Click above to check out our ThingLink, an interactive look at senior Emily Robertson’s speech in assembly on Jan. 25, 2016.
Hi, friends! I’m really excited because for the next several minutes, I’ll be discussing the one topic no one wants to hear a seventeen year old girl talk about.
The first kind of love I’m going to discuss is a love for doing things. I guess you could call it your passion, your destiny, the thing that makes you get out of bed in the morning. But we all have something that we love more than anything else in the world, whether it’s video games or football or drawing. For me, it’s musicals and history museums. I don’t know why we love the things we love, but we love them for a reason. Your job is to figure out how you take the things you’re passionate about and work them into the rest of your life.
Darlington is a great place to learn what you’re passionate about. You have so many opportunities to do so many amazing things and learn what you love. You have the chance to take a bunch of chemistry classes or go to New York to see your favorite Broadway performer or work in a greenhouse and raise chickens. Seriously, take advantage of that opportunity, whether you’re in your last semester here (I’m looking at you guys in the front rows) or you’re just starting out your Darlington experience. You’re in a community full of people who do what they love every day. If you’ve never heard Mr. Inman talk about art history or heard Mrs. Daniel talk about finding a character, you should give it a whirl. Or heck, talk to anyone who works here or who is involved in something here; every single one of them genuinely loves what they do.
So find that activity you absolutely adore, cherish it, and do everything you possibly can to work it into the rest of your life.
The second kind of love I’m going to discuss is love for other people. I know we hear about the romantic kind of love every day from movies and books and such, so I’m going to skip over that.
If you’re still paying attention, I want you to make a list in your head of three people you love.
Got it? Okay. I did this while I was writing this speech, and my three people were my brother, Mary Margaret Wright (hi Marge!), and Han Solo. As you’ve probably figured out, I don’t love any of those people in the same way. And that’s the whole point.
There’s more than one kind of love, and there’s more than one way to express love. There’s the kind of love that you have for your friends, the “I can’t believe how great this person is I love hanging out with them” love. There’s the love you have for your family, the “sometimes you annoy me a lot but you’re still amazing” love. There’s the kind of love for people you barely know, the “I’ve talked to you a couple of times and you’re a wonderful person” love.
You should never be afraid to show other people that you care about them. I know it’s kind of taboo to act nice to other people because they’re “cooler than you” or you’re a senior and they’re a freshman. But that’s stupid, and if you think like that, I strongly suggest that you get over it. If you walk away from hearing me talk remembering one thing, I want you to remember to be nice to other people. It’s not hard, I promise. Hold the door open for someone. Don’t cut in line at lunch. Do nice things for your friends if they’re stressed out. Tell your parents you love them. People remember the nice things you do for them, and it actually makes your life a whole lot better if you’re just nice and cheerful.
As I’m finishing up, I want to take a minute to thank a few people for showing love to me. Some of them aren’t here, but I’m going to thank them anyway, because they deserve public recognition. To my parents, for giving me the opportunity to go to Darlington and for driving an hour to hear me talk for a couple of minutes. To Will, the best brother ever, for being there for me since before we were even born and for not being too embarrassed when I break out in song in public. To O’Keefe Johnson, for taking me outside when I was crying on the first day of crew practice and for being the most consistently optimistic and encouraging person I have ever met. To Coaches Jacobs, Tullis, Peal, Goss, Williams, and Doerr, for making my four years on the crew team such an unforgettable learning experience. To the girls in Regester, for giving me a second home where I feel loved and welcomed. To Mrs. Jacobs (I’m never gonna get used to that), for reading all of my mediocre poetry, for giving me some serious life advice, and for being one of the weirdest and best pals I could ever wish for. To Mary Margaret Wright, for going on crazy adventures with me and being a loyal companion. To Jade Cox, for being friendly to that girl (me) sitting by the lockers freshman year who knew no one and desperately needed a friend. To everyone I’ve worked with at the Atlanta History Center, even though they won’t hear this, for helping me to discover what I love more than anything else in the world. And to every person at Darlington who’s ever been a classmate, teammate, friend, teacher, or acquaintance- I genuinely love each and every one of you, and I wish nothing but the best for you.
Darlington is already known as a diverse community; make it a community of love. Make this school a place where people are unafraid to do the things they love, and share that passion with the people around you. As Ryan Adams puts it, “There is nothing wrong with loving the crap out of everything.” Love something. Love other people. Love life. Peace out, Girl Scouts.