Everyone who has been to a P-Cubed throughout this school year will know how much the seniors care about this once-a-month activity. I've been to every one of the P-Cubeds throughout the year, and you learn that it's mainly the same group of people that come to these gatherings. I've met all the seniors that go to P-Cubed and they are all really nice to me and everyone else. This is now my third P-Cubed I've spoken at, and they support me while I give these. Thanks to them, my confidence level has gone way up. Back in March, I was really nervous and Mr. [redacted] wanted me to type up the rest of that speech for class the next day. In April, it was a lot easier for me to go up and speak. Both times I had known what I was going to say, but in April I had the experience and wasn't scared of what people would think of me.
That doesn't mean that I have no P-Cubed related fears. The current seniors are very supportive. I don't know what next year's seniors would be like, or the year after's. After the last P-Cubed, I talked to Mr. [redacted] and he said I would be a senior leader once my senior year comes. I know that's still a couple of years away, but it seems fairly accurate.
Throughout this year, the structure and feeling of P-Cubed changed a lot. Back in October and November, we had the pizza first and then moved into (the small auditorium) and back into (the main builidng) for small groups. In December, when we went to Xaverian, we were talking on the way home about how the structure might change for January. We were thinking about starting in the Chapel and have pizza at the very end in Campus Ministry, exactly how it is know. To test this new structure, the January P-Cubed was free to attend. Personally, I thought it was a good change. It stopped all of the people who would come just for the pizza and leave. This change also allowed for more time in the small groups, since we didn't have to travel between buildings.
Once January came, I started talking during the open forum section. That first time I talked about the new structure of P-Cubed that was implemented. In February, if anyone remembers, I was balling my eyes out. The topic that time was relationships, and I am finally ready to talk about why I was like that. But before I talk about it, I want to summarize my communication with both [redacted] and [redacted] from that night in February.
This was just hours after the dance scheduled for the next day was cancelled. I'm not the kind of person who stressed over middle school relationships, so coming to Saint John's, I didn't have a girlfriend, and I knew people that did have one. I knew that all I had to do was go on Snapchat and ask a girl if they wanted to go to the dance. It was that simple. The problem was that I was, and still am, shy. I just kept pushing this communication off and it eventually got to be too late. The cancellation of the dance wasn't the main problem. The main reason for it was that I was kind of jealous, and kind of regretting the situation I had put myself into. I realized that coming to Saint John's meant that I would be spending four years in a school without girls. I wish I had been more social with girls back in middle school. I don't regret coming to Saint John's, however. I've heard what happens at the public school back home. I don't want to talk about exactly what it was, but let me just say I didn't want to be exposed to it for four years.
I was originally planning to speak about something that night, but my emotions took full control of me and I didn't.
Once March came, I was like "maybe I'll speak during Open Forum this time around". I decided to actually talk about what the topic was, priorities. I went up and the crowd went wild. The crowd was screaming over me. I did the talk, well about half of it, and my stage fright kicked in and I went to sit down. I felt proud of myself. When we were eating the pizza, people walked up to me and congratulated me for speaking out there. Mr. [redacted] asked me to finish the speech the next day in class.
Mr. [redacted] also told me, the next day, that I was the first freshman to speak how I did. I'm not sure how true that statement actually was, but I believed it. The seniors had known who I was. Back in middle school, I thought that if I had been popular, it would feel really good. All the popular kids back home, which I have previously described as getting C's and D's in middle school, and most likely doing drugs within the next few years.
Now that I kind of am popular, I've felt the exact same as I have been for the entire school year, it's really just that more people say "Hi" to me. The truth is that being popular doesn't make you feel any better, so why would people want it? It's all because they like the attention. Most of the popular kids at my middle school were shorter than me. At the end of middle school, I was probably 5'4", so a fairly average height. These popular kids are short and they use this height challenge as a way to get sympathy and attention.
The same thing happens here at Saint John's. Currently, there are two shorter-than-me people bothering me. For the sake of privacy, I'm not going to share any names or clues about them. The first kid, would constantly, and I mean constantly talk to me about whatever was on his mind. This wasn't as bad, as I do the same thing to Mr. [redacted]. The thing about this kid was that one day, I was with some fellow freshmen, and him, and we were sitting on the floor working on something. This kid didn't want us to sit on the floor, so he would only bother me about it.
