On Saturday, after I walk down some red carpet in my cap and gown and sit down in my assigned seat, I will read my dedications. Dedications that are very personal to me, stuff that I wouldn’t want people to read or hear before graduation. However, there is this massive fear within the teachers that the seniors will say something they wouldn’t want to hear. So, I have to send a copy of my dedications to my advisor, who will then approve them and provide them for me to read on Saturday.

But this system is flawed. What is going to stop me from writing some general dedication speech and then ignoring it when I get to the podium? Nothing would prevent me from saying exactly what I want to say. These measures of approval to keep us in check until the very end just remind me that they don’t really have any control over us. They never did.

“There will be consequences.” the director said to us. “You won’t be allowed to speak at graduation until we see your dedications.” Consequences, what an interesting concept. I wondered at that moment if it would be better to not give them my dedications. I didn’t want to get up on stage and pour my heart out in front of people that imprisoned me for four years of my life. To pretend I am grateful for the circus act they made me perform. Suddenly, it all seemed very unimportant. The only thing that matters is that my diploma is in my hand by the end of it.

I only thanked people I am genuinely grateful for. My dedications are short and sincere, but they highlight those who supported me the most. That’s all that matters.


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