Each year, seniors at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School deliver a speech to their peers on a topic of their choosing in the Newhall Auditorium. Often equal parts clever and moving, emotional and personal, each speech offers a glimpse into the lives, experiences, struggles, and triumphs of SSM seniors.
Throughout the 2018-19 school year, we will share these speeches with the SSM community and hope that you enjoy the humor, wisdom, and powerful reflections conveyed by our senior students.
Well, here I am, a senior. Feels like just yesterday I was sitting down with my parents at my Freshman Orientation. Today, I am standing in front of my entire student body giving a speech. I want to focus my speech on the topic of perseverance.
Everyone goes through hardships in life. There are ups, and there are downs. But it’s always important to keep a happy medium. When things are going well, you’re feeling as if you’re on top of the world. Don’t get carried away. Stay modest. Stay humble. But you also have to remember, when things aren’t going your way, to keep a positive outlook. Find that light at the end of the tunnel, and use it as a guide.
Although I played other sports growing up, they weren’t my passion. Something else took my by surprise. My family had season tickets for the Anaheim Ducks, and they took me to my first game when I was three years old. I was mesmerized. I instantly fell in love. So I decided to become a hockey player, which was an unusual choice for a kid in California back then.
It wasn’t easy. I was cut from many teams, but it only pushed me to be a better player. My first year at Shattuck, I was placed on the Midget AA team. That year of hockey was by far my most enjoyable, and I grew so much, not only as a player, but as a person. That group of guys was so tightly knit and they showed me what being part of Shattuck hockey is all about.
In the spring of my sophomore year, I chose to play lacrosse as my spring sport. We had a strong group of hockey guys on the team, and we looked forward to a fun season.
Our 2nd game took place at Minnehaha Academy. On the 2nd play of the game, I was running with the ball when my knee buckled and I felt a loud pop. I lay on the field in agony. The trainer had to carry me to the sidelines. I needed to go to the hospital. My knee was too swollen to get a proper examination without an MRI. Later, an orthopedist determined that I had torn my ACL and meniscus, and partially torn my MCL. I would need surgery. The school and my parents agreed that I should be sent home for the remainder of the year and begin rehab.
I was brought to tears knowing that those could have been my last days at SSM. I was told I would be out 9-12 months. There was no way I was going to let that happen. I worked my butt off day in and day out and was back skating again two and a half months. Due to my injury, I was unable to tryout the following season, and I didn’t play my first game until mid-November of 2017. Returning to the ice, it was amazing to see how supportive the entire community was. I even scored a goal. I had a great year alongside my closest friends that I get the honor to call my brothers. The community of Shattuck-St. Mary’s is like none other. The unconditional love and support from everyone really shows what kind of people we are and I’m proud to call this place my second home. Perseverance is what has guided me through my entire life and it has taught me how to be a stronger person. Don’t let minor roadblocks stop you from achieving your goals. Keep your focus, work hard and things will work out.
I would like to give the biggest thank you to my family for the sacrifices they have made for my life, to get me where i need to be. I love you guys.