Senior Speeches 2017-2018

Senior Speeches

One of the rites of passage for graduating seniors is “The Senior Speech.” Throughout the year at morning meetings, seniors present speeches to the school on topics that are meaningful to them. Often, students have been quietly planning what they will say for many years. Parents and family of each senior usually attend on the day of their son or daughter’s speech. The presentations tend to be reflective, personal, and heartfelt.

List of 37 items.

  • Aubrey Sereno

     I think we should all be more like dogs. We should bloom into being bold like Lily. We should not let our past get in the way of what the good in our future holds like Auggie. We should let the weird sides that we all have show like Lola does, and we should show those who are important to us that we love them, like Bebe.
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  • Garrett Han

    Courage is the ability to overcome fear, to have strength when confronted with pain or grief or failure. That is the most important thing I’ve learned from my time here at RHP & REN and that is what I want to leave here with you all. Don’t listen to that voice in your head that says you can’t do it. Listen to the people here that care about you and will encourage you to follow your dreams and help you find the dreams you didn’t even know you had yet. Have courage.
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  • Ian Grindle

    The lesson here is that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Just because the cover of a book is the first thing you see doesn’t mean you shouldn't open it. What I want you to take away from this is that you should not judge someone based off your first impressions. You should actually get to know something about them first.
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  • Nicole Bishay

    If you know me, you’ll know I do not like change. Last year, right before AP week started, I remember going to my mom and freaking out because I wasn’t sure if I had made the right choice by leaving behind my friends and switching schools. I had grown up going to public schools and I was used to being surrounded by a lot of people. While I was doing well in all of my classes at public school, I still felt like something was missing from my education. Some of my classes had up to fifty people in them and I didn’t feel like I had good relationships with any of my teachers. For me, switching to RHP was a huge change. My classes would be barely a fourth of the size that I was used to and I wouldn’t have the comfort of being surrounded by my usual group of friends.

    I was intimidated by transferring because I knew that RHP was such a small, tight-knit community and I didn’t know if I would be able to find my place. I remember on my first day of class, I had to introduce myself in front of all the other students and I felt so out of place because everyone had already formed bonds and relationships and I was the odd woman out. But soon I realized that even though everyone was so close, they were all open to change and were quick to welcome me. The transition between my two schools was so much easier than I thought it would be. Even though I missed the comfort of my old friends, I already felt so comfortable at RHP within a few weeks of transferring and I knew that I made the right choice by coming here.

    Before I transferred, school had never been something that I had looked forward to other than the fact that I got to see my friends, but over the past two years, I have formed an appreciation for learning and I know it is because I’m surrounded by people who are so passionate about their jobs and about teaching us. Transferring to RHP is one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made. From being here, I have learned how to accept and even embrace change and I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity.
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  • Alex Garcia

    This past year I’ve started to love living here even more. I’ve become more connected with so many people and I’ve learned so much about different cultures and perspectives. I think my story shows that if you are dedicated and you work as hard as you can, opportunities will present themselves in some form. What you do with those opportunities is up to you.
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  • Cade Morris

    Recently, I competed in a high school sailing regatta. I was leading in first place, headed upwind towards the finish line. The wind was strong, our boat was tilting to the side from the force of the winds on the sails. My legs burned as I hiked out to keep the boat flat. The main sheet held tightly in my grip, not wanting to let go and lose the speed I had built up. I was flying over the water, nothing could stop me from winning. I cherish moments like these, the quiet ones spent on the water.
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  • Trevor Lawrence

    Slide by slide, I made it through the presentation. Every slide that I completed, I gained a little more confidence in myself. When I was done, the presentation didn’t feel like a big deal at all. I was actually glad that I had been forced to face my fear. After that project, my fear of giving presentations has not been as bad. Looking back, I’m glad I was forced to give the presentation. Nowadays, public speaking still makes me nervous, but not as nervous as before. I think back to 9th grade and how great I felt afterward.
    The best way to conquer a fear is to dive in head first, and just do it.
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  • Zebang Chen

