AUBURN — Red Eddie pride was overflowing Saturday night at the Edward Little High School Class of 2017 graduation, and the fresh-faced excitement of 230 new high school graduates going on to the next chapters of their lives was captured in endless photos taken by family and friends.
State Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, delivered the commencement address, 10 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was 18.
His advice to graduates rang both true and humorous:
• Take more risks. “Try for things you don’t think you maybe can do. Look back and regret what you did, not what you didn’t,” King said.
• Always be honest, even if it hurts.
• Don’t write stupid stuff on the internet that you don’t want your grandma to see.
• Learn to shake hands. “Give me seven — five fingers and two eyes,” he said.
• Treat your first job as if it’s the most important job you’ll ever have. “Be the best you can be, because that’s what people will remember,” he said.
• There’s no such thing as a material or geographic cure. “You cant cure what ails you by moving or buying something,” he told the graduates.
• Always carry a $20 folded up and hidden on you.
• When in doubt, don’t get married.
• Attitude really is everything.
• Value your friends and your family and never let them down. “In the end, they’re all you’ve got,” he said.
King concluded his speech to a Colisee full of cheering graduates and their loved ones with a blessing: “Go Red Eddies — and godspeed to the Class of 2017.”
The top five students of the Class of 2017 gave speeches with an interesting theme: Family Game Night.
Their speeches, with titles such as Risk, Trivial Pursuit, and Sorry, were filled with the students’ own experiences and lessons they chose to share with their classmates.
“Adversity is around every corner,” Donald Peterson said. “Stay strong and persevere.”
Life is about “what do we want to do with our lives,” Kaylie-Anna Vallee said. “When I failed, I never gave up.”
Austin and Noah Dumont, identical twins and valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, also had their fair share of wisdom and humor to offer. Austin and Noah are both attending Bates College in the fall.
“Just like in the game Sorry, the cards we draw throughout the course of our lives can sometimes be unexpected,” Noah said. “Other times, they might throw us off balance. The cards alone hold no power. The power lies within each of us and how we respond to a card that alters our path.”
“It is time for the game to end and the next one to begin,” Austin said. “Without yesterday, there is no tomorrow. Seek inspiration in simple, ordinary pursuits … Above all else, enjoy the game.”
Edward Little High School Class of 2017
230 — Number of graduates
80 percent — Going to college or higher education
2 percent — Going into the military
16 percent — Going into the workforce
Class song — “This is the Moment”
What this class will be remembered for? — Principal Scott Annear: “This class is marked by their desire to embrace all things Edward Little. They have a great attention to traditions and support for the other three classes. They have achieved excellence in every realm, and will be motivated to share and promote the values of Edward Little. We are Edward Little look forward to how these students go off into the world and do great things.”