In Every Moment, We are Never Alone
The start of the 2022-2023 school year at SBS!
By Communications Fellow Isabella Ventura '23
As she speaks into the microphone, her posture is straight, her voice unwavering, and her expression bright. “Thank you,” Head Fellow Ellie Veeningan ‘24 concludes her Convocation speech. The audience breaks into applause, and her face beams with a smile. Everyone in the Worship Center can see the confidence radiating off her after her successful speech.
Yet no one saw her preparation. Ellie’s primary obstacle was nerves; although she was extremely excited about the opportunity to speak on the first day of school, she was terrified. Consequently, she immersed herself in hours of preparation and repetition. Working with Head Prefect Josh Collins ‘23, she rehearsed again and again. As she practiced, countless faculty members such as Mrs. Cela, Mrs. Durrett and Mrs. Blades supported her with encouragement yet valuable feedback. Not once in the process was she ever alone.
There are roughly 274 days of school remaining. Yes, the final day of school seems distant, and yes, this school year will inevitably include late nights of studying, tough sports losses and challenging lessons that simply come with life. But it will also consist of hearty laughter with friends, immense triumph after acing an exam, and screaming with excitement as the football team scores a touchdown. Every student, administrator, teacher and parent will face highs and lows this year. Yet the beauty of Second Baptist School is that in these transformative moments, we are never alone.
We all celebrate our victories. We all grieve our losses. As a senior and a Lifer, I’ve had the opportunity to witness small instances that reveal our unity: classes forming group chats and Google Forms to prepare for exams, students showing up to cheer our teams during home games, classmates calling each other to ask for a Second Cup kolache, Seniors carrying tiny preschoolers on their backs, and friends gathering to cram in last minute homework. In every moment, small and insignificant or enormous and consuming, we are all one. Instead of allowing this time to whizz by, we must embrace the moment completely, allowing them to stimulate our growth and formulate our identity.
Ellie’s speech was sprinkled with lively memories in which she personally experienced the love and support that the Second Baptist School community offers. Her preparation consisted of immense support from her teachers and peers. Everyone was cheering her on. Yet, what about those moments of stress when nobody was around? In these moments, was she alone?
SBS not only equips students with the knowledge required to successfully maneuver through future academics and careers but also provides us with far more crucial knowledge needed to properly live our lives. Since my days in PK, I’ve been taught that God is present. In the moments of joy, in the moments of hardship and in the moments of learning, He is present. As Ellie waited on the stairs before walking across the stage, praying for peace, He was present. Throughout this school year, He will be present.
It's easy to look at the upcoming year and feel a bit intimidated. Yet it is so important to realize that everybody is approaching this future together; every single student, administrator and teacher has over 274 days left, and no one is facing what lies ahead alone. When the time comes in May for me to walk across the stage and receive my diploma, I will look back at the months and years that whizzed by and smile in remembrance when I think of the peers who supported me, the teachers who cherished me, and how God used me - in every moment.