An environmental studies major, Claire Naughton ’19 of Darien, Conn., delivered this year’s Senior Address at Commencement.

As she prepared for her address, Naughton reflected on her time at Bates. Moments of failure are the best moments to learn, she says.

“I’ve really tried over these four years to live authentically, because you can’t always expect to be perfect, and it’s OK to be not OK at times. It’s OK to struggle and grow through your struggles.”

Video by Theophil Syslo

In her address, Naughton invoked the Icarus myth from Greek mythology.

While it’s well-known that the story, about Icarus flying too close to the sun, offers a caution against hubris, the lesser-known part of the myth is that Icarus was also told not to fly too low and let the ocean wet his feathers.

For Naughton and her classmates, “our doubts and fears drag us down” toward the ocean. “It’s time to believe in yourself and your victories and failures,” she said. It’s time to feel the heat of the sun on your back. It’s time to jump.”

Senior address by Claire Naughton ’19 on May 26, 2019