High school graduation is that bittersweet moment that many of us go through. It’s a time of reflection, goodbyes, and new beginnings. Many complain about grade school and the desire to leave it behind. After all, the good life of an adult awaits.
Not so fast. Becoming confident in oneself and independent is all well and good but it’s important to enjoy the present moment and the company of those with whom it is shared. Unfortunately, we don’t seem to realize this until it’s too late and graduation is here.
Like all graduating high school seniors, that day arrived for the students at Portsmouth High School in New Hampshire. However, they decided that they would go out with a bang. They weren’t going to simply receive their diplomas and head home. Nope. They had something planned.
While some valedictorians might feel the immense pressure of giving the speech during graduation, one young man seems like he was born for the role. Colin Yost gave an empowering and motivating speech to his peers that had the audience giggling and smiling throughout.
He made his speech about embracing your inner nerd; about being authentic and not being afraid of who you are, regardless of what others thought. He shared quotes from his favorite nerds — Dwight D. Eisenhower, Dr. Yang from Grey’s Anatomy, and Muhammed Ali.
That’s right. He considered Ali a nerd but give his speech a listen. He makes a compelling point.
One thing that Yost made clear was that he was a nerd in disguise. He admitted to spending his entire time in high school attempting to hide his true self. He chose Jay-Z over his secret favorite artist, Taylor Swift. He said, “I don’t know,” to questions he knew the answers to.
Yost might have spent his years pretending to be someone he wasn’t but he refused to let that be his legacy. For graduation, he would reveal his true self.
Shake it off
As he completes his speech, he tells his peers that if anybody in the future makes them want to hide behind someone that they aren’t, the answer is simple — shake it off.
Suddenly, the song, “Shake It Off,” by Taylor Swift begins in the background and Yost starts dancing. The audience laughs and cheers. However, things take a turn when the seniors get involved; roughly 235 of them.
In unison, the class dances to a choreographed routine from their chairs. Yost continues to dance from the stage but he eventually makes his way down to the main floor to be with his classmates. But if you thought things would end there, you’re in for a ride.
Yost leads the routine and is joined by a female classmate as they share the lead. The first few rows stand up and start moving around and leaving their seats. But it isn’t long before all of the students are standing. They know exactly when to hit their cues. It’s flawless.
The audience cheers wildly. To say that they are amused is an understatement. They’re thrilled and seem just as excited as the graduates themselves. It’s easy to see why. It’s beautiful to see these students come together and have such a great time before going their separate ways.
Unsurprisingly, the video became a viral hit.
Yost told Sea Coast Online, “After just a couple nights, two Facebook videos had more than 10,000 views separately.”
Before long, the video was being played on MTV, catapulting them directly into the spotlight. Today, it has been viewed over 1 million times and has over 13,000 likes!
Even so, Yost simply wanted to get a point across.
“My speech leading up to the flash mob is about embracing your inner nerd and being proud of who you are,” he said. “The fact that 235 seniors with diverse interests and backgrounds came together as a cohesive group is something to marvel at.”
You can watch this amazing flash mob sequence in the video below!
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