Grads form great memories during school years

Published 8:00 pm Thursday, June 28, 2012

Editor’s note: Today, The DAILY LEADER continues publication of valedictorian and salutatorian speeches from recent graduation ceremonies at local schools. Today’s address is from Wesson Attendance Center Salutatorian Jordan Nettles.

     One of the interesting things about memories is that sometimes you can think about the past and remembering moments is almost like watching a movie. Other times, you just remember bits and pieces and have to work hard to remember the entire picture. It’s not always even the important things that stick with you for years, but tiny details that at the time may have seemed insignificant. As time goes on, however, you hold these memories close, because they are something from your past that you know you’re never going to lose.

     I still remember the smallest details from my first day at Wesson in Mrs. Williams’ fifth-grade class. I remember being too short to put the tissue box I was required to bring on the top shelf. I remember exactly who I played with at recess the first day. I remember being confused in the lunchroom and I even remember what color fingernail polish the girl behind me was wearing. I remember feeling that everything was new and foreign.

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     Well now I have been at Wesson eight years, nearly half of my life, and I couldn’t imagine myself as anything but a student of Wesson Attendance Center. Wesson has brought me to amazing friends and experiences that I will never forget, but I also know that we are about to part ways and may possibly never all be in the same room again. I know that there will be some things about high school, whether small or life-changing, that we will remember and cherish for the rest of our lives, and other things we’ll only remember when we see a hornet and think of our Loyd Star rivalry or see a mask in New Orleans and remember our senior prom.

     As we graduate, we remember the past, but graduation is just as importantly a celebration of the future. It’s exciting to imagine where our lives are going to take us in the next few years because there are so many different possibilities. Many of us have big plans for the future from mission work to pharmacy and from engineering to education. Some of us, like myself, are not quite sure what we want to do but do know that we are ready to make a difference. Now it’s our chance to not only leave a mark on the world, but also to improve it in our own unique way.

     At times it is kind of intimidating to think about what happens next because there are so many different paths that we can choose. However, I believe that there is a plan for everyone and we will never be completely alone if we decide to move away from Wesson or even out of Mississippi. Jeremiah 29:11 says, ” ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’ ” In other words, even if we don’t have a complete grasp on the future, we know God is with us and has a plan for us.

     Up to this point, we’ve been working to figure out who we are and what our purpose is and now it’s time to put everything we have learned to use.

     I believe the people sitting behind me have the ability to be everything that they want to be and more. We have all already made it to this point in our lives, which in no way has been easy.

     This year alone we have had to go through great loss and sadness that no one should have to experience, but we have come out stronger and have learned how to cope. However we’ve also experience happiness and joy that has taught us that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

     We’ve learned lessons about friendship, loyalty and hard work that will help us throughout our lives as long as we look back and just remember. We can also always count on the friends and family we leave at Wesson Attendance Center to be there for us when we need to come home or just need someone to care. As for me, I used to wonder what my life would have been like without Wesson, but without the incredible friends, faculty and staff, and experience I’ve had, I know I wouldn’t be the person I am. So, whether you plan to become a Wolf, Eagle, Bulldog, or a Rebel next year, just remember, “Once a Cobra, always a Cobra.”

     Jordan Nettles is the daughter of Ronnie and Rosie Nettles.