Closing Remarks

Dear C7,

To begin with - I’m terrified of public speaking. I tremble at the thought of public speaking, I have social anxiety, I find it difficult at times to even look at people for no reason at all. It’s not your fault. You’re all lovely and I wanted to thank you all personally for showing up tonight on this busy Wednesday night. With that being said, you must be wondering

“What is she doing up here then?”

Yesterday, Mr.Goodwin came up to me and asked if I’d like to be a public speaker for tonight. Without thinking I said “Yes!” Do you want to know why? Because I felt comfortable with it. I feel comfortable with this new idea that maybe I won’t mess up while standing up here- I know for a fact I’m not nervous. This is the true power of community and this is what happens when people support each other. To me that is the core of Rivers and Revolutions – becoming a close-knit family with people you might have just otherwise just passed by in the hallways. It’s all about making connections with others personally and deeply, not just based off of common interests. This semester has brought me closer to myself and others when I would usually stay away for whatever reason. The members of C7 are my friends, family, supporters and all of the above.

I never felt comfortable with myself in general before I went into Rivers. I would constantly beat myself up for “Not being good enough” for “Not meeting standards” and thinking that “I just don’t belong here.”

Eighty-six days later, I’ve already learned so much more than I would while sitting in bland classrooms for seven hours.

Truth of the matter is – school in my opinion –  is just based on numbers and selective skill-sets.

You are more than a calculator, you are not the textbooks they give you to cram your mind with info. You are a human being with feelings and emotions and this is what Rivers taught me. It taught me about life and how we all revolve with each other in all ways.

You know, I was terribly afraid of public speaking once.

Before I go, I’m going to tell you a phrase I’ve said in my own cohort. I think it’s time you all heard it too.

C7 is forever, not just one semester.

Thank You,

Lauren Brown


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