The sound of paper crinkling softly was the soundtrack to graduation on Saturday, as Lake Norman High School’s students, faculty, and families all rapidly fluttered programs, trying to create a breeze to stifle the heat that plagued the 473 graduates of the class of 2018.

The warm weather didn’t deter the excitement or dampen the spirits of those walking across the stage, however, and class speakers sent positive messages during the hour-long ceremony about embracing life’s gifts, even through the tough times.  

Looking ahead with a positive outlook

Senior class president Sylvana Salice took a page out of actor Charlie Day’s book when she addressed her fellow students and encouraged them to not fear failure in their life. Salice quoted the actor’s speech from 2014, when Day received a honorary doctorate from Boston’s Merrimack College, telling her classmates that “I don’t think you should just do what makes you happy. Do what makes you great.”

“Do what makes you great, and you’ll find happiness,” she said.

Following Salice, honor speaker Nicole Pfeifer admitted that she had a tough time fitting everything she wanted to say to her friends and classmates in their allotted three minute time for their speeches. She added that her high school career felt like it had flown by in three minutes as well.

“You spend so much time wishing it would fly by, to the next spring break, summer, the next year, and to today, graduation,” she said. “I’m excited to begin the next chapter ... but remember to enjoy the time you have while you have it.”

Fellow honor speaker Emily Warren reminded those in attendance that they needed to “change their mindset” if they feel there’s no bright side, because “you’re as happy as you make your minds up to be.”

“Sometimes, you have to get through hard times to end up where you’re supposed to be,” she said.

Wrapping up on a good note

In keeping with the theme of living life to the fullest, the senior class choir sang “I Lived,” by One Republic, encouraging the outgoing graduating class by singing “I owned every second that this world could give, I saw so many places, the things that I did, yeah,with every broken bone, I swear I lived.”

As the notes faded out, seniors proudly walked across the stage, enthusiastically tossing their blue caps in the air, and moving on to their next adventure. 
Get today’s top stories right in your inbox. Sign up for our daily newsletter.

Recommended for you