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.
FOMO, or fear of missing out, is something that we can all relate to. You want to do everything you can because otherwise you would miss out on so many experiences. FOMO is something that affected me as well.
At the end of eighth grade I became very depressed and stopped caring about anything in my life, school or otherwise. I stopped going to school, stopped talking to my family, and would just sit inside all day everyday. At the end of the year, I didn’t graduate junior high, and I was told that my old school wouldn’t accept me back the next year. I then went to a public school in Minneapolis, but after two weeks I left that school as well.
Finally, my parents decided to send me to a wilderness therapy program in Utah called Aspiro. This was kind of a reset button. I was brought back to reality and stopped doing everything else I was doing. After three long cold months in Utah, I went to a boarding school called Shortridge Academy in Milton, New Hampshire. Shortridge was a specialty boarding school that only had about 50 students, students who were constantly coming and going. The kids there had all gotten kicked out of their old schools and ranged from recovering addicts to kids who were suicidal. They told me their experiences, and I learned how they got through their own struggles. That helped me get through my own. I was there for eighteen months straight, and during that time I met over two hundred kids, heard about what they had done to get sent to Shortridge. And Learned what they were doing to turn themselves around.
This is when I started to feel like I was missing out. I felt that I had missed out on a normal high school experience. Because I was going to a specialized boarding school, l felt that I was missing out on regular high school. I missed playing high school sports, I missed spending time with my family, and I missed having fun with my friends at home.
When I start feeling like this, it helps me to remember another acronym my grandpa always said to me: PMA, or positive mental attitude. If you always look at things in a positive way, you can get through hard times in life and even enjoy the challenges that come your way. When I look back, I realize that without the bad things that happened, I would not be in this better place today. If I had not gone to these different schools, I would have been a very different person than I am today.
After all this time away from home, I decided to go to Shattuck-St. Mary’s for my junior and senior years. At Shattuck, I regained normality. I was closer to home than New Hampshire. I got to play sports again and go home on the weekends. If negative things hadn’t happened in my past I would never have ended up going to Shattuck, enjoying the opportunities and experiences I’ve had here, and meeting all the friends I now have. If I have learned one thing, it is that every experience in your life, good or bad, helps form who you are. You can’t look back with regret, but should instead look forward and take the opportunities that come your way. I would like to thank my friends and family for helping form me to become who I am today.