Listen to Your Elders, Kids

What the average senior speech sounds like to students who are not paying attention.

With the start of a new year, the class of 2021 looks ahead to new adventures and opportunities. As college decisions come in and the cloud of uncertainty slowly fades away, the class of 2021 rejoices in their past 4 years at Western Reserve Academy (or maybe 3, since most of the essential members enrolled in 2018). They share their knowledge, wisdom and experience with the student body in the form of senior speeches or the “this I believe” speech. The wise assumption made by the Student Life Office that completing highschool bestows 17-year olds with wisdom that must be dispersed to the less wise is a bold one.

As patterns in the past years have demonstrated, most senior’s speeches have entailed a story of mental development, or, in layman’s terms, the story of how not to be sad. Most students will make it a point to include how Western Reserve’s Academy’s students and faculty had an enormous role to play as they experienced said mental development, while some acknowledge their effective coping mechanisms.

This is not to trivialize senior speeches, they can be life changing as seniors accept their true selves, sad or not in front of the community. This tradition has helped many to recognize what it truly means to be a Pioneer as they advise younglings to not procrastinate, wake up early in the morning, seize the day, love themselves, find time for friends and family, not be afraid to fail and most importantly to not take Mr. Peller’s BC Calculus class. Yet, every year students fail to absorb this wisdom only to have seniors repeat it for the next class. After all, how will the freshmen learn?

The Student Life Office advises students to keep it concise, inspirational, and educational. They say, “do not overshare.” Unfortunately, in past years it has proven difficult to follow said guidelines as students have been subjected to disciplinary actions. Oversharing is the mother of rejection, as the wise say. Yet, we find the most successful students (in this case success is defined by acceptance to colleges with an acceptance rate lower than the number of your fingers) oversharing to reach their destination. Underclassmen, listen to what seniors have to say, they might be boring, unworthy of your attention, or even unimportant but they have been through more high school than you have.

Corny Cantaloupe

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