Punahou Bulletin

A Magazine for the Punahou School Family

Summer 2018

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What We'll Remember

Class of 2017, first of all, I want to offer a hearty pat on the back to all of you. We made it (almost)! In these next three minutes, I'll attempt to put words to something as nebulous and indefinite as the quote-unquote "Punahou experience".

Audrey Boyle ’17 delivered this speech at Commencement on June 3, 2017.

Class of 2017, first of all, I want to offer a hearty pat on the back to all of you. We made it (almost)! In these next three minutes, I'll attempt to put words to something as nebulous and indefinite as the quote-unquote "Punahou experience".

When I came to Punahou in fourth grade, 2017 was a year too far away to even comprehend, much less worry about. In the fourth grade, I was only concerned with what flavor juice box we would have after chapel. It was a simpler time. Now, I worry near-obsessively about what I'll major in, what I'll do after college, where I want to live, what impact I want to make on the world. Sometimes I feel I’m living so far in the future I’m depriving myself of reflecting on the past, on our past. So instead of living in 2018, or 2021, or 2047, let's think about the now.

Graduation is the definitive end of one chapter of our lives and the first page of the next, a chapter of all-new knowledge, experiences, hardships, and joys. We are on the precipice of something completely unfamiliar. And I don't know about you all, but I am terrified.

In reminiscing on our years at Punahou, perhaps we will not remember how to find the angle between two vectors or what T.J. Eckleburg symbolized in The Great Gatsby; we may not remember how to calculate angular momentum and rotational inertia; you probably won't even remember this speech.

But these four years of high school were not negligible. We have trudged through the murky waters of adolescence and we will continue to do so. We will remember the kindness we have learned from family and friends. We will remember the way our teachers cared so deeply about the topics they taught us. We will remember the way we helped others and the way others helped us.

We are about to exit our comfortable corner of the world and go to places where we know no one and are known by no one; places where our names and pasts mean nothing. We are about to leave behind all we have known for years; we are about to leave our friends, families, and loved ones who have helped us throughout our journey. As we build our new lives in whatever corners of the world we will be in, remember it is up to us to represent our community and show what we have learned through our actions.

We've answered the small questions: What flavor juice will we have after Chapel? How do I calculate the area of a circle? What was the Industrial Revolution? How do I treat others and how do I want them to treat me? It's time to go forth and ask the big questions: What do I owe the world? What does it owe me? What is my global impact, and how can I make it better? These are big questions, no doubt. But I remind myself there is no need to be terrified; Punahou has supplied us with the blocks to answer these questions, and it is only up to us to build.

In the next three months, the next four years, and beyond, as we are faced with more and more questions, I challenge you to say yes: to other people, to the world, to life, but most of all to yourself. Dream big, but beyond that, we must act on our passions. Be more than a dreamer, be a doer. Keep your feet in the present but your eyes trained on the future. Know that Punahou has prepared us for all of this in more ways than we can imagine. Here's to us, Class of 2017. Thank you and congratulations.