Advice to Belfast's Class of 2018

'Never ring that bell' (making your bed is optional)

One hundred thirteen make the walk at June 10 commencement
By Ethan Andrews | Jun 11, 2018
Photo by: Ethan Andrews Al Lapierre waits for his name to be called at Belfast Area High School's commencement June 10.

Belfast — As a last word to her fellow Class of 2108 graduates Sunday afternoon, valedictorian Amber Beaulieu reflected on a 2014 commencement speech by Adm. William H. McRaven, a Navy SEAL, whose 10 life lessons from SEAL basic training gained social media attention for the statement, "If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed."

Beaulieu ticked off McRaven's 10 lessons with her own somewhat more compassionate amendments, encouraging her classmates to rise to challenges, "whether or not you make your bed."

Where McRaven urged graduates at the University of Texas at Austin to "face down the bullies," Beaulieu said, "My advice, work together, do your best for those around you and participate."

Where McRaven said, "start singing when you're up to your neck in mud," Beaulieu added, "If you don't want to sing, just listen."

The valedictorian and the Navy SEAL converged on the importance of never giving up. But while McRaven's anecdote about "never, ever" ringing the bell at the center of the training compound that served as a one-way ticket out of the Special Services invoked the lonely shame of quitting, Beaulieu said it's OK to need help.

"Lean on your friends, family and all your experiences with whatever life throws at you," she said.

The Belfast Area High School Class of 2018 includes 113 students, including Beaulieu, salutatorian Olivia LaRoche and honor essayist Kristina Walker. Sunday's program listed 68 graduates who are continuing to college, three going into the military, and 34 are working, traveling or undecided.

The keynote speaker was Colby College football head coach Jack Cosgrove.

Valedictorian Amber Beaulieu speaks at the 2018 Belfast Area High School commencement June 10. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Colby College football coach Jack Cosgrove delivers the keynote address at Belfast Area High School commencement June 10. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Signs of ongoing renovations at Belfast Area High School are visible behind a crowd gathered outside June 10 for the school's commencement. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Belfast Area High School graduate David Tinder looks to the crowd after picking up his diploma June 10. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Mortar boards lie strewn across the lawn at the end of the Belfast Area High School commencement June 10. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Jordan Thomas pauses for a hug while picking up his diploma June 10 at the Belfast Area High School commencement. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
A graduate poses for cameras onstage at Belfast Area High School's 2018 commencement. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Kristina Walker delivers the honor essay June 10 at Belfast Area High School's commencement. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Class of 2018 salutatorian Olivia LaRoche crosses the stage at the Belfast Area High School commencement June 10. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Belfast Area High School graduate Ben Sniger poses with his diploma at Sunday's commencement. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Sierra Bowden waits to receive her diploma at the Belfast Area High School commencement June 10. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Belfast Area High School graduate Sam Goscinski crosses the stage after receiving his diploma June 10. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Connor Gould steps up to receive his diploma at the 2018 Belfast Area High School commencement. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Belfast Area High School graduate Macartney Wyatt holds up her diploma to the crowd June 10. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Belfast Area High School graduate Madison Hemingway steps off the stage after receiving her diploma June 10 at the school's commencement. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Belfast Area High School graduate Declan Brinn crosses the stage June 10 at the school's commencement. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Belfast Area High School graduate William Bickford gets a hug while he waits for his name to be called at commencement June 10. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Roy Smith V picks up his diploma at the Belfast Area High School commencement June 10. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Belfast Area High School graduate William Schnetzer waits to collect his diploma June 10 at the school's commencement. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
The Belfast Area High School band plays the recessional march at the school's commencement June 10. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Belfast Area High School graduate Sabrina Wood picks up her diploma at Sunday's commencement. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Jack Littlefield holds his diploma at the Belfast Area High School 2018 commencement. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Belfast Area High School graduate Grey Dinsmore leaves the stage after receiving his diploma at the school's commencement June 10. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Class of 2018 graduates head toward the stage to get their diplomas Sunday at Belfast Area High School's commencement. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Belfast Area High School graduate Tyler Salo looks to the crowd after picking up his diploma at Sunday's commencement. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.