Andrew Kuznetsov ’22 Speaks at Senior Night

Andrew Kuznetsov ’22 was the Senior Class President. He addressed his peers, friends, and families at Senior Night this spring. Here are his remarks.

Good Evening!

I would first like to thank everyone for coming out tonight to celebrate the accomplishments and the amazing students sitting before us today. This is a collective of students, teachers, faculty, and family that have all worked extremely hard to ensure the success of the class of 2022 and their upcoming commencement.

I joined MICDS as a freshman. And on my last day of middle school, my eighth-grade science teacher had us create mini time capsules that we were to open on the day of graduation. However, given my incredible talent to be patient, I decided to drive down and get mine a week early. The first thing they had us fill out was a sheet that answered basic questions like, “Who do you admire most?” or “What are you looking forward to in high school?” My answers to these questions were pretty stereotypical for an eighth-grader. I put Steph Curry as the person I admire most, and the thing I look forward to most in high school is: “having a good time.”

The section of the time capsule I worked on the most was the letter to your future self. We had full freedom to write anything we wanted and there was no limit to how much we could write. I initially started by asking myself very basic questions like, “Is the Oreo cookie dough caramel concrete from Silkies still my favorite flavor?” or “Will I ever get a Fortnite win?” To which both of the answers to those questions were in fact…yes. Oreo cookie dough is still my favorite flavor and yes, I did get that Fortnite win with a common tactical shotgun, a green assault rifle, and two mini shields. But these were minuscule parts to the big takeaway from this time capsule. At the time I wrote this letter to my future self, I had already known that I would be coming to MICDS in the fall for my freshman year. As the letter progressed I started asking myself more serious questions like, “Will I get into Stanford?” or “Will I make new friends?” Obviously, I quickly realized that I simply wasn’t that guy and Stanford wasn’t in the cards for me but, on the bright side, I did make some awesome new friends. But still, this part of the letter was not the question that resonated with me the most. I ended my time capsule with a question that left me reflecting on the past four years: “Am. I. Happy?”

I’ve thought long and hard about how I wanted to address you all today and how I wanted to answer that simple question. To do this I would like to take you all through our own time capsule that I believe truly encapsulates the Class of 2022 MICDS experience. We are going to go through a time machine that revisits the past four years and highlights our incredible journey. So sit back and relax, close your eyes if you feel necessary, but don’t fall asleep on me as you may start to realize that time passes in the blink of an eye.

It’s August of 2018, you’ve put on your clothes that are obviously in accordance with the dress code and you’re approaching campus for your first day of high school. This is the beginning. You’ve just met your advisory, heard new voices, and seen new faces. Everything feels overwhelming but you’re ready and excited for the challenge. You learn math classes are in STEM, languages in May, and history in Olson Hall. You’re intimidated by the seniors towering over you in the halls but you’re comforted to learn you sit a full level above them during Brauer assemblies. Everything is so simple in the beginning. Small paragraphs with Mr. Terrell instead of 15-page ALT papers with Mr. Tourais, Integrated Math 1 with Ms. Purdy instead of AP Calculus with Proctor. The only true worry you have is making sure you graduate from BOOM and check in with your study hall proctor. You go to sports practices after school where you start to build close relationships that last a lifetime, and on the weekends you go to your first high school football game where you watch a young kid terrorize opposing defenses. His name is Reagan Andrew, you may have heard of him. This is the opening, this is the introduction, this is the beginning.

Now you enter a more chaotic stage. The homework and quick comments start to pile up. The stylus goes missing but you refuse to pay the money to buy a new one. You’ve learned your favorite places on campus, for some the Olson commons area, for others the academic center. Regardless, you’re now adjusting to the next step of your journey. This is the middle. Your best friend just got their license and you can’t wait to hit the open road. You see an obnoxiously loud lifted truck with red rims and a roaring engine pull into C Lot and you think to yourself, “Where did he go wrong?” You make the walk from C Lot to A Lot in the morning and realize you’ll have to make a stop at the bookstore to purchase a new pair of shorts for practice because you left your clothes at home. The middle is overwhelmed with concern for the future. There’s too much going on, but eventually you figure out a system that works for you. Do your homework during your free periods, meet with your teachers during collab, and find the group of friends that makes you happy. And just as you start to get that feeling of comfort, you’re stuck behind a solitary zoom box listening to your teacher talk about the class norms of online school and the position your body needs to be in when you have your camera on. If there’s one thing COVID has taught us, it’s that no one is immune to change.

SATs, ACTs, GPAs, letters of recommendation, AP tests, Common App Essays, the endless list of boxes that need to be checked to head off to that dream school. This is the beginning of the end. The hearth room is officially yours now. You start to take advantage of the off-campus lunch privileges and begin to make frequent runs to Chick-fil-A or Chipotle. You compete in the boat race and watch the boat you worked so hard on completely rip apart in the water as your advisory member begins to slowly plummet into the endless void of that nauseating pond. You dress up with all your friends to participate in the Halloween assembly as people give you weird looks when you drive past them on your mobile Segways. You start to notice the last of things. Last football game, last bonfire, last pep rally, last prom which was technically also your first. You clear the stands after beating Burroughs for the last time which leaves a bittersweet taste in your mouth. The end brings happy endings and new beginnings. Now you move into the final steps of your high school experience. Last advisory, last paper, last math test, last Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and finally just the last day of MICDS. This is officially the end, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. The inevitable destination that comes with a multitude of emotions.

On Sunday we all will close a chapter of our lives as we simultaneously begin to write a new one. As I look back on this chapter and all of its incredible steps along the way, I can confidently not only answer that childhood question with “Yes, I am happy,” but I can go as far as saying I wouldn’t be happier anywhere else. For that, I owe all of you a personal thank you for letting me represent you all these past four years and making my MICDS experience so special. As we move into this next chapter I challenge you all to mentally create your own time capsule and ask yourself, “What do I need to do to continue to answer that simple question with a yes?” Make it such so that the version of yourself four years from now looks down on you with pride for living life with no regrets.

Once again I would like to thank you all one last time for everything you have done for me and I know the people in this room will go on to accomplish great things. I’ll end my speech with a question that I commonly get asked but finally have an answer for. A lot of people ask me what I would do if I Didn’t. Win. Class President. I guess we’ll never know. Thank you, everyone.