The second kid is in two of my classes, not going to say which ones. He is always saying that I fail every test I take and that I cheat off a friend. Both are not true, but he's short, he thinks that he needs the attention. I've been starting to ignore both these kids and may end up going to administration for the second kid due to his constant harassment.
April was a good P-Cubed. I spoke during open forum and Brother [redacted] had his own speech before small groups. The theme that time was "you". It was a very diverse topic, and I spoke about how my uniqueness has impacted my at Saint John's.
This first freshman year hasn't been too bad. Besides a couple of kids and almost failing English first quarter, it's been good. By good, I mean better than middle school. I have friends that I talk to after school, and I get included in after school activities with friends and fellow students here. I've had false rumors spread about me through middle school, and that continues into this year. I knew that coming to Saint John's, there would be annoying kids, just like at any other high school in the area.
But Saint John's has its differences, we don't have annoying girls that only care about how their face looks and the number of Instagram followers they have. For me, I'm fine with the 30-40 likes I get on each post and my 110 followers. I don't need any of these "get free followers" scams to raise my self-esteem.
I think I made the right choice coming to Saint John's, especially because of the seniors that helped me and many other people throughout the school year. I never thought that coming here as a near-nobody from [redacted] would end up turning me into a fairly social and outgoing student here at Saint John's. I hope that in the next couple of years, I can still be able to show my natural self, and I hope I don't turn into a peer-pressured person that isn't the real me. I know people that were badly peer-pressured, and sadly, they aren't with us here at Saint John's anymore.
I wasn't peer-pressured a lot back in middle school, but it has happened multiple times throughout this year at Saint John's. Looking back at these incidents, I regret doing what I had done. The most recent incident was where about 25 people forced me, and I mean forced to the point where I'm getting messages at 10 o'clock at night. They were forcing me to do an optional assignment. I, because I didn't want everyone to hate me, did the assignment. I had wasted half an hour doing something I didn't have to even do. I had made my friends and classmates happy. The teacher that had made this optional assignment available, would not have had a problem whether I did it or not.
This kind of pressure brought back the memories of when I was bullied in middle school. It wasn't verbal bullying, except for that one weekend where I was being called a furry through YouTube. I can remember people leaving me to pick up whatever trash they leave behind. It was only one kid who did this, and once again, he was short.
I had continued to be myself through these problems, and continued doing what I enjoyed doing. There are a lot of people who don't know some of my favorite hobbies. I enjoy making videos on YouTube and riding any form of public transportation. If you want to know my YouTube channel, please talk to me later tonight.
The seniors are amazing people. They know me both in and out of P-Cubed. They are my friends, and they will be graduating from Saint John's in a couple of weeks. I haven't met any of the seniors of next year, but hopefully they keep the same method of P-Cubed that we have had this year.
The support of the seniors can be seen throughout Saint John's. In addition to the previously mentioned ways, the seniors in Mr. [redacted]'s homeroom, room 100, back in April, had told Mr. [redacted]'s C Block that "they could do it!", referring to the homework ladder he has in his classroom for freshmen. I am in his C Block, and we ended up doing it on the last possible day.
Seniors, good luck as you graduate and transition into college. In a few months, you will be where I was back in September. You'll be at a new school, with hundreds of students you don't know. It's not like Saint John's where we have kids from towns from just only this area. It's college, and you'll be with kids from all over the country, but trust me, you'll make your own friends in college just like you did here at Saint John's. If you are like me, from a small town with only a few people from your school here at Saint John's, you'll be familiar with this period of not knowing really anyone in your classes.
For me, I'll be staying at Saint John's until 2022, when I graduate, and throughout the next couple of years, I'll learn more and more about what it is to be a Saint John's student through many more retreats and P-Cubeds.
In April, I started my speech with a question that I was asked on a job interview, "What makes you unique?". I have an update on that job, and I am proud to say that I got the job on a substitute position.
Final thanks to the amazing Campus Ministry team, Mr. [redacted], Mrs. [redacted], and Mr. [redacted] for making these events like P-Cubed possible for me and all the other students that come for this wonderful gathering every month. Congratulations to the seniors, and with this eighth and final P-Cubed of the year, thank you for letting me speak in these last couple of P-Cubeds that we've had over the last couple of months.