those different students will shape it just as we have. Just four years from now, the almost 300 of us will have shaped the communities that we are joining tomorrow. We may not be together, but I know that each of you has the power to make a change.

The word valedictorian comes from the Latin word valedicere, which means “to bid farewell,” and this ceremony is as much about saying good-bye as it is about celebrating our classes’ achievements. With that in mind, prepare to bid farewell to this school, to this community, and to each other.

I hope that we find ways to stay in each other’s orbits.

Congratulations class of 2014!

Molly, class valedictorian, gave this speech during the 2014 Wilton High School graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 21.

Read more about the 2014 Wilton High School graduation commencement here.