    In the future, some of us will work internationally, some of us will work locally. When we see someone different. Do not ask them, 'Why are you different with us, why can't you be like us?'Instead, ask ourselves, 'What can we learn from the differences?'
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  • Neil O'Reilly

    It is easy to forgive someone, but it is hard to make new friends. You should never hold a grudge against someone, it will only take away from the experiences you will have in life.
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  • Estefani Hernandez

     In a few short months, I will have to say goodbye to both of my parents as I go off to college. However, this time around, we will be separated for much longer over the course of four years. Although I am looking forward to continuing my education, the thought of leaving them does scare me. Saying goodbye this time around may be a little harder, but I am quickly reminded of how I managed to live without my dad for two months and I can see that I am fully capable of living on my own. I am seventeen years old now, and if my five-year-old self was able to do it then, I can do it now.
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  • Colin Au

    Many times, in the past, I would overthink things that I had no control over. Whether it was a fight with my parents, or a mistake I made in school, far too many times I would think about what happened, instead of using that time to think about ways I could help the situation. Think of what happened in the past in a positive aspect and find meaning behind what happened. 
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  • Effy Fang

    When people ask me where do you come from, I used to have a hard time explaining, because I would hesitate between answering Chinese or Kiwi, and if I answered Chinese, they would ask me, oh from what district? And that would silence me completely, because I had no idea how to answer it-the city I lived in the longest, the city I was born in, and the city I registered with permanent residence are three completely different places, so in the end I just give up and say, 'I’m just Chinese.'
                But now if somehow would ask me to identify myself, I would... probably still come up with the same answer and the same difficulties explaining, but what’s different is that, I’ll know it’s not the country where I grew up in that’ll define me, but who I define myself as.
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  • Silver Ding

    Everyone needs a purpose in life. No matter if I am successful or not, I should know I’m doing something, I’m not wasting my life. It’s not a catastrophe if I don’t know my purpose, but I have to be aware that I need to keep questioning myself, “Why am I doing this?” and know what all my efforts are used for. It’s a self-reflection of life, that no one can or should avoid.
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  • Nicholas Blair

    I loved being in a class where I was urged to speak. They would give me good advice which I had never gotten from a teacher before. As ninth grade continued I didn’t have to worry about my homework because I was genuinely having fun doing it and later going over it in class. They urged me to do my best and I tried. 
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  • Matt Liberson

    Rocketry was not just a weekend activity. I dedicated myself to TARC. During the week, we analyzed the data we gathered during launches to make newer, improved rockets. On a computer in my friend’s dining room, I crunched the numbers from the altimeter and guided other members who were implementing design changes. We also expanded our knowledge of sophisticated machinery.
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  • Viola Li

     I do have the same number of hours per day as Albert Einstein and Thomas Jefferson did. But I have never touched upon the real meaning of life to seize and enjoy every minute. Time is the most valuable of all our possessions; once I make full use of every moment, I believe my worries will be gradually be cut down to nothing. Spending time on complaining solves nothing.
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  • Lauren Tsuji

    High school is a great time to make memories and make connections.  We should learn to take advantage of everything while we can in order to change our perspective. Go to our football games, play a sport, join a club, sing at coffeehouse, and do the things you want while you still have the chance to.
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  • Iris Yoo

    I had many moments when I wanted to give up everything and cuddle up in bed, hoping everyone would somehow forget about me that way and carry on with their lives. But now I face my problems instead of hiding from them. Granted, this may not be the hardest problem of my life yet. But knowing how I succeeded in dealing with my first life-changing difficulty, I’m sure I’ll do well. I’m still confused and lost from time to time, but I know I’m growing and learning.
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  • Christopher Kent

    Thank you for everything that you have done for me. Dad, if you didn’t show me music, I wouldn’t have ever touched a trombone or sung for fun. Mom, if you never taught me how to cook sukiyaki and meatloaf, I probably would have cup noodles for dinner every day. Dad, if you weren’t the one to teach me how to drive, I would have probably crashed already. While I definitely will still make mistakes, I still love you so much for loving me for who I am.
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  • Ervin Whitfield

