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Salutatorian Amelia Lawlor '22—Embracing the Uncertainty of the Future
Excerpts from the Salutatory Address by Amelia Lawlor ‘22
Salutatorian Amelia Lawlor

Amelia Lawlor '22


From the moment that Mr. McCluskey pulled me aside and told me that I was the salutatorian of our class, I’ve been stressing out about this speech. I wanted to find the perfect words to say exactly how I felt about graduating and leaving the community that I’ve known and loved and called my home for 13 years.

So, in a typical Amelia fashion, I turned to my beloved Spotify playlists, praying that I could find the perfect lyrics to speak for me. After much angsting, I’ve decided on a few lyrics that describe how I feel right now. I hope they speak to you all in the ways that they speak to me.

The first lyric that I’ve chosen is from a song I’m sure most of my classmates are familiar with: “Ribs” by Lorde. “I’ve never felt more alone, it feels so scary getting old.” I’ve been a student at Stone Ridge since I was 5 years old. On most days, I spend more waking hours here than I do at home. This school is the place where I’ve made some of my closest friends, learned so much from my teachers and classmates, and discovered my passions. And although I’m excited to begin a new chapter in my life, I’m not ready to end this one either. Stone Ridge, and all of you, have been a constant in my life for so long. When I stop to think about the fact that we’re actually leaving, forever, and that we’ll never hang out on the slounge couches or have wild lit check-ins again, I feel so lost. It feels like just yesterday that we sang “First Grade, First Grade” on the Sophie Center stage as we graduated from Kindergarten, and here we are, graduating from high school.

Now, it wouldn’t be true to form if I didn’t include a Phoebe Bridgers lyric, since we all know that, to pretty much everyone’s chagrin, I love to blast her songs from the sound booth during assembly. But I feel like her introspectiveness and nostalgia are fitting now, even if some might argue that they weren’t at 9:30 in the morning on a Tuesday. From her song “Smoke Signals”: “The future’s unwritten, the past is a corridor, I’m at the exit, lookin’ back through the hall.” We are at the exit of our high school experience. This is the last day for a long time, maybe ever, that we will all be here together, as the class of 2022. There are so many memories to cherish from the last four years. But I also know that every single one of you has a bright and brilliant future that lies ahead. Stone Ridge has given us the tools to succeed; we have been taught not only to be driven and ambitious, but also to be compassionate, considerate, and to care for our community and the world around us.

"Now, as we stand at the exit, reflecting back on the last four years and preparing to venture out beyond what is known and safe, it’s time for us to embrace the uncertainty of the future."

Finally, the most cliché, sappy Taylor Swift lyric of all: “Long live the walls we crashed through, I had the time of my life with you.” These past four years haven’t exactly been easy for any of us. From college applications and massive burnout, to failed math tests and friendship drama, we’ve all seen each other at our worst, but we’ve also come out the other side stronger and closer than ever. That’s my favorite thing about our class, and about the Stone Ridge community; we support each other, whether that’s cheering obnoxiously loudly at softball games or coming to opening night of the musical. We celebrate each other’s successes, and we encourage each other in the face of adversity or disappointment. And, no matter what, we always show up for one another. I’m so grateful to you all for the incredible memories and experiences, for Prom, for Minute to Win Its at Assembly, for Field Day and Trés Bien, for Congé and Slounge dance parties, and, most of all, for allowing me to be part of such a loving and supportive community.

"I would like to say thank you to my wonderful parents, thank you to the truly spectacular teachers who have supported me every step of the way, and thank you Class of 2022. I really did have the time of my life with you."