Across the Emerald Coast, top high school students are giving speeches in empty auditoriums in front of cameras that will offer up a digital version of this year’s graduation.
The Daily News invited those students selected to speak at their high school graduations to send their speeches for publication. We hope you enjoy a peek at some of the area’s best and brightest students.
David Ott, Niceville
Niceville High School
The ancient Chinese philosophy of Daoism preaches how humans are too sentimental, too attached to everything they know, and that they don’t willingly make changes.
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They preached spontaneity, longevity, transformation and omnipotentiality. They urged those who followed the writings of Lao-tzu to let go and follow the flow of life.
A far more modern interpretation of this could be taken to not be uptight and focused on what could happen, instead to just enjoy what does happen.
Now senior year is far from what I expected. From losing a fourth of the year to being stranded 6 miles in the wilderness, I have recognized my total utter lack of control over what happens.
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During the fall, I agreed to go in to buy a total wreck of a car with my best friend. Now when I say a total wreck, this car did not idle, couldn’t really turn left and did not have a rear-view mirror.
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I went in with the expectation of dinging around and honestly creating a mess, however, this car has now turned into a testament for the ability to survive anything. From a lack of doors, to a dead battery, to getting stuck six inches in the sand six miles from the nearest telephone, this car is unkillable.
You take a project, something like a beat up old car, and you work at it consistently for a long period of time, and eventually it becomes your pride and joy.
Now while the car will rot and fade away, the memories I’ve made in high school never will.
When I entered the school the first day of freshman year, I was 4’11” and weighed 95 pounds.
Now four years later, I am still short and small, but I feel that I’ve grown tremendously.
Through all the challenges, obstacles and strife I’ve endured, I feel as if I’m ready — terrified, but ready — to go out into the real world and enjoy whatever happens.
If your student is a top grad who would normally be speaking at graduation, please send a copy of the prepared speech, a headshot, his or her hometown and the name of the school to email@example.com
We are also accepting parent- or student-submitted photos celebrating your graduate if he or she attends school in Okaloosa, Walton or Santa Rosa counties. Send those pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org