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Brutally Honest Kyle Martin Shares Why He Regrets Being Valedictorian

Brutally Honest Kyle Martin Shares Why He Regrets Being Valedictorian

In this brutally honest speech, Kyle Martin shares at his graduation ceremony why he regrets being valedictorian.


Kyle graduated high school with a 4.64 GPA, and those high marks won him the title of being class valedictorian. But he didn’t achieve that accomplishment without a lot of hard work and sacrifice.

When he did win that award, he said that it felt amazing…but only for about 15 seconds. In the viral video of his valedictorian speech titled “The 16th Second”, Kyle shares the lesson he learned from sacrificing so much to get to the top of his class.

“And at our senior awards ceremony, it felt so good,” he said about when he won the valedictorian title. “It’s so good, for about 15 seconds. Yeah, 15 seconds of my heart racing and my adrenaline pumping. 15 seconds of ‘Yeah I won!’. 15 seconds of being at the top of the pile of all my accomplishments and it felt euphoric. But there must come a 16th second. And on that 16th second, I sat down on my seat, I looked at my silver stole that says valedictorian, and I thought, ‘That’s it? What just happened? Why am I not feeling anything else?.”

He continues, “To be honest, I don’t even know what I was expecting. A parade of balloons to drop? Or maybe I was hoping that all of my problems would fade away in comparison to this amazing achievement. But none of that happened, not even in my heart. I felt nothing. I was shocked. This was a huge problem for me, and I needed to figure out why.”

Kyle then goes on to share about his thought process after this realization. “Working hard is good. It is in fact biblical,” he shares. “But it should not be done for the sole purpose of a goal’s sake at the expense of relationship with others. Looking back on this year, I realized that the stress of this year, for this goal and a five-minute speech, was paid for with the lack of attending to relationships in my life. A lesson learned and self-reflection accomplished.”

What a valuable lesson for this young man to share with his classmates. Kyle then goes on to tell the room to have no regrets in the sixteenth second. And why the relationships in our lives will always be the most important.

“Nothing is more important than your healthy relationships. Nothing. Not your goals, not your successes. And here is why: relationships are where we get to influence, impact, and change people’s lives. Your life cannot be meaningful without them,” Kyle says.

“We are put on this earth by our Creator and we all have a purpose: to advance God’s kingdom that all may be saved,” Kyle shares with the room. “As you live your life on this earth, there is no greater good you can do for a person than to love them so much, that you point them to Jesus Christ. But first, he should be your first relationship that you cannot neglect.”

After speaking about his regret of neglecting his relationships for the sake of the valedictorian title, to how we must prioritize the relationships in our life most, Kyle ends his speech with pointing to Jesus. He reminds the audience that this is the single most important relationship in our lives, and we must continue to prioritize it each day. What an inspiring speech from a mature and wise young man!