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.
Periodically throughout the 2016-2017 school year, we will share excerpts of those speeches with the SSM community, and hope that you enjoy the humor, wisdom, and powerful reflections conveyed by our senior students.
When I came to Shattuck-St. Mary’s in 9th grade, I thought it would be similar to camp, but it really wasn’t, it was harder to make friends. I wasn’t in a COE, so I didn’t have an automatic group of peers. It was also strange for me because I became very quiet, instead of being my normal happy and energetic self. Eventually I got comfortable, but 9th grade was still very difficult for me. Even though I was living at home and all my friends from my old school were in town, it was hard for me to be fully immersed into the SSM community and I felt like I didn’t belong…
…Now I am 17-years-old, a high school senior, and I’m ready to just be me: an independent, loud child, with tons of energy (except in the mornings) and lots of questions. I do understand how a boarding school can look scary to a three-year- old, and I know that I didn’t experience it like most of you because I am a day student, but I have experienced the growth and independence that this community has given me, something the younger Lauren could never have imagined. Because of coming to SSM, I can say that I am ready to go out in the real world far away from my family, and know I will be able to do great things. I am ready to show the world my best self, and I am not afraid of my future challenges; I am excited for them.
An anonymous Thai philosopher said once said that once we die, the first place we go is into people’s memories. I like this answer. I want to be in other people’s memories, good or bad.
I thought about my mother. I never talked to her for a long time because I think that I wanted to take care of my own life, and be independent. I did not want her to take care of me. She is already busy with her own work. But after the accident, I realized that the shortness of life makes it important that I talk to her more frequently. That gave both of us great comfort. After all, whenever I lost my way, there she was helping me. Mom, I love you.