Rylie Akahiji

After seven years of watching hundreds of senior speeches, I never thought I would be saying mine here, in my room. As I finally sat down to write my senior speech, I realized I had no idea what I wanted to say, despite all the ideas I had as a little middle schooler.
I dreamed of driving to school, having a senior basketball season, a graduation, senior lunch privileges, and spending the entire year among my friends. The reality of these dreams seem much different now. Change has been a predominant theme this year. We have learned to find new ways to hang out with friends, spend time with our family, and get through online learning. Even though it is not how we imagined this year to go, we made the best of it and took whatever we could to our advantage. We adapted to our “new normal” lifestyle by implementing masks and social distancing as much as possible. It has been tough to have many events and activities cancelled, but we have learned to persevere through a new situation.
One thing I have learned as a basketball player is “get comfortable being uncomfortable”. Throughout this year, we have learned to adapt to being comfortable despite all the circumstances going on in our world. This quote goes to show that we will be prepared to handle anything life throws at us. Especially in basketball and school, I have learned that pushing myself past my limits has allowed me to become not only a better player, but a better person. Being able to complete Mr. Holloway’s AP Lit reading responses while having an ongoing basketball season was definitely a struggle for the best outcome, but I succeeded. After all, it is not the end that matters, it is the journey you take to get to the end.
Change is beneficial even though we may not like it. As I go on to the next chapter of my life, I will have to learn how to be comfortable even when things get tough. Everything happens for a reason and the hard times are only to make you more capable of being stronger, experienced, and resilient. The memories I have made in high school with my friends and the basketball team has allowed me to understand that the joyful moments that come later are worth getting through the tough moments in life now.