Senior Speeches: Finding Strength in Others

February 20, 2017


“Standing on this stage, I now realize that I would not be here if he would not have allowed me to tag along with all of his friends, push me past my limits, and most importantly, compliment and of course, critique my every action.”

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.


“My brother Matt has been through everything with me. Being four years younger than him has been a great benefit, although when we were younger he loved to beat on me. This has shown through the person I am today and the hockey player I have become.  

“… Standing on this stage, I now realize that I would not be here if he would not have allowed me to tag along with all of his friends, push me past my limits, and most importantly, compliment and of course, critique my every action. And for this, I cannot thank my biggest role model and brother enough.”

- Brandon Koch

“Looking back at my past four years of high school, I’ve had a significant number of experiences, both good and bad, which have ultimately shaped me. When I reflect on the changes that I’ve dealt with since freshman year, the first things that normally come to mind are some of the worst things that have happened to me, which has ultimately left me with a negative mindset about how I’ve spent my high school career. This didn’t change until last month. In 2014, my Grandma was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and the doctors only gave her six months to live. Being the fighter that she is, she beat this prognosis and is still living today. She was cancer free for about a year until it came back in April of last year.

“… My grandma’s optimism throughout her challenging time, changed this pessimistic mindset of mine. Now, when I think about my life, I realize those rough times I had gone through that I thought were so horrible, really weren’t so bad, and that everything I’ve been through has happened for a reason.  I’ve realized that I’ve actually had a really great life and on top of that I’ve made some amazing friends and memories.

“These past couple of years, my grandma has been teaching me so much, and I never seemed to learn from any of it until recently. So, from now on, I’m going to live with no regrets, do what makes me happy, and move on from all the negative things holding me back from embracing how great life can actually be.”

- Hannah Reznik

 

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    Natalia Zielinska