Sara Ransick – Graduation Address – June 9, 2021
The idea of graduation has always scared me. I don’t like change, saying goodbye, or leaving the places that I’ve grown to love. I like having set routines, greeting my friends and staying where I’m comfortable and happy. Despite this, now that I’m here at my graduation, I’m not sad or as terrified as I thought I would be. I’m hopeful. I'm still fearful of what will come next and the obstacles I’ll have to face in the future, however, I know I’ll be able to get over them. I know that the challenges I’ve overcome while here with the community at Brandeis have prepared me for the challenges that I’ll face in high school.
Because of COVID, my and my classmates' 8th grade year has been difficult and different. We’ve had to find ways to adapt to safety regulations and distance learning. Sometimes things just don't work out. For example we weren’t able to have the K-8 buddies, a long time tradition that unfortunately had to be (officially) given up this year because we weren’t able to be together physically. On the other hand, sometimes things do work out with new ideas. For example, for Yom Ha'atzmaut, we each went into different classrooms and gave detailed presentations to each grade about our chosen topics. We had to change how the previous 8th graders had done them in the past, and it turned out much better than we thought! If this strange school year has done nothing else, it has given me the ability to get through the obstacles that will be thrown in my path.
My middle school experience has been really special because it’s given me the resilience to succeed in the next stage of my life, and that was partly because of the community. A community full of your classmates who you grow and learn with throughout middle school, and also your teachers who you make jokes with (including the worst puns) and learn from. In three short years, Brandeis has become my home away from home, and the people there my second family. A place like that is hard to leave. It’s the community that has pushed me to be the best that I can be, and now because of that, I’m ready to move on to the next chapter of my life, which is book-ended on one side by my time at this school, and on the other looking forward to a “novel” experience.