Katie Lowenstein – Graduation Address – June 9, 2021
How am I supposed to leave a place as special as Brandeis? How am I supposed to thank each and every person who has been by my side through it all here? How am I supposed to say goodbye? The fact I’m standing here in front of everyone leaves me with a billion questions because of how incomprehensible it is that I’m leaving here. I remember when I was much younger thinking that graduation was so far away but now I realize it wasn’t as far as I imagined.
Ever since I was young, this building has been filled with memories, some happy, some sad, some big, and some small, that reflecting now were some of the most vivid experiences of my life. I’m going to miss hearing about Mr. Friedman’s wild adventures and Mr. E’s very off-topic yet deeply meaningful discussions; I’m even going to miss those embarrassing moments like in second grade when every person in my class got cast as princes and princesses in the play called Character Matters, and I got cast as Humpty Dumpty. You guys are the only people I’d dress up as an egg around! Every classroom in this building holds some distinct memory that was unforgettable.
And, it’s not just the memories that will stick with me, but the lessons as well. Here I learned the values of helping others (Tzedakah,) how to keep promises and agreements (Brit,) to work with other people (Havrutah), and always say what I believe and have good intentions (Kavanot). Every time I’m making a choice, I will think back to one of these lessons that someone at this school taught me, to be my guide in this new chapter of my life. I know that these lessons, morals, and laughs will soon become distant memories but their immense value will always stay the same. Even though I might not be a part of Brandeis anymore, Brandeis will always be a part of me.
So, thank you to everyone who has helped me reach this point. My classmates for literally growing up with me, and always putting a smile or laugh on my face. To my teachers, thank you for helping me learn and grow as a student and as a person, my family for always supporting me, and to my mom, thank you for working as hard as you do, being my biggest inspiration, and influence, and being the best mom I could ever ask for. I don’t say it enough, but I appreciate all of you for everything you do.
And now here I am, standing in front of everyone, on the day I thought that would never arrive. And even now, I still have a billion questions about what my life will look like without seeing all of you every day and each one of them is making this goodbye harder. But although my Brandeis years flew by faster than I could’ve ever imagined, I couldn’t have imagined a better experience than the one I had with all of you. Thank you.