    I was aware that not everyone has the same start in life, but never thought about the effects and struggles on a day to day basis. I realized life is easier now than it ever was before. And the opportunities I was given, there would be others who wouldn’t have the same. But, as I kept thinking, a greater realization came and something I think you should know. Even though we all don’t have the same start in life, it is our choice to make our lives better or question why me. And know, what the guy said about none of it being our fault, is true, because life deals us a set of cards we have no idea are coming.
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  • Austin Wallace

    I can see now that I must appreciate all the good things that happen in my life and look to learn from my lumps from the not so good things that will come. Life's highway is really scary, but even more exciting. It's clear to me from the advice of my family, teachers, advisors, friends and co-workers. My future success will be defined by my work ethic, how persistent I am and, most importantly, how I handle the situations life presents in front me. I love you all but, especially, my family. Each of you has played a role in making my life's highway look glorious.
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  • Simmone Okamoto

    As high school seniors, we are told we must find our passions, but I haven't done so yet. Is that wrong? No. We're young and there's still plenty of time to figure out what we should all do with our lives.

    And I know this sounds really cliché, but I mean it. Tomorrow is a new day, and tomorrow I'll keep on walking and won't look back.

    For now, though, I'll focus on the present.
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  • Cassily Zhao

    Facing your fear is not an easy thing to do. Sometimes, you are so afraid of doing something, but you just need to try it one more time. That might happen on purpose or by accident, and then you may find that overcoming the fear that you used to have is just a piece of cake.
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  • Kody Nohara

    The definition of a supermom is a mother who successfully manages a household and cares for her children while holding a job and being active in her community. You perfectly embody that role. Words cannot describe how thankful and proud I am to have you as my mother. And I’m sure many people here have a supermom or super dad or a super guardian. Tell them how grateful you are to have them, because at the end of the day, no matter how hard you try to believe that they are only out to get you, they will always love you and put your needs before theirs.
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  • Max Smith

    This was the first mountain I failed climbing. But after a couple of days, I realized that what I did was ok. I knew that I could always just try again. I learned that failing isn’t always failing. I could say that I didn’t get to the peak. I could also say that I climbed up to 10,000 feet in the snow. Just because I failed to get to the top doesn’t mean I failed the entire climb.
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  • Tri Tran

    "Perspective," was one of the first things he [Mr. Flamini] taught me. Despite his effort to stress the importance of this word, its meaning was as vague as America itself. To me, at that time, it was merely a new vocabulary word that I needed to learn. As I unraveled America, I realized that perspective shows itself in every aspect of life here. It was on the news. It scared me when I first watched news correspondents argue so fearfully about a political matter. It scared me even more when I listened to my classmates argue about the same thing in my US History class. I started to apply perspective in my life. I tried to look at my life’s problems through a more positive lens. Oh, I screwed up a test, but look on the bright side, there will always be a test correction.
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  • Shota Ogomori

    This close, family-like school environment gave me an opportunity to enjoy life. Before, I was too busy thinking about my well-being and where I stood in rankings for my competitions. The school gave me a place to breathe. Although I continued to think that my task was to not let the people who cheered for me down, I also found out that you can take a moment to relax sometimes. It was those small laughs and jokes that held me through my toughest times.
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  • Joe Neubauer

    Looking back at my time with Williamson, I figured out why he never directly told me what to do. He didn’t want me to be dependent on him for answers, which is why he let me figure it out for myself. Now I know the answer to my shut-in problem is to get out more and do things outside my comfort level, but to this day I struggle with it and I think I always will, but I also believe I’ll get better at it or at least try to. As long as I try my best, I think that’s all that matters.
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  • Katie Maire

    I’m pretty independent when it comes to my workflow, but I still need some help with brand new concepts. I had to learn to take the advice people give to me, also I had to learn that having someone edit my work is a good thing. I also have this very curious part of me. I love science and history. Here’s a first: I actually like school. Learning seems cruel to every teenager. But for me, it opens my horizons and helps me grow. Because I learn differently, and I retain everything and I like to think of it as an advantage more than a disadvantage. It never brings my spirit down because I’m always happy to be at school and learn. I put passion and effort in my work and everything I do.
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  • Aidan Prince

    Soon, I found that the reason my own self-esteem was rising was due to me releasing my stress through art. After all, I’m already good at thinking of imaginary situations to put myself in. So, why not put a character in that situation instead? And create a solution for these characters by making them come to life.

