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.
Throughout the 2017-18 school year, we will share these speeches with the SSM community and hope that you enjoy the humor, wisdom, and powerful reflections conveyed by our senior students.
Have you ever felt that you are not as good as your friends, or wondered why life is so unfair to you while others seem so lucky? Well that used to be me.
My parents divorced when I was in elementary school. Since then, I’ve seen my mom less than five times. Instead, I have lived with my dad. At that time, he was very busy, coming home after I was asleep. So he hired a babysitter. I was rebellious and did not listen to her. I have a very close friend named Ashley and she has a loving family. Her parents always invited me to have dinner with them and treated me well. I was jealous of Ashley and her family. She and her mom are like friends who go shopping together. Her dad always takes them traveling to other places. Meanwhile, I lived with my babysitter. I missed my dad. I wished I could have a family like Ashley’s.
However, things changed last summer. My paternal aunt and her family came to live with us. Two months after their arrival, I felt a warmth I never experienced before. They brought me love and a brand new feeling of home. Gradually, I realized that I have a wonderful family who cares about me. My aunt and uncle cook me my favorite food and take care of me like their own child. My cousin comforts me when I’m frustrated. At all times, my dad, the most important person in my life, is the one who loves me the most. He reduces his workload in order to be with me.
In my 6th grade year, he took me to an amusement park for the first time and even went on the rollercoasters although he has acrophobia. As long as I need something or want to do something with passion, he tries his best to support me, including allowing me to study abroad. Although I haven’t seen my mom for five years, I’m happy now because of my family. And I have stopped thinking that I’m not as good as other people.
Last summer, I volunteered for an organization that works with orphans. After two months’ interaction with the children, I found they are very happy and stay positive even though they don’t have family or don’t know where their family is. Most people are not satisfied with what they have, or feel unhappy even when they finally get what they want. These orphans never complained about anything. So why should I?
From these kids, I learned to stay positive and enjoy life. I know now to be thankful for my family, even if it looks different from most other people’s families, and for the opportunities I have been given. I also learned from these kids to never compare myself to others or be jealous of what others may have. Instead, I just want to give my family a hug, say “I love you,” and do something for them, even just a little thing, like writing a card, as often as I can.
Before I finish, I want to thank Nancy, Chloe and Selina for being my best friends and thank you to all my friends here for making my experience in Shattuck-St. Mary’s unique and unforgettable.
Mostly, thank you to my dad for raising me in this world and selflessly supporting me. Thank you to my family for taking care of me and making me feel loved. Dad, aunt, uncle, cousin, thank you to all of you. I love you guys! In our own words, I say to you:
“爸，娘娘，姑父， 姐姐谢谢你们，我爱你们，xia xia na.”