An Independent School • Grades 5-12

by Dagmawi Misgano, Class of 2018

Following is an excerpt from Student Government President Dag Misgano’s speech at Commencement 2018.

…To my classmates…I don’t think I need to stand up here and tell you to be honest, caring, kind, curious, engaging people. You already are. And I don’t need to tell you life is going to be tough and that you can get through anything. You already know you can do it because look around: You did it. And of course, I’m excited to see what you do in life because I know that you can achieve anything; but once again you already know that.

The point is, I’m 18. I’ve spent the last four years of my life on this campus right alongside you. You already know me pretty well, so you know I’m no wise monk. I’m Dag. And just like all of you I’m filled to the brim with the most confusing mixture of fear and a longing to burst out of the bubble we call high school I’ve ever felt. And don’t get me wrong, the fear isn’t all bad either it’s just…weird.

It’s really the end.

It seems impossible that I won’t be back here with all of you in three or so months walking into another class just like normal… And obviously, I know the truth, after this we’re all off to bigger and better things, but some part of me can’t seem to let it go.

It’s a difficult thing to appreciate what you have while you have it. Andy Bernard from "The Office" said “I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them.” And no matter how you feel about Lakeside, a sentiment I’ve heard over and over again is how we are going to miss each other. We’ll miss our family and teachers and everyone else too, don’t worry. But it’s how much we’ll miss each other I’ve heard the most about. How we’re sad some connections will be lost and maybe never found again.

Something about senior year guides you right to the people you should have been hanging out with the whole time. Because once you realize you don’t have time to waste, you find the people that matter. The ones who’ll stick by your side through everything. The people that make the toughest days a bit better. And I say that because that’s what I hold onto. After graduation, this summer, and even college, I plan on keeping many of the friends I have here today. Because you guys are some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. And that’s not something I plan to take for granted.

So I’m sad to see you go but couldn’t be more grateful to have met you in the first place. And whether you stay here in Seattle or travel halfway across the world, after this nothing will be the same. New friends, people, teachers, schedules, expectations, rules. A new life awaits us all and that’s naturally a bit much. But the sheer talent, compassion, drive, and empathy this class has is truly impressive.

So I’ll be the first to say it, I’m a little scared for what’s to come next. If anything’s unpredictable it’s life. But when I look at this class, I see nothing but bright futures. Full of world-famous painters, dancers, surgeons, social justice workers, lawyers, musicians, athletes, teachers, advisors…I think you get the point. You guys sitting right there are the future and I’d bet anything on that. And like I said: You already know you can do it. You know your potential and I don’t need to tell you what you can accomplish. So I don’t wish you luck, because I know you’ll succeed. I wish you happiness in life.

It’s been an honor to be your president. Thank you so much.