Sierra Runnells

I always thought my senior speech had to be amazing. I’ve heard countless senior speeches over the years because I’ve been here since 6th grade (I know). I’m also not the same person I was when I first came here in 6th grade. I think growing up is misleading because when you’re growing up you can’t wait to climb higher, see further, grow faster, but lately I’ve been wishing I could just rewind my life back to elementary school and worry about getting a turn on the monkey bars. Now I worry about getting my work done, being on time to everything, driving myself safely everyday, having healthy habits, and overall just feeling okay.

The other funny thing about growing up is the desensitization that time can bring. In Kindergarten, I was scolded for saying the “s-word” by calling a bee stupid. In middle school, I was tame, but was also introduced to a dangerous place called the internet, with access to any information on any topic that my heart desired. Now, in highschool, I hear about mass-shootings, bomb threats, over doses and suicide all over local and national news. I can’t help but think, “what is this world coming to,” but I stop myself because the world has always been the same, natural and free place it’s been and the people on the world have always been- at the very worst- violent, deviant, reckless, illogical, deceitful and greedy. Dark right? Well no actually, because despite all of these flaws that have been prophesied over since the beginning of time, they are balanced out by our redeeming traits; honesty, respect, loyalty, commitment, love, acceptance…

My question isn’t, “what is this world coming to,” but rather it’s “how is the world coming to this?” I am, you are, we are, our children are: the future of the world. If I want the world to be a better place I can’t just talk about what is wrong with it, I need to talk about the why behind the issues. Global technological industry has been growing at an exponential rate since the industrial revolution; with new technology comes new protocols, new procedures, new ingredients and new waste. This new waste combined with our old wastes is reeking havoc on our climate and environment. The average global temperature has been at its hottest the past three years, and resultantly there’s been an uptick in the use of clean energy. Solar panels and electronic car sales coupled with the introduction of commercial industry, force a collective awareness and fight against climate change-for those of us that believe in it. This was just an easy example of a look at the why instead of the what.

Once I noticed these patterns in society, life changed. I’ve been able to teach myself how to help myself and others through simple observation and reasoning. Identifying the source of a problem is the first step to overcoming it. I may look put together at face value but I know what my problems are and why they are, and I know I am not all put together. I have depression, which has inhibited me in so many aspects of my life. I lose my appetite, become moody, tired, and most of all deeply sad. I get sad sometimes and I’ll have no idea what I’m sad about, but I know why I’m sad. My depression makes me sad and I know my depression started because of my inability to express myself to the people who are closest to me, like my parents. Telling them I’m okay when I’m not, neglecting the idea of asking them for help when I know I need it most. I know this is why I’m sad and I know that getting in touch with the reasoning behind my sadness will calm me. Knowing what is wrong with myself can make the difference in my thought pattern, that in turn, pulls me out of my attacks of depression.

If you are struggling with fixing a part of yourself or your life, take a step back and look at what lead you to that moment. Maybe you’re doing worse in school because you are spread too thin. With sports, homework, studying, being with friends, being a part of a demanding organization, working on personal goals, maintaining your image, allocating enough time to family, having a job outside of school, the modern student is overworked. Knowing that you aren’t performing well in one area because of other factors like these can put you one step closer to righting your situation. Take a break from the things that bring you down, regroup and approach the problem in a different way. Think about why you are feeling what you’re feeling or what lead you to an uncomfortable outcome, only then can you begin to make amends.

Stay classy RHP.