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Faith Blog

95 Things I’ve Learned: Senior High School Speech

Apr 21, 2012 6:22:16 PM / by Chris Heinz

chris_heinz_senior_high_school_thumbI came across the speech I wrote as a senior in high school. That was 1995 and I was 17. Popular were the “Things I Learned…” books, so in 1995 I wrote the 95 things I’ve learned so far. Here they are in original form, that is, unedited. I still agree with most of them, although I would love to rewrite a few.

When I was assigned to write a speech about my experiences thus far, I immediately felt overwhelmed. How could I possibly include every moment that has been significant, every person that has made a difference, every little idiosyncrasy that makes me unique? I couldn’t choose just one friend and forget the others or pick one experience and blank out the rest. I had to include them all.

Probably the only thing that ties them together is the fact they’ve all taught me something. They’ve done it in their own ways, in their own styles, in their own times, but they have all left me a little wiser. While others have been floating through life I have been soaking it all in. It’s been quite a journey. So now I present to you, as a member of the Class of ‘95, the 95 things that I’ve learned throughout this journey called life.

In case you don’t make it to the end, here’s the conclusion:

It’s difficult for me to write any kind of conclusion to this presentation. I feel there isn’t much else in need of being said. However, I think we all have to take heart and think about #95: “I’ve learned that we are all as capable to teach as we are to learn.” It’s a powerful thing to interact with one another: we obtain new knowledge, which can hurt and which can heal. What we do with this newfound knowledge can make all the difference.

If it can hurt, do we pass it along, or if it can heal, do we keep it to ourselves? We can all influence the world in such profound ways. We all have special gifts and talents, experiences and opportunities meant just for us. How we will use these stepping stones is for us to choose. Will you teach and will you learn? I challenge you to decide.
- Christopher Heinz, June 10, 1995

01. I’ve learned that often I have hurt those I love most in order to impress those I love least.

02. I’ve learned that sweat is good.

03. I’ve learned that honesty really is the best policy.

04. I’ve learned that if I like myself, nothing else matters.

05. I’ve learned that parents really are on their children’s sides.

06. I’ve learned that taking your little brother out to lunch isn’t as bad as it sounds.

07. I’ve learned that not all people have good intentions.

08. I’ve learned that a lecture and a grounding won’t stop me from doing what I want to do.

09. I’ve learned that I have to be convinced myself in order to take a stand.

10. I’ve learned that most people will believe what they want to believe.

11. I’ve learned that really good friends don’t come along too often.

12. I’ve learned that burying my head in my dog’s fur is one of the best things in the world.

13. I’ve learned that being sick isn’t as bad when Mom’s home.

14. I’ve learned that I can’t stay in school all day.

15. I’ve learned that when God seemed far away, it was me who moved.

16. I’ve learned that at the touch of a girl, things don’t seem so bad anymore.

17. I’ve learned that complaining doesn’t solve anything.

18. I’ve learned that I can stare at the sky for hours.

19. I’ve learned that everyone should be a twin.

20. I’ve learned that I enjoy getting dressed up.

21. I’ve learned that the most fun occurs while doing something you can’t plan for.

22. I’ve learned that there isn’t anything worse than junior high.

23. I’ve learned that more people have dreamt they’ve gone to school in their underwear than haven’t.

24. I’ve learned that futons aren’t as fun as they look.

25. I’ve learned that a good cry once in awhile isn’t sissy at all.

26. I’ve learned that junior highers really aren’t that bad.

27. I’ve learned that the best revenge is no revenge.

28. I’ve learned that my coaches care more about me than my swimming.

29. I’ve learned that long distance relationships don’t work.

30. I’ve learned that life really is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re gonna get.

31. I’ve learned that being a leader is a lot more than giving speeches.

32. I’ve learned that I wouldn’t mind turning out like my parents.

33. I’ve learned that first-ever paychecks are meant to be spent right away.

34. I’ve learned that of the few things this teenager does now, it’s not everything.

35. I’ve learned that even my little brother has something to teach me.

36. I’ve learned that I hate when Corl Street has a blinking red light.

37. I’ve learned that pimples are a bad idea.

38. I’ve learned that everyone should dye his or her hair sometime.

39. I’ve learned that the feeling I get after cleaning my car isn’t the same I get after cleaning someone else’s.

40. I’ve learned that mooning people doesn’t end when you hit 40.

41. I’ve learned that I should take time to enjoy the books read in English class.

42. I’ve learned that “Wind Beneath My Wings” applies to everyone.

43. I’ve learned that it feels good to receive a compliment, but even better to give one.

44. I’ve learned that if you can’t tell your parents about it, it’s probably bad for you.

45. I’ve learned that I don’t like deodorant flakes.

46. I’ve learned that people can be amazingly compassionate.

47. I’ve learned that no one has ever died from not doing his or her Physics homework.

48. I’ve learned that everyone has a past.

49. I’ve learned that “Forrest Gump” has a different lesson every time.

50. I’ve learned that children’s books aren’t really written for children.

51. I’ve learned that a lot of people are born not with a lack of will, but a lack of opportunity.

52. I’ve learned that I love to have my feet rubbed.

53. I’ve learned that I don’t enjoy shaving my body and wearing panty hose.

54. I’ve learned that the best way to my heart is through a song.

55. I’ve learned that a maroon gown never looked so good.

56. I’ve learned that we spend too much time talking and not enough time listening.

57. I’ve learned that everyone is an authority on something.

58. I’ve learned that yellow traffic lights mean “slow down,” not “speed up.”

59. I’ve learned that Eat ‘N Park really is the place for smiles.

60. I’ve learned that I can eat Pop Tarts anytime except for in the morning.

61. I’ve learned that a good reputation isn’t a bad thing.

62. I’ve learned that Physics Day at Kennywood isn’t as fun as it sounds.

63. I’ve learned that more goes on at junior high fun nights that at most high school proms.

64. I’ve learned that we are all more alike than different.

65. I’ve learned that happy teachers produce happy students.

66. I’ve learned that three months of summer pass by much quicker than three months of school.

67. I’ve learned that new sneakers are meant to get dirty.

68. I’ve learned that when people aren’t happy with themselves, they can’t be happy with anyone else.

69. I’ve learned that my lowest times in life have been the greatest teachers.

70. I’ve learned that swimming outside at 6:30 in the morning is actually a good thing.

71. I’ve learned that I enjoy helping a girl put her swim cap on.

72. I’ve learned that everyone should over-tip.

73. I’ve learned that making my dad laugh is one of my greatest joys in life.

74. I’ve learned that most people who wear sunglasses do it to look at other people.

75. I’ve learned that it’s possible to meet your future spouse in high school.

76. I’ve learned that doughnuts taste best in English class.

77. I’ve learned that everything goes with jeans.

78. I’ve learned that it’s bad to throw away incriminating evidence in an envelope with your name and address on it.

79. I’ve learned that manhood is not defined by the length of your hair.

80. I’ve learned that love is different for everyone.

81. I’ve learned that people more than twice your age can be among your greatest friends.

82. I’ve learned that I’m not a good pen pal.

83. I’ve learned that the night before Christmas isn’t meant to be slept through.

84. I’ve learned that some children are more mature than some adults.

85. I’ve learned that