BPL 2020 Commencement Address - Elizabeth Avrit

 These four years have gone by faster than any of us ever expected. It has been a roller coaster. It started slow as we walked into the not so long halls of Nashville Big Picture High School, August 2016. We met our advisory, found our classes (which was pretty easy), and quickly realized how small our school truly was. Classes seemed to last a lifetime, but little did we know it was going to be over in the blink of an eye. Or I should say, a Zoom!

The rollercoaster quickly picked up speed as we were handed our first high school rubric; the Who am I project. Soon after, we found out we were going to give a 30-minute presentation in front of the entire Freshman class. With lots of nervous tears, together we did it. And we did it again, nine more times. We made it through the seemingly impossible.

Our rollercoaster had more steep drops and loopty loops than we could ever imagine, but also had some of the most breathtaking views. My favorite part was riding this roller coaster together. We were there with each other through the good, bad and ugly. We persevered through countless articles of the week and crazy schedule changes. As a class, we had to say goodbye more times than we thought were possible. Having to hug Mr. Wayne, Mr. Roger, Mrs. Chae and Mrs. Janet goodbye was no easy task, but we were resilient and continued our rollercoaster ride. This year, we were blindsided by some huge loopty loops. Our senior year was cut WAY too short, taking away the “best part” of our schooling career we had all been looking forward to. No prom, no senior skip day, no senior prank, and not the graduation we had all been envisioning for so long. Who knew when we left the building on March 11, our “See you Friday,” was our last goodbye. As a class we all finished, and we finished strong.

Let us not forget all the amazing memories we made together at the top of our rollercoaster. Like everyone's favorite field trips going downtown; a TPAC production then a mouthwatering meal at the Farmer’s Market. Let’s remember when we worked together enthusiastically packing boxes at Second harvest food bank. And the many advisory parties full of music and dancing. Lifelong friendships were created. We became a family that was there for each other no matter what. There to hear the crazy stories from Internships, laugh and simply do life together even when it was difficult. Like Bessie Anderson Stanley said, “Live, laugh, love” is the definition of success. And if I were to look at the class of 2020, I would say we succeeded!

We watched each other turn from annoying middle schoolers trying to act cool into real adults ready for the next roller coaster. When we were told that high school goes by faster than you think, none of us believed it. But I am here to tell you, they were right. Today marks the moment when our high school rollercoaster comes to a stop. Today we get off and climb onto our next roller coaster. We will all meet new people, have new struggles, make new memories, but most importantly we will keep growing and learning.

I just want to say, we wouldn't have made it without the amazing support of our teachers. They had our backs no matter what. On behalf of the class of 2020 I want to say thank you. Mrs. Vickie you were such a loving person. You were there to listen no matter what. And always kept our manners in check. When it comes to Ms. Rebecca, you are one of the most generous and caring people I know. If any of us were hungry or just needed some tea, you had us covered. Doughnut days were our favorite! Mr. Wayne, even though you were not in the building all four years in person, you continued to be there for us. As an advisor you stretched us far beyond the point we ever thought we ever could be. You were our school dad; never let us get away with anything, but loved us to death, and we knew it. Mr. Roger, you taught us to embrace the beauty inside of us. Quirks and all. And thank you to the rest of the faculty and staff who made our high school career so amazing! Thank you for joining us on our high school rollercoaster.

To the class of 2020, farewell! Good luck on your next ride!