Senior Speeches: Leah Maciejewski, Class of 2019

December 19, 2018

Being a good person means that you value people more than yourself. 

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.

This senior year, I made it my goal to try and live life to the fullest. One big step I took this year was enrolling in college classes while still in high school. College was not what I expected. You have to read thick textbooks written in a font size of eight, spend long nights on ten to twenty page homework assignments, and if you don’t finish an assignment the teachers will take off twice the points instead of only a couple like in high school. I think the only good thing that comes from taking these courses was that I receive college credit.

My overall experience was complicated. There would be some days where I really would enjoy my classes, but some of the days I just wanted to give up because the homework was a billion times harder than it was in high school. I wouldn’t say the experience was bad, because I will be attending college next fall, but it did give me the push that I needed to do better in high school before I head off to culinary school.

Another goal of mine this year was to finally take a dance class. My nieces have been pushing me to take dance since I was in the tenth grade. The thought of taking a dance class was frightening to me because that meant I had to get up on stage and do a bunch of choreography that I may or may not remember. After the first day of class, however, I knew that I’d made the right decision. I have honestly found a love for dance that I never knew I had, and I wish I could go back and do it all over again. Since discovering this new passion, I have made it my goal to take intermediate dance and advanced dance next term. Making these bold decisions has given me the sense that I can do anything I set my mind to.

My goal for the end of this year is to become a better person, in the classroom, in the halls, and at my job. Being a good person means that you value people more than yourself. To do that, however, you need to do things that will make yourself feel good. I do this when I see that someone needs to be cheered up. Sometimes I feel selfish when I do this, because being kind to other people feels so good. I love to let a person know how special they are. My words and actions are not fake. They are always sincere and from the heart.

Finally, I would like to talk about some important people in my life. My family has been my greatest influence on how I look at my life as a whole. My mom gave up everything to move to Minnesota so I could get a better education here, which meant her being away from my dad for almost three years. My dad has always been there for me and I can’t thank him enough for all that he has done. My sister has driven me to work, taken me to after-school activities, and even let me bake desserts in her wonderful kitchen. My magnificent brother-in-law gave me the opportunity to taste BBQ every other weekend and gave all of us unique nicknames. Lastly, there are my nieces and my nephew. With them, life is never dull. I know I don’t say it often, but thank you all for everything that you have done. I love you and don’t ever stop being who you are.


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