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.
I am starting to realize that this life, so magnificent and vibrant, is one that should not be taken for granted. I am still trying to keep my eyes wide open, not letting moments pass. I allow the cold air to pierce my skin, and love that I am able to experience it.
I listen carefully to everything I hear, for I may miss out on an opportunity to expand my knowledge. When I feel love, I savor and care for it with tender hands because I know that it is a privilege to find in a world of such hate. I am slow to anger and quick to forgive, for I have found that life is too short to hold grudges and keep score.
I try to be a person of good character and resilience because at the end of the day that is all I have, and the only thing that will ever matter. I do not lose faith when things don’t go my way for there may be bigger and brighter opportunities ahead of me that are yet to be seen. But most importantly I am learning to live in the moment, to immerse myself deeply in everything I do, because I have been blessed with only one life that can in fact end in the middle of any given moment.
Whenever I am in a situation and get overlooked, I think of Tom Brady, and know that there is always hope to accomplish my goals. As I have gotten older and gained more life experience, I have subtly noticed these inspirational people more often. Whether it be a friend, family member, or a person I’ve only seen or heard about, inspiration can be found in anything or anyone. Throughout my time here, I have encountered more leaders and role models than I ever would have expected. There have been numerous occasions throughout my past two years where I have seen a faculty member, a teammate, or a friend, go out of their way to improve the lives of others.
Playing on the Midget AA team my first year, our season had just ended with a heartbreaking 2 to 0 loss to Culver in the championship game of our home tournament. My teammate of two years, and one of the best leaders I have played with, Nathan Marquardt ’16, approached me on the ice during the championship ceremony. As the tears poured out of my eyes, he put his hand on my shoulder and said, ”Peter, you had a great season, and you gave it everything you had.” This small moment of kindness and friendship is one that has stuck with me since that day.