For Cedar Ridge, graduation is a Rubik's Cube
Student Government Association President Natalie Bentley likened graduation to a solved Rubik's Cube, it’s an accomplishment when it’s completed but it’s the journey that matters.
Before a few hundred people, the graduates of Cedar Ridge High School gathered in the Dean Smith Center at UNC Chapel Hill to say farewell to high school and welcome the next step of their lives.
The more than 230 graduates began a slow applause in the corridor of the center that was complimented by the one that responded from inside before their processional. The crowd could not stand silent as the graduates took their seats.
Bentley began her speech without words, but with a Rubik's Cube that she solved at the podium.
“Life is in fact a lot like a Rubik's Cube,” she said. “At first you struggle but it’s the sheer number of ways that you can solve a Rubik's Cube that is amazing. It’s the process that defines success.
“It is not the success or failure that’s important, it’s how you arrive there,” said Bentley. “The exploration is what allows you to grow.”
Henry Mandeville, senior class president, began his speech in the form of morning announcements before telling the tale of two students who matriculated together and punctuated their high school graduation with a trip to the top of a lighthouse.
“We’re at the top of the lighthouse,” Mandeville said to his peers. “Get rid of the stones weighing you down and pick a path. The view from the next lighthouse will be even better.”
Salutatorian Linnea Nelson said that while high school graduation is the end of a segment of their lives, it is the start of another.
“We will all shed tears together,” she said. “By the end of the evening, we will all be united in our sadness at the loss in the past and fear of an unknown future.”
Nelson added that the freedom they now have will bring with it its own set of challenges.
“For the first time in our lives we’re forced to ask ourselves, ‘What do I want to do?’” she said. “We will be free from so much but held so tightly by the confines of life.”
Class Valedictorian Zachary Marion kept his remarks short and charged his classmates to never lose their curiosity.
“It is paramount that we never lose that inquisitiveness so that the world never loses its magic,” he said. “Never lose your sense of wonder in the world.”