A new beginning

Sean '15 is president of the International Student Organization (ISO) and welcomed new international students to Peddie this week.

Good evening everyone. I am guessing many of you in this room are feeling excited and, at the same time, nervous. Don’t worry. I am too. This is probably the first I am talking in front of such a big crowd at Peddie. It was only two years ago when I sat in those chairs watching Maggie and Xixi giving their speeches. At that moment, I told myself, “When I am a senior, I want to be a leader in this community like Maggie and Xixi.”

Even though I was determined, senior year seemed very far away. And now, here I am giving a speech as an ISO president!

 I learned many things at Peddie like how to use my time efficiently, how to write a good essay, and how to communicate with my teachers. Of course, these are some important things I will need as I continue into my college life. However, the most important thing I learned at Peddie was what kind of person I should be. I came here as an Asian kid who just stayed in his room, not really involved in the school community. To me, life was boring at Peddie and I was reluctant to change. After a year of struggling, I finally realized that I needed to change. I took Mr. Onion’s advice and started track. I became more engaged in extracurricular activities.  I got busier, but I was also happier. With my friends and the faculty around me, I was able to fight through my junior year. I was able to appreciate the opportunity to attend a school like Peddie.

We will all face challenges and difficulties. That is just inevitable. I want you all to look around the room. Right now, you probably don’t know most of the people in this room. But these are the people that you will spend your next 1, 2, 3, or perhaps 4 years with. It might be harder for international students to adjust to a new school as we come from different countries and different cultures. But that is why we have the International Student Organization. That is why you should remember that you have each other. In a community like Peddie, you shouldn’t worry so much. You shouldn’t be afraid of falling. Because your friends and teachers will be standing behind you, making sure you won’t fall.

Some of you might have struggled in your previous school. Some of you might have had a great time in your previous school. Now, you are at Peddie. It is a new start, a new beginning. Now, it is time for you to change. To try new things and test your limits. Thank you, and welcome to Peddie. Ala viva.