Senior Commencement Speaker Mylisha Drayton

It feels like just yesterday that I stepped onto this campus for the first time as a Dublin school student:  nervous, lost, but also very excited. But, the sad part is that it wasn’t yesterday. For some of us it was four years ago, three years ago, two years ago, and even one year ago and already what now seems like tomorrow is the end. That is the funny thing about time: it flies by. We hear it over and over again that “times flies” or “where did the time go.” And because of this, you’d think we’d understand,  but we don’t. Some days last for years and others seem to go by in an instant. Yet, no matter what happens, life still goes on.

Believe it or not I was barely friends with my classmates my first year; I didn’t dislike them but when I compare my sophomore year to this year, so much has changed. Each year I have gained a closer relationship with my class and the constant that has kept me tied to Dublin is my class. Individually and collectively, we have had our ups and downs.  People call us rebellious because we stand up and speak our minds. We often stayed up late at night, discussing the changes to  the schedule, to enforcing dress code,  to altering the study hall system because we, as one, hoped to make a change in this community –not a negative one, but a positive one.  We were not always successful and perhaps we were not always right- but it is this deep, intrinsic need to be a part of the community which makes us stand out.

Look around you. On the stage in front of you are some of the most incredible students that I have ever met: a class filled of student ambassadors, respected proctors, athletes and captains, big brothers and sisters, class room leaders, tutors, and I can go on.  So when I look back on my time at Dublin, I am so proud to say that I ended with the best class a High School Student can ask for. We have fulfilled our legacy. 

So to the class of 2015, 2016, and 2017: ask yourself, how will you spend your time? This may sound crazy but it isn’t all about school. (Sorry Ms. Doenmez!) It’s about putting yourself out there and trying new things, taking advantage of what Dublin has to offer, building relationships, and getting out of your comfort zone. We all come here with our own story and experiences. And, despite what you went through before Dublin, once you get here, it is a whole different ball game. No matter what happens, Dublin will always be your home away from home.

I often tell people that Dublin is like my second home. It is hard to explain, but, to quote Sarah Dessen, home is “Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.”  That is exactly why Dublin is our home. Within this little campus there is so much. The size does not affect its abilities because what makes Dublin so special is the aggregate moments that pass us each day. It’s not at every High School that you get Milk and Cookies every Tuesday night and spend the night bonding with your dorm mates; it’s not at every school that your advisor becomes one of your best friends, and it’s not at every school that you can be proud to say that you are not only a group a faculty and students but a family.

See we have this thing here called the Dublin Difference. And there are so many things that make us different from any other Prep School, but in my opinion the people in this community make up the Dublin Difference. Having Mr. Nemitz dress up as Miley Cyrus and reenact her Wrecking Ball video during Lip Sync is the Dublin Difference (what an image I will never forget.) But on a more serious note, having someone like Mr. Talley come up to you after class and tell you that if you ever need to talk he is there for you, he makes Dublin Different. Having a coach, teacher, dorm parent, or advisor like Ms. Bride who plays the role as a second Mom to all of us, well, she makes Dublin Different. So while you are still a part of this community, continue to make Dublin Different. Who knows if we will get this anywhere else — that’s why if I were you I’d enjoy the rest of this ride because it doesn’t go on forever.

Now to my class: this surely isn’t goodbye. If we ever want to hear Tyler, Kenny, and Ben sing their spontaneous accapella songs at 1 am, that is up to us. If we ever want to hear the hysterical laugh of Molly Witten, that’s on us. If we ever want to hear Emmet Darmen talk about fishing or his f150 King Ranch truck, it’s on us.

Next year will be a new start for all of us; we will all be so wrapped up into our new world that we may forget where it all began. So right now, let’s make a promise to one another. Let’s promise to keep in touch, let’s promise to make an effort to see each other again, and let’s promise that no matter what happens, to never forget. I can’t express how much I am going to miss you guys. I think I am still in denial that I won’t be going to school with you all next year, because I just don’t want to believe it. I know next year, wherever you all are, you will shine even brighter than you did at Dublin. I wish you all the best on your journey to success in life and hope for nothing but the best.

So instead of saying goodbye, because this isn’t the end of our relationship, I’ll end with I love you and see you soon!

Thank You .