Ben Byers

I’m here!
We’re here!
We are Seniors!!!
Class of 2019!!!

My entire school life existence has solely been about this one goal! Matriculate, do well, become
a scholar, and then RULE the school! No longer a lowly freshmen or wanna be sophomore, nor
not quite there junior... We are now on top! We are SENIORS!!!
No but really, this culmination or end of the road has made me reflect on my journey because
isn’t that what life is all about? Right???

The Journey.

Webster’s dictionary defines journey as a means or an act of traveling from one place to another.
We have all had different journeys however what I find ironic is we have all ended up here
TOGETHER! And as this is the end of one journey, and RHP has prepared us for the next.
I was glad to leave my middle school and start new here at Rolling Hills Prep. I’d gone to school
with the same kids that I fought with….sometimes physically because they were bullies and
many kids that I was friends with since literally preschool. Yet, I felt like an outsider there as
time moved on. We weren’t connected especially after graduating middle school. Then, I came
here...happily. I can remember after just a few short weeks of school telling my mom “I knew I
would like it here, but I think I love it!”

The Class of 2019 was the largest freshman class ever in RHP history. Which also meant that
the school had new expectations. Would the small class sizes that Prep was known for be
compromised? Little did we know, our closeness were bound together to navigate high school
from day one - through Outdoor ED, to theater and school plays, art department, playing sports
and winning CIF championships, to dealing with classes that made us stressed out and triggered
like Mr. Dossen’s “PHEESICS!” freshman year.

When I came here, I was excited. I was ready to start a new life at RHP. I wanted to make new
friends, play team sports I’d never played, and create moments here that would last a lifetime. I
decided to try out new experiences like joining the football, basketball and tennis teams, student
council, and taking Mandarin Chinese. I didn’t know how far I would go in any of these areas
until now as I am a Senior. I stuck it out in most, for four years and made decisions that would
benefit me later in life.

Thinking back about the moments that will forever shape my journey on a very memorable high
school experience are things like being part of the State Championship basketball team in
2016-2017 as a team manager, then being part of the CIF-SS Championship team a year later as
a player, accidentally dropping Jade at outdoor ed (I’m sorry!) sophomore year, being awarded
Best Dancer at both winter formal and prom last year, being able to travel to China (a trip of a
lifetime) with a terrific group of new friends, and being elected Student Council Co-Vice
President as a Junior. All these times have allowed me to realize that I am grateful for those
moments that happened to me and for me...except for dropping Jade. (smile) It has also allowed
me to realize that I have done a lot of things that were ONLY possible at a high school like
Rolling Hills Prep!

I never thought some of us wouldn’t be here to see this journey through when I was just a
freshman. There are teachers, administrators and students I just knew would have been here
today to hear my speech. But that too is apart of the journey I’ve learned. People don’t always go
to the end with you. However, we are blessed and inspired by their presence when, and input at
the time. I can honestly say that initial love I had for RHP still remains and all that it has
afforded me. A school that is inclusive and promotes diversity. A school that encourages the
least to BE and give their absolute best! A school that prides itself in some very grounded and
fundamental principles like discipline minds, sound character, healthy bodies and creative spirit.

This journey is bittersweet and beautiful. I love being a Senior but that means the end of this
journey here at RHP is upon us. Now I must embrace the beginning of the next. The great part, I
am confident that RHP has helped to prepare me for what’s to come.