HHS Graduation Salutatorian Address by Clare Trinchet

August 1, 2020 (Speech by Clare Trinchet, Transcript provided by Hingham High School, Photographs by Joshua Ross Photography). 

Following is the Salutatorian speech given by Clare Trinchet at the HHS 2020 Graduation held on Saturday, August 1. 

Hi everybody. Before I get started, I just wanted to thank everyone who made the last four years, and especially the last five months, possible. To every teacher I’ve had here at Hingham High Schools, as well as the guidance counselors, coaches, school administrators, and principals, everything you have done for us does not go unnoticed. To the parents of the class of 2020, and my family and friends, you have all made this year’s senior celebrations even more special, and I am so grateful for all of you.

Throughout our time at HHS, I think we can all say we learned to write a five paragraph essay. Of course, our english teachers have always told us to begin with a main idea, and support it throughout the remainder of the paper. Luckily, I’ve always written my thesis last, because I never know what my message is going to be until the very end. If I knew in September that I would be writing this speech, my main idea certainly would have been different than it is now. And I think that this year has two important messages that we can take away.

The first of these lessons is that you never know how a journey will go at the start. If everything went to plan, I would have given this speech in May with my friends and family in the audience. Instead, I am standing here now, talking to a small crowd wearing face masks, which by the way, is kind of intimidating. Regardless, we are all embarking on a new journey, whether its college, the military, or the workforce. For most of us, this is our first opportunity to follow our passions and do what we want with our lives. Even if you have planned your entire life in your head, I can assure you that there will be obstacles in your way and that your path will change. Remind yourself to be flexible, and if you have an instinct to change your major or move to a new place, despite it being against your original plan, then do it.

The second, and most important lesson, is that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. This is not only part of my yearbook quote, but something that I firmly believe, now more than ever. Attitude is everything. While our senior year was different than we expected, a lot of us have found creative ways to stay connected to each other, as well as contribute positively to larger conflicts in our society. In addition to the global pandemic, most of us have experienced setbacks and tragedies that have lasting ramifications. If you learn how to pick yourself up and see these challenges as an opportunity for growth, you will find ways to be successful throughout your life. 

To conclude, here is my reach for significance. Throughout our lives, there will be setbacks, but the way you handle them makes all of the difference. I am proud to be part of a class and a generation that has responded so greatly during this pandemic, and this is a year that I will never forget. And to everyone watching this graduation at home, your support means everything. Thank you.


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