Senior Speeches: The Dog Days Are Over

November 10, 2016


“I know things will get better. I can protect myself, and I will make sure my opinion is heard, whether someone wants to hear it or not. I’m glad I could go through this journey…”

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.

Owen Arfstrom

2.5: my GPA freshman year while playing for my local high school team in Minnesota. 2.8: my GPA my sophomore year while playing on the AA team at Shattuck. 3.0: my GPA junior year playing for the AAA team. My point is that my life keeps getting better…

…What I strive for comes from within myself, and how I view challenges and knowing my self-worth. Knowing my self-worth has nothing to do with how popular I may be, how good I am at what I practice, or how respected I am. It’s a matter of following my heart, knowing my purpose and most importantly, believing in myself.

Gwyn Wilkens

Even today, I still have a few kinks in my life with depression. But, I know things will get better. I can protect myself, and I will make sure my opinion is heard, whether someone wants to hear it or not. I’m glad I could go through this journey and I’d like to give a special thanks to my brother, Derrick, who was my best friend when no one else was, and my parents who never gave up on me, and are the best parents any kid could wish for. I love you. There will always be a “yes, and…” in my life. The dog days are over.

Kristina Zaslavskaya

“Every person who starts something new will have to deal with three types of enemies. The first one thinks you should do something completely opposite from what you are doing. The second one will try to do something like you, and will accuse you of stealing their ideas; they will wait until you fail to take over your spot. And finally, the third type, the largest group, do not do anything, so they hate any new ideas and beginnings.” These are words of the famous French writer Bernard Werber. And whether I like it or not, I’ve met all three types of these challenging enemies…

… Now I interpret the word “enemy” differently, and I can truly understand the importance of the Bernard Werber message: it’s my true desires that shape my character, and not to let the dark stop me. I reflect every day on the death of my grandmother, the cruelty of my classmates, and the lack of faith in me from my first coach.

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    Credit: Austin Neill