Linden Graduate Adriana Bell's Speech at Celebration to Greet the Summer

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Adriana will be pursuing Gender Studies at the University of Victoria this fall.

Speech Excerpt

"I put off writing this until the last possible minute. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to write, or that I didn’t have a lot to say. It was because writing this meant I had to acknowledge that my time at Linden has really come to an end, and that is incredibly hard for me to think about.

I have been attending Linden since Grade 1. I actually remember my interview. I think it was Diane (our Co-Founder) who asked my mum if she had any questions. Being the outspoken kid I was, even at that time, I said, “I have a question. Can I have a tour before I decide?” During the tour we stopped at the Grade 1 homeroom. They were having cake for someone’s birthday, and they gave me some. At that moment, in my little five-year-old mind I was thinking, “Hell yeah, I’m coming here!”

My favourite time at Linden has been high school. I truly fell in love with this school during these last four years. It was a mix between the new faces, new adventures and new challenges. Laura began at Linden when I was in grade 9 and Rory when I was in 10. I honestly don’t know where I would be without the constant support of these amazing people. From feminism and queer politics, to guitar club and the school play — I have learned so much from both of you. Thank you.

High school also presented fun and new adventures! I am so happy that I was able to play a role in the creation of Spectrum. For those of you who don’t know, Spectrum is Linden’s queer collective. I can’t wait to hear about all the fantastic things you do next year! And for those of you who aren’t in the club, you should probably join — it’s awesome!

High school also challenged me in ways I never expected. Last year my dad got really sick. It was a really difficult time, but I had so much support from Linden. I want to thank every teacher who taught me last year: thank you for the countless extensions, and extra help sessions, and impromptu check-ins, these small actions meant the world. Not only have I been lucky enough to have the school support me, but I also have the best family who have been my rock through, well, everything. David, Michaela, Adam, Mum and Dad — I love you all so much — thanks for helping me get here.

So here I am. Standing on this stage finishing my graduation speech. I never thought this day would actually come. And I would be lying if I said that I weren’t scared. I’m terrified to leave this place after 12 years. That’s two thirds of my life! It's become a home. But even though I’m scared and nervous about what my future holds, I know deep down that I am ready to take this step. I have also learned that a home doesn't stop being a home just because you leave. That’s me giving you a heads up that I will be back, maybe not every weekend because you know BC is kinda far, but I’ll be back.

And now If I can leave you all with one last message: Linden is special. You get out what you put in. So love it and care for it and protect it. If you do you will see the magic. You will feel it’s spirit. You will treasure it the same way I have."