Brendon Green

My middle and high school days were filled with one common thing- an envy of everybody else around me. I was unhappy with myself and wanted to be anybody but me. I was unhappy with my voice, with my body, with the way I sweat a lot when I’m uncomfortable, and with the way I had difficulty controlling my emotions. The list seemed endless. I can’t exactly pinpoint when this started but it grew to a point where I started to do things just to “fit in” , or so I thought. As human beings, we’re naturally a social race and we tend to seek acceptance from others. This compliant part of our personality can take over a person and I was a soon to be victim of this thinking. In my freshman year of high school, I recall attempting to become friends with as many people as possible to fill the void of wanting to belong. Looking back, I did this to hide my insecurities from other people that I cared about. I even tried to hide them from people who I didn’t know. I realized I wanted to avoid anybody from being my “enemy”. I hid my insecurities by acting like I was somebody else. This cycle broke when I started doing things that you wouldn’t expect from a person like me.

Transferring to RHP, I was exposed to a community that I’ve never seen before. When I first toured the campus , I didn’t know how I would settle in to such a small place. The first day of school came and the faculty at RHP were not only nice, they cared about the well-being of their students. They wanted us to succeed. They wanted to not only teach, but to educate us.

At first it was hard transferring because I was a reserved person, but gradually I opened up to more people and found a balance in my life that I was actually proud of. I learned to be myself without having to worry about others judging me. My insecurities still lurked at the edges of my head, but they didn’t affect my everyday life like they used to before. I grew comfortable with what I was doing, not feeling incentives or obligations to impress others. The fact that RHP centered itself around the student really helped my self-confidence in speaking out in a classroom setting. At my previous school, I was always nervous to say an answer in fear of getting the question wrong and people laughing at me. Now, I don’t care if I get a question wrong, as long as I learn the solution to the problem. Fast forward 3 years, and I am in in my senior year. I have challenged myself by taking AP English Language, which was easily the hardest courses I’ve ever taken. It was a rough year full of sleepless nights from doing essays and reading responses the day prior to the due date. However, I learned so much in this class and highly recommend people to take it. For those of you that don’t know, Ms. Hodges, the teacher of the class, has a quote that she says at the end of every class session.

“If you can’t love yourself, how in the world can you expect to love somebody else?”

This quote was simple yet so powerful to me. After repeatedly hearing the quote I started to care about myself and learned my true value. I accepted my insecurities because they weren’t something to be ashamed about, they defined who I was and what made me special. Each of us are. We’re all here for a reason. No matter how down you feel, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. As cheesy as it sounds, it’s true.
To end my speech, I would like to reference a quote from an artist, Immortal Technique
“The purpose of life is a life with a purpose.