Senior Speeches: Taylor Stewart ’19

February 26, 2019


This holiday (Valentine’s Day) is not only meant to be only shared with a significant other or spouse, but rather we should celebrate and be grateful for all of the people that mean the most to us. 

Each year, seniors and postgraduates 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.  

For those of you that are not aware, today is February 14th, also known as Valentine’s day. This tradition originated from the Roman festival of Lupercalia in celebration of the upcoming spring season. This is a day when people share their love and affection for one another by giving warm greetings and gifts. This holiday is not only meant to be only shared with a significant other or spouse, but rather we should celebrate and be grateful for all of the people that mean the most to us. Reflecting on this day of love, I wanted to share with all of you a couple of things that I am grateful to have in my life every day.

To start, I am so appreciative of my family. In total, I have 86 family members, with that number continuing to grow. My mom comes from a family of seven children, while my father is one of five, so our family tree seems never-ending. Every summer, my dad’s father, “Grandpa Chub,” takes all 37 members of our family up to northern Minnesota to spend a week on the lake together. It’s very rare for any of us to miss this trip for sports or work-related conflicts because it’s truly a special time. On these excursions, I have formed some of the best memories of my grandparents and my extended family, having bonfires at night, long days in the sun, and experiences that I will truly hold on to forever.

Lastly, I would like to share my love for the sport of hockey. This game has brought me so much joy and happiness over the years, and words cannot express it. I got to play the game for 11 years in my hometown of Rochester with my twin brother. He is my biggest role model and the best teammate on the boy’s hockey teams. I had my fair share of ups and downs being on an all-boys team, but being able to spend hours with my brother at practices and games brought us closer than we probably ever will be again.

When the opportunity to attend Shattuck-St. Mary’s and play on a girls’ hockey team came, I was sad to be leaving my brother and all the guys I grew up with. However, looking back now, it was the best decision I could have ever made. Playing the game of hockey here at SSM is where I created experiences that will never be forgotten. The countless hours and laughter spent with these girls at the rink, gym, or in the dorms will never be forgotten, even after we all walk under the arch together for the last time.

I would like to end by thanking the people in my life that mean the most to me. To my family for showing me what love truly is. Mom and Dad, thank you for raising me in such a supportive, uplifting environment. I can only hope to be able to have such a loving family of my own someday like you have shown me. To my sister Shelby, who is five years older, although our childhoods never overlapped, your hard work is inspiring, and lastly to my brother Zach, thank you for letting me tag along with you as a kid allowing me to fall in love with the sport of hockey. Lastly, to my friends, roommates and teammates here at SSM, you guys are the best and I can’t wait to see what life has in store for everyone.

Basically, what I am trying to explain to all of you is that Valentine’s Day does not always have to be about romance. It does not have to be about finding that special someone to share it with by getting flowers and chocolate. Although what girl doesn’t want to get a cute stuffed animal. Find it within you to show love to your friends, your family, your teachers, and do whatever your heart desires on this day.

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