TUPPERLAKE-Tupper Lake High School graduates received a sobering message at their June 25 commencement.
Kate Bennet, a TLHS teacher, was the commencement speaker.
"I'm supposed to reassure you that you're on the cusp of greatness,"Bennett said. "I can't promise you that the future will be magnificent."
There are just a few things that she could promise.
"The truth is your life is going to be determined by how hard you're willing to work," Bennett said. "You will succeed and fail. Rest assured that your successes and failures will be yours and yours alone."
This shouldn't be daunting, Bennett said.
"When you take ownership of your success and your failures, you will feel empowered in your progress and motivated to move on to whatever is next in life," Bennett said.
Principal Pamela B. Martin, who is retiring this year, stressed how far the graduates had come.
"You've learned your ABCs, your 123s, how to play kickball," Martin said. "It's now time for you to leave high school and step out into the world. You are our future."
Samantha Durfey, the valedictorian, urged the graduates not to give up on their dreams.
"Often it is the fear of failure that keeps us from following our dreams," Durfey said. "Having dreams and chasing them, though, is an essential part of who we are. These dreams are what make our lives unique and meaningful."
Striving for one's dreams allows one to test oneself, she said.
"I know that we can do anything we can set our mind to," Durfey said. "After all, we're some of the most stubborn, opinionated and talented kids the world has seen."
Amanda Moeller, the salutatorian, said she'd miss her graduating classmates.
"I hope this is just a temporary goodbye," Moeller said. "In 10 years, I'm looking forward to meeting some of the new doctors, nurses, lawyers, artists, cosmetologists, teachers, physical therapists, psychologists, counselors, and whatever else you guys become."