My Senior Gift
Note from Deanna - My daughter Summer wrote this to share this past week at her Student Council Retreat with her fellow student council members. She is currently the Student Body Vice President of Higley High School. She sent this to me and I cried. She is astounding, both inside and out and I could not be more proud of her. THIS - right here, is why I am a mother. THIS makes me proud and makes it all worth it when your kids go through trials and come out the other side with new eyes and a changed heart. I love her. I asked her if I could share this on my website.
Over the four years I've been in Stuco I've always been the youngest. Every senior class has come and gone and I've been here waiting for my turn to finally be the top dog. So now as I stand here, at my last ever Stuco campfire, I want to share with you the wisdom of what's been passed down to me and what I've learned along the way of being a Higley senior.
My gift to you is the gift of health. Now when I say health I don't just mean eating good and working out. The health I'm talking about occurs in all aspects of your life. I've struggled with friendships all throughout high school and it's something that I deal with on a daily basis. My freshman year I had a group of friends who I've known throughout all of elementary school and junior high and I thought we were going to be friends forever and ever. But once we got into high school they didn't care for me. They didn't care about a loyal true friend who would drop anything to help them out. All they cared about was being cool and fitting in. So along the way of trying to reconcile our friendship I came to the realization almost 4 years later as a Senior that they were toxic to my life and my health. They put me down, left me out and just dropped me like I was nothing. Those are not the kinds of friends you should have. You should have friends who cherish you. Who love you for your silly quirks. Who will stay loyal to you through thick and thin. No one should be treated like they aren't wanted and that's why I got rid of those toxic relationships and the health of my heart was finally repairing itself.
My freshman year of high school swim was great. I had my sister with me and all of her friends on the team. I made varsity, and I was doing a sport that I was really good at. My mindset health was not in the place that it should've been though. During many weeks of practice I slacked off. I didn't do my sets, I made up excuses so I could sit out and I didn't push myself the way I should have. I took for granted the one thing in my life that meant the world to me. My sophomore year I found out I had a torn rotator cuff and I was truly devastated. But what I didn't know at the time was that this horrible injury was a blessing in disguise for my mental health. I took that year and I really looked at who I was and what I needed to change to get myself back to a life of being happy and having a strong mindset. So my Junior year when I got back in the water I told my self no more excuses. And I did just that. I pushed through every negative thought that came up and I tore down every piece of self doubt that came my way. I still do this now by the way when I swim, and when I'm struggling in life. I say to myself you're never going to get better if you quit. You just have to do it Summer! My mental health completely changed when I put in the work to be the best that I could be. No more telling yourself that you're not good enough. No more making excuses of "oh I'll just start tomorrow" or "oh I'm scared I might fail". Who cares guys!! Every single one of you is a champion. But in order to be the champion that you want to be, you have to work for it and have and be in the right mental health to achieve your greatness.
I don't think I can express to you guys how precious your actual health is. Some of you may know that my mom has been struggling with mercury toxicity and hormone imbalance for almost 3 years now. She's doing great right now and better than she's ever been, but what I want you guys to realize is that your health should not be taken for granted. She was fine and living life but then when she became sick 3 years ago my whole family's life was turned upside down. She couldn't get out of bed some days because of how much pain she was in, so I had to come home from school to take care of her and my baby sister Ellie. Who would've thought that by removing fillings in her mouth and then a simple surgery could cause so much turmoil to our lives? She's one of my inspirations because she never gave up and never quit fighting to figure out what was wrong with her body. Please please don't think that just because you're young or you have fast metabolism means that you shouldn't care what you put into your body. Your body is a well oiled machine and when you put crap into it you're going to feel like crap. When you put good nutrients and foods into your body it'll help you live life on a happier note and probably longer too! But guys I understand that we're human. We like the occasional sweet treat! It's okay to splurge sometimes. I mean heck I've been frickin pounding the milk duds and sour gummy worms in my room this whole trip! But you all should know how I feel when I see you eating those chemically filled, sugar coma icing tubs in Stuco! Honestly though I just want you all to be aware that at any moment in life your health could come out from right under you and you are just blind sided by it. Please don't take for granted your bodies and the health you were given to live this life as you were meant to.
I want to leave you guys with one final momenta for tonight and I actually just made this up on my own, haha, but as someone who's heart and smile expands 5,000 miles when I see someone being genuinely kind, I want you all to acknowledge your human health. Human health to me is the simple action of being a good person. And I know you hear that a lot being in Stuco but I can't stress this enough - that being kind will take you so much further in life than being someone who brings others down. Think of a time in your life when you wished that someone would've noticed you hurting or you wished for someone to just reach their arms around you and squeeze you till you feel better. My parents tell me and my sisters all the time that even if someone is the rudest person on the earth or they say they're doing okay but you know they're not, they tell us just to love them. Love can change just one persons outlook on life if you continuously show it through your actions and words. So please be conscious of your human health because you never know who's watching and who's in need of it.
I've thought about this specific moment for almost four years now. I've thought about how some of my best friends won't be here to listen and cry with me after. I've thought about how it's scary to be a senior and to have all these people look up to me like I did to the Seniors these past few years. And how is what I'm writing and saying going to have an effect on you guys like the other gifts have had on me. But as I'm looking at all of you right now, I know that I was meant to be here at this exact moment with you and hopefully be worthy enough to be someone you look up too. Moving on and growing up is hard and I wish sometimes I could make time stop but unfortunately it can't do it. I'm going to make my time this year with you all as memorable as I can and hopefully the best year of high school ever. I love you all so much and Stuco has been such a blessing in my life because it has allowed me to experience all these special moments with the people that mean the world to me.
So now I can finally say, as a senior in Higley Stuco, the top dog!
If I could give one gift to you I would give you the gift of health.
Summer Lyn Chesley