Ryan Guilbeau: Senior Testimonial

After my three years of journalism, my time has finally come to write my senior testimonial. I remember reading testimonials as an underclassman, knowing in the back of my mind that one day I would be writing one too, but it felt so far away. And I can’t believe that day is today.

As cheesy as it sounds, high school really did fly by. I can remember my first day of freshman year like it was yesterday, with us sitting in the bleachers watching the Class of 2017 run around the gym in tie-dye outfits screaming with “All the Way Up” playing. You could say I was pretty confused, and I will admit, intimidated. And I had no idea about how quickly I was about to change as a person.

Going into my freshman year, all I really cared about were sports and videogames. I loved baseball and watching pretty much all sports, and I loved playing video games after school. I got good grades, but I didn’t actually care that much at all about school to put it bluntly. I just got good enough grades to keep my parents happy. I couldn’t wait until the spring to have my first high school baseball season, and I ended up hating my experience with it. I had a terrible season, and the new competitiveness of high school level baseball took out a lot of the fun out for me. By the time winter of sophomore year came and it was time to start practicing for the season, I dreaded it. I wanted no part of it at all. And then I made a decision that first day freshman year me never would have expected: I quit baseball.

It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, mainly because all of my friends were on the team. I was worried that if I quit, my friends would move on without me, and that I would have nobody. But I took that chance. And I’m so glad I did.

My friends didn’t leave me behind at all. We always found ways to hang out even though I wasn’t on the team. To this day we always have each other’s backs, and to that I thank them endlessly. As I had more free time from baseball, I got a lot more interested in school. I joined NHS, and my grades went up more and more every year of high school. I found that I loved business and joined FBLA, and I was the president this year. I studied hard and now I’m in the honors program at Bryant University, my dream school. Freshman me would have called me a nerd and you can feel free to join in too because I’m proud of the person I am today, and nothing can change that.

Like I said before, your four years of high school really does fly by, so you have to do what’s right for you. Don’t do something that you don’t like because it’s “what everybody does” or because it’s what you’ve been doing. If your older brother was a basketball star that doesn’t mean you have to play. Just because your older sister had the best voice in the choir, it doesn’t mean you have to sing. Be your own person, do what you love, and you will find happiness.

Now, I have some people that I definitely need to thank, because I would not be where I am today without them. First, I want to thank my parents. You guys have been so supportive of me my whole life, and have sacrificed so much for me to have a great high school experience and a successful future. I’ve been able to talk to you guys about anything, and words can’t express how thankful I am to be raised by such amazing people.

Next, I want to thank Alex Badger, Pete Bersani, Evan Burlile, Keegan Kerr, and Brendan McCafferty for being the most amazing group of friends I could ever ask for. Our sports debates at break, watching football every Sunday together, our sleepovers, and all the other amazing memories we have made together have made my high school experience incredible, and I can’t wait for even more memories.

Finally, to the class of 2020. We’ve had some great times together that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. Prom, junior takeover, first day of senior year, all the sports games, and so much more have been a lot of fun. I highlight these things because even though the end isn’t what we pictured or wanted, it’s not how our experience should be remembered.

Twenty years from now when I think back to high school the things I’m going to think of first are the amazing memories we made together, not the ones we missed out on. Although it’s easy to be sad and disappointed about everything going on, we should all think about the years and years of amazing times we’ve had. I’m grateful for everything that life has thrown my way so far, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.