    Art has now become the main way I decompress and relax.
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  • Paolo Speciale

    We just got back from outdoor-ed and while it was especially challenging this year, I’ve realized now it was actually a great learning experience. I came to this school in 8th grade and the outdoor-ed trip that year was to the Colorado River. This year as seniors, we went back on the Colorado River and as many of you might have heard, we experienced very challenging weather conditions. This was mainly from high winds that really made it hard for us to canoe on the river. There were a lot of difficulties, some canoes filled with water, some things ended up wet, and we ended up having to swim back to shore and cut short the ropes. But the students and teachers all pulled together and ended up safely enjoying the rest of the trip at camp. So I ended my outdoor ed experience on the same trip I had started on five years ago, we overcame some adversity and it still was very fun in the end.
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  • Damon Sun

    Science not only makes us understand the world better, it also helps us understand our minds. I agree that our emotion blasts our world with a variety of feelings, but it more often misleads us to wrong perception. And it is essential for us to know about our subconscious bias. For example, people who we hang out with appear preferable to those who we don’t, because our mind tells us that our friends are similar to us. 
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  • Sabrina Cohn

    I looked inside myself and realized that it’s ok to ask for help. So what do you do when you need help but none is offered? You ask. Teachers no longer asked if I needed help, so I went and asked for it, and they gave it to me. I had not asked for help in so long and when I got it, it was like finally being pulled from the water.
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  • Leah Taylor

    I promise you no matter what you are going through right now everything will get better. No matter how badly you are hurting and you feel like nobody is there, somebody will come around and pick you up. Surround yourself with people who make you happy. High school goes by fast so make the most of it. Don’t dwell on the past. Think about the now and focus on your future not your past.
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  • Elliot Wang

    However, just when I finished changing myself, now it’s almost time that I have to leave. It seems like yesterday that I went to a class without my backpack. But two hundred days from now I will be starting a new journey toward college and will be saying goodbye to my friends and teachers.
    Maybe a year from now, I will be in my dorm room, dealing with homework and loneliness. The students and teachers in RHP will no longer be at my side, but the spirit of RHP will be in my heart. That spirit is along the way, you can cry, but you can’t turn back.
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  • Estiven Taborda

    I dream that the class of 2018 takes a leadership role in the world, and is inspired to strive to be the best versions of themselves so they can take the world to a brighter place. On a lighter note, I dream of a world where fidget spinners never existed. Back to being serious, I dream of a world where those who have not been as fortunate as us have a fair chance at life.
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  • Amber Owens

    I don’t know why hard things happen, but I do know that when they do it's easy to feel helpless and feel bad for yourself. I realize that everyone is going through their own struggles and there is always someone in more need of help than yourself, it is important to keep that in mind when we think about how we treat people. But, what got me through all this was realizing that pain is only temporary. You might be in the middle of the storm now, and it might be hard to see your way out but something I learned is that no matter what life brings I have the strength and courage to get through it, and so do all of you.
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Rolling Hills Preparatory School

One Rolling Hills Prep Way
1500 Palos Verdes Drive North
San Pedro, CA 90732

T: (310) 791-1101 | F: (323) 310-9973 
Rolling Hills Prep School prides itself on being a forward-looking, academically rigorous college-prep school with a soul. Every day we provide our diverse student body a high-powered traditional curriculum combined with stimulating and innovative teaching techniques both inside and outside the classroom because we believe that success in college and life is best attained by equipping our students with disciplined minds, sound character, healthy bodies and creative spirits. RHP is a private, coeducational day school for grades 6-12, located on the Palos Verdes Peninsula in Los Angeles, CA.

Renaissance, our sister school, believes that bright students who learn differently can rise to great heights when they become empowered and confident. Visit the Renaissance website.