As I listen to the speeches, there are several patterns which emerge. The first is regret. A great number of students regret not getting to know more people, not trying as many things, and not doing as much work as they felt they should. Those students who didn't show regret were the ones who competed in multiple sports, or attended all the events, or tried a number of difficult classes. It's clear, though, that while many students "survived" high school just fine, they didn't really live it. Another trend was the anti-procrastination message. Many students said that procrastination was their biggest rival over the past four years. No one pointed to a specific class, no one complained about a specific assignment, but over half say the procrastination got them every time. I don't really know if they've fixed that problem (I bet they'll still procrastinate next year) but at least they're thinking. The final key lesson was "value your friends". While most adults have already distilled their friends circle down quite a bit, it's in high school that the process begins. In a social media infused world where quantity is valued over quality, it's positive to see students have started to become self-aware and latching on to the people and values that are really important.
Of course there's also other more subtle lessons like "don't fall asleep in class when people take pictures of you" and "everyone looks better than they did in middle school", because not every speech can be profound. One speech was even about sneakers, and others were about GMOs and why hockey should keep fighting as part of the sport. The best way to really see these speeches though...is to watch them. Take a look at the link on the home page and have fun!