“Choose Your Seats Wisely”: Cameron Rockwell Speaks at Class Day ’23


Lin Illingworth

Cameron Rockwell delivers his speech on Class Day ’23

Cameron Rockwell, Media Editor

I remember my first day of freshman year, all the terror and the excitement, finding my first class— and promptly choosing a seat in the back corner of the classroom.

I’ve spent my entire four years here choosing seats in the back corner. I thought I was being smart, I could be an observer, watching without being in the middle of it all. What I did was set myself up for socialization failure. Instead of sharing the high school experience with my peers, I watched theirs as if I were a fly on the wall.

I failed to take the opportunities I wanted because I was afraid of what might happen if I did, but speaking from personal experience: you will regret it more if you don’t. In the words of author Marie Lu: “You rarely regret the things you do, but always the things you don’t.” I’ve talked to more of you in the past three months than I have in the four years before that, and I’ve realized that a lot of you are actually really cool.

And now, here I am, talking to all of you at once. I’m surprised too! I wish I hadn’t let my social anxiety get in the way of me experiencing these interactions with all of you sooner.

There will be points in your life where you’re uncertain about who you are, about how to fit into our school environment, where your place in the world is. You may feel the time passing by quickly, and pressure building up as you still have yet to create an impact here. The truth is, to create an impact on the world, you just need to be kind, to the people and the world around you. If you have changed one person’s life by being kind, then you have already created a positive impact in the world.

Soon, what we are living now just becomes an echo of the past. For my fellow seniors, our entire high school experience is just a kaleidoscope of memories at this point. We remember our first day as freshmen— confused, starry-eyed, and excited at the possibilities before us. We will remember our graduation, the knot that ties high school together. I want you to remember all the moments in between that, no matter how small. Underclassman, you are still creating these memories, make sure they’re good ones. Don’t forget the moments that happen between these walls, because these are the moments that are shaping us into the people we are today, and the ones we will become once we graduate.

I urge you all not to make the same mistakes that I have. Choose a seat in the middle of the classroom, initiate a conversation, and don’t be afraid to take up space in the world. And if you have already shared these mistakes, then you have your remaining time at HB, and the rest of your life to amend that. Go out into the world, talk to people, make friends, share stories, and choose your seats wisely.