PALMETTO -- Between walking in one open door and out the other, something magical happened for Bayshore High School students.
When they came in, they were still students. Sitting in the Bradenton Area Convention Center, waiting for their last moments of high school. When they walked out, they were graduates. And with that distinction, comes a whole new life path, principal David Underhill told the crowd at graduation Saturday.
"You'll have to believe in yourself more than you ever have before," Underhill said to the 264 students. "When you walk out that door, you'll have to trust yourself."
For student speakers Jessica Berner and Angelika Diaz, there were a few steps left before walking out those doors and becoming
graduates. In her speech, called "Rewind," Berner took on a playlist metaphor, having students rewind, skip, shuffle and fast forward through different memories of the last four years.
"At times, we just want to skip ahead," she said, bringing students back to August 2010, when they first started at Bayshore as freshmen.
She reminded students of different hallmarks, athletic accomplishments, class accomplishments and personal memories. Berner told students they can't always "skip" a song or memory they don't like, but ultimately, the students were in control.
"The universe is your playlist," she said.
Berner's counterpart, Diaz, took the same approach in her speech but traveled in the opposite direction, "Forward." But before looking forward, Diaz reminded students to soak in graduation and all its glory.
"Look around you, this is happening," she said. "Life is happening now."
Diaz called on students in the audience and identified them as future soldiers, teachers, nurses and doctors of all kind during her speech.
She also reminded students to make the most of each day they get, using a bank metaphor. Each day, Diaz said, $86,400 is deposited in a bank account. At the end of the day, any unused money disappears. The dollars, Diaz said, represent each second of the day.
"If you fail to use today's deposit, the loss is yours," she said.
Inspirational messages peppered the ceremony, including the class song, which was sung by the Bayshore Chamber Singers. The song, "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey, was a good fit for the class, said Coranisa Manansala and Cesar Silva, two graduating seniors who sang the solos in the song.
"It gives you that spark. It's very motivational," Manansala said.
"It's just like the song says -- don't stop believing," Silva added.
Meghin Delaney, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081. Follow her on Twitter @MeghinDelaney.