"I've learned more from Shortridge students than I could probably ever teach..."

I certainly am hopeful that, even if in just some very small way, I’ve been able to make an impact on a student or students at Shortridge High School this semester. But the one thing I know for sure is that they’ve made a massive impact on me. This experience has taught me more about myself than I ever imagined it would; it’s showed me some of my strengths, some of my weaknesses, and helped me better understand how I think and what I believe.

Simply getting to know students coming from different backgrounds than myself has been eye-opening and helped me gain additional perspective. While I feel very fortunate to have attended the schools I have and gotten the many opportunities I have in life, it's always important to consider that many people don't have nearly the same opportunities as you. And that's not to say that certain types of experiences are better or more valuable, of course, but rather that a different perspective can help you understand and relate with people on a much better level.

As someone who’s pursuing a career in communications, my time at Shortridge has shown me a lot about my strengths and weaknesses as a communicator and as a listener. I’ve learned areas where I am a good communicator and a good listener, someone who’s able to process what their told and follow up, ask more questions, and use previous knowledge in future conversations. And I’ve learned areas for improvement, particularly when it comes to expressing myself clearly in a way that can be understood by who I’m talking with. My experience has helped me discover various areas for growth that I have.

The students at Shortridge, although mostly not intentionally, have taught me a thing or two about resilience, about pushing yourself to succeed no matter what others say, and about looking at the bright side of life no matter what you’re dealing with. This whole experience has been a valuable reminder to me that despite our backgrounds, our history, our geography, our life experiences, and our personal preferences, we all share many more similarities than we ever will differences.

Chris Brown is a senior Sports Media major.