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Dawson County Salutatorian Dana Little's commencement speech
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I don't know. There, Dana, you owe me five bucks.

So I'm now five dollars richer because Dana Robison made a bet with me a few weekends ago on our trip to Hobby Lobby in Cumming. After browsing the aisles for craft ideas, stopping unexpectedly at Michael's, and eating lunch at Burger and Shake, we started on our way home. At some point along the way, she asked me if I had started writing this speech yet, knowing full well that I hadn't. She then bombarded me with questions, like how much longer I was going to procrastinate, what it was going to be about, and many other things, to all of which I responded with, "I don't know." Apparently I say, "I don't know" a lot - enough to where she convinced me to make it the basis of this speech.

My point is that, even though she didn't appreciate my three-word answers, it is okay to not know everything. The truth is, there are a lot of things we're okay with not knowing, like why wooden pencils are painted yellow, where ping pong originated, or when exactly the Nintendo 64 was first released. We're okay with not knowing these things because we know that an answer exists, even if we have to ask Google what it is. But the things we really want to know are the things that we can't look up - like the reason for our existence or what sort of impact we will have on the world. It's okay to not know, though. It is okay to not know what you're doing with your life. It is okay to not have a plan. It is okay to not solve every problem. It is okay to not know everything, and I promise - it is okay to be human.

Everyone has heard the saying that we don't know what we have until it's gone. This might seem true at first glance, but if you think about it, it's more like we've always known what we had - we just never thought we'd lose it. After making who knows how many memories I will cherish forever, it doesn't seem real that our journey together is about to come to an end. The truth is, I've known for four years that I've had the greatest classmates and teachers ever - I just never thought the time would come when we had to say goodbye.

We've all heard, at some point in our lives, someone say that we don't know what we're missing until we find it. Personally, I had no idea that I was missing the most amazing friends on the planet until they came into my life nearly four years ago. I didn't know my strongest friendships had yet to exist, but once they had been formed, I knew they would last a lifetime. However, the strongest bonds we've made here haven't been just with our classmates, but also with our teachers.

They've put up with us every single day and have never failed to seek the best in us, something we all appreciate dearly.
The truth is, nobody knows what the future holds, whether it's tomorrow or ten years from now, and really, that's okay. After all, life is full of mysteries and the unknown is what keeps us searching for more. As Teal Swan put it, "We don't fear the unknown. We fear what we think about the unknown." So, class of two thousand and sixteen, after today we may or may not see each other again - no one knows for sure. But two things are certain - 1. It is okay to be human and 2. Venus spins backwards and nobody really knows why. Thank you and I hope everyone has a tiger-rific day.