Senior Speeches: The Meaning of Self-Worth

April 11, 2017

“I think that’s what we all want in the end, for our actions to mean something, to have worth.”

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’m not going to lie, I’d rather not be up here right now. There are a myriad of reasons that I could give for this. But, to be completely honest, the main reason is that if I have to get up and share something with you, I want it to mean something. I think that’s what we all want in the end, for our actions to mean something, to have worth. This is a really hard thing for me to accomplish. I feel like most of my words are just random thoughts to be shouted into the void; a void that doesn’t seem to want to shout back. Coming here has taught me more about what it means to have worth than anywhere else I’ve been.

“… I failed to realize what people here understood almost instinctively. Something people had been trying to instill in me for years is that all we are is the effort we put towards our pursuits. So in a way, I was right. I was worthless, but only because I failed to grasp that who I am is dependent on what I want from life, and the lengths I am willing to go to have it.”

- Mac Braun

“Coming here this year is probably one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made. The friends that I have made are the best I’ve come to know throughout all of my school years; you all know who you are. Coming to a boarding school changed how I thought about high school. Because we are all on our own, away from our parents, and there is a new type of responsibility that I had to learn. I learned this quickly because I was entering Shattuck-St. Mary’s as a senior and didn’t have prior years to develop this.”

- Griffin Joseph


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    Blake Richard Verdoorn