Soyini Adams on New Parent Night
Hello, my name is Soyini Adams and I
am...awkward. This is the absolute truth. I feel awkward waking up, I feel
awkward going to bed. I feel awkward even crossing the street or ordering
what I want on my Subway sandwich. This has been the case for me for as long
as I can remember. Making brand new friends have not been a natural skill
for me. Speaking to new people had to be practiced for a while by a subtle
push from my family.
I have always felt different from my other
peers. For instance, I listen to different music. At a young age, when many
other kids prefered to listen to hip hop music or MTV, I actually preferred
to listen to jazz. Or, when kids were into reading the Diary of A Wimpy Kid
series, I was trying to read classics like Little Women. As you could
imagine, fitting in has never been a strong suit of mine.
I actually transferred during my sophomore
year. It was time for a change from my previous school, and after much
prayer, we felt led by God to enroll into St. Mary’s. Unlike you upcoming
Rams, I didn’t attend this school during freshman year. This was another way
I did not exactly fit in.
Everybody already seemed to know each other
pretty well, have bonded and formed their own social circles, and were
pretty established. Coming into St. Mary’s, I did not know a single person.
Not a single one. I was out of my comfort zone. Old anxieties of “fitting
in” and “being accepted” from my middle school years seemed to briefly
return. Plus, I had never EVER been at a Catholic school before. So, yes,
you could imagine all the possible ways I was confused and internally
panicking. I started to eat by myself or spent my lunches in the library.
On top of that, I did not know it at the
time, but I was about to lose one of the most important, if not the absolute
most important person in my life. My grandmother was in the hospital.
To give some background context, this is the
woman who practically raised me, who instilled my morals and my faith. To
lose her was so earth shattering in ways I could not begin to describe. This
during only the second month of the school
year, during September. And so this lead me further away from being social
and “out there”, if you will. I was planning to keep to myself.
This point, however, things started to change
for me. I remember sitting at a table in the cafeteria all by myself (just a
normal morning for me really) and all of a sudden, there was a group of
girls that just came and sat with me. They wanted to know everything about
me, my name, my grade, how I was feeling, how I was adjusting. They were
just so nice and open that my first thought was, “Are these the kind of
popular people you see on teenage movies like the movie Mean Girls?”
Actually that was not the case at all,
because the difference was that they were genuinely interested in
me. They were not fake at all, unlike the
Plastics. I started to eat in the cafeteria with them during lunch and made
more friends. This was a huge step for me because, up until that point, I
was still in the library, and was really hungry from not eating during
Another huge step was when I had joined the
fall play, “My Sister Eileen.” There was a day where I missed a performance
because I was attending a funeral for my grandmother and I was so surprised
the next day to find out that they had prayed for me and my family while I
Ladies and gentlemen, this is a very
significant and unique trait to this school. Coming to St. Mary’s you are
joining a family. What is different here than from other high schools is
that you will walk into open arms, which is Christ-like when you think about
it. People care. The teachers care, the administration cares, the coaches
care, the students care for one another. I promise you the community here is
pretty tight. It took me a little while to come into to it, but once I was
in, I was really in.
There was another point I wanted to bring up.
This whole, “Be who you are and be that well” quote we seem to have
everywhere. It’s always about “Be who you are and be that well.” There was a
slight problem I realized when I saw this quote for the very first time- I
had absolutely no idea who I was. I just wasn’t too sure. And it has always
been like that for as long as I could remember. I guess this has in some
way, contributed to my chronic awkwardness. So, in my sophomore year, I
tried new things I
normally would never do. And some I have even
ended up liking. Trying theatre during the fall forced me to go out and be
in front of an audience, which is not always an easy thing to do.
I also joined the St. Mary’s symphonic band
and played the clarinet. I was not exactly….good at playing the clarinet. I
only knew five notes. To be perfectly honest, I was scared in band class. I
felt like a phony because I didn’t know as much as the other students, but I
was able to redirect that fear and I practiced a lot at home. I progressed
pretty well, which is a common outcome of hard work and dedication.
And, as it turned out, I was not the only one
who was shy in my lack of musical knowledge. Other students felt the same
way- they just all happened to be the freshmen.
Another thing I tried was Track and Field.
Now, anyone who truly knows me knows that I am truly not a sports person.
But I thought I would give this sport a try. No way was I exactly talented
at track and field, but I was proud to be doing something outside of my
comfort zone. I even got my first sports related injury! However, out of my
own personal preference, this sport was something that I may not return to,
but at least I tried it and know with certainty an athlete is not “who I
Parents and students, you are about to enter
into a complex, confusing, and life changing rites of passage in life-high
school. If you thought you were done with it all in middle school, you are
All the awkwardness of puberty and middle
school does not end. It carries on into high school, college, your career
and for the rest of your life unless you truly find out who you are and
become comfortable in your own skin. In all honesty, this is not always easy
for everyone. It certainly hasn’t been for me. I can tell you right now,
when you become a freshmen, though everyone is trying to act cool, everyone
is secretly afraid. It’s natural as a freshmen, I promise. But the
awkwardness and uncertainty ends when you grow comfortable with yourself,
when you decide that you are a unique and important individual with
greatness that the world is waiting for you to share.
St. Mary’s High School is a place where you
could grow in your potential into whatever it is you have to offer. Our arts
and music programs are also very highly qualified. Our math and science
clubs have so much to offer to cultivate young geniuses. We have excellent
sports programs and are leading in some of the biggest championships. We
have so much to help you find you. And on top of that, though many students
have different interests, we still end up like a family, which truly is
unique for a high school. St. Mary’s is one of a kind and so are you. In my
opinion, that is a perfect match.
For additional information or questions, please
209-957-3340 EXT. 187
Su Towne, Registrar
209-957-3340 EXT. 103