Eliana Halbrecht – Graduation Address – June 9, 2021
How do I sum up an experience as amazing as my nine years at Brandeis in just ninety seconds? Some of the best moments of my life have been here. I’ve met my best friends, and learned what I loved and more about who I am. Brandeis is so much more than a school, Brandeis is my family. So how am I supposed to leave this place that has been my home for so long?
I remember my first year at Brandeis looking up to all of our eighth-grade buddies and thinking wow they’re so old, and I thought that it would take forever to get to this point. At graduation that year, I gave each of my buddies a rose and congratulated them. I saw how their eyes lit up as they recited their speeches and how ready they seemed to be to go off into the world beyond Brandeis. I worried for the day when my Brandeis experience would come to a close, but again, I brushed it off. It turns out they aren’t lying when they say that time flies because it really does. Here I am, an eighth-grader, graduating. Wow. It’s nine years later and I don’t know how to say goodbye.
I’m going to miss you, however, Brandeis will always be a part of me. The lessons I’ve learned, and the friendships I’ve made, will stay with me forever. I’ve learned so much not only about academics but also how to think creatively, how to stand up for what I believe in, and how to surround myself with and be a part of such a strong loving, and supportive community like this one. And, I have so many memories that are going to be with me for the rest of my life. From building erupting volcanoes in the Kindergarten sandbox, song battles on the middle school retreat, coming together for tefillah, laughing with my friends until my stomach hurts, and playing knockout at every break we have, these nine years have been a journey that I will never forget.
I’d like to thank everyone that has helped me along the way. Thank you to my family for always supporting me. Mom and dad: Thank you for everything you do. I am so blessed and grateful to have you as my parents. Gabe, thank you for being my best friend. You truly are the best brother I could ever ask for.
Thank you to not only my family, but to the people that are like my second family: all of the teachers and administration, plus parents and students, who have supported me since kindergarten. But, most of all, thank you to the biggest part of my Brandeis family: my class. We have all grown so much over these nine years and evolved into the incredible people sitting here with me. I’m so proud of how far we’ve all come. I mean think about it, in kindergarten we celebrated on Fridays by lighting the Shabbat candles, and nine years later, I’m with some of the same people, but instead, we’re doing the macarena. I am so grateful to all of you and will cherish these memories forever.