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 really like and appreciate the idea of being different: not outrageously different, but different in subtle ways; perhaps, in a way that most people wouldn’t be able to discern unless they knew me quite personally. I believe the way that I’m evaluated should be personalized to help me achieve the success deserved for the work I put in. I’m not saying I’m asking for an easy way out, because I understand that to excel at something, I need to be pushed to my limits. However, the effective way of doing this is not the same for each of us. It is important to recognize that I’m motivated in different ways.
The reason why I go to school is to set myself up for my future, and to gain knowledge as I grow into my career and adult life. But as I start this chapter in my life, it becomes more evident that value is viewed on paper, not on the character within. Reflecting on this subject has made me learn a lot about myself. I have realized that receiving a poor grade on an exam does not define me as a person, and I will not allow it to affect my determination to be successful in the future. Although some may disagree, grades are not everything and don’t represent me as a person, and what I am capable of achieving.
When I look back on the road that shaped me, I recognize one continuous theme: “I’ve always done it for the memories - the mems.” This has struck an underlying nerve in me in regards to my past, present, and future life experiences. From my first steps as a baby, to 15 years later when I jumped off an abandoned railroad bridge into the Maumee River, to moving ten hours away from home for my senior year, I do it for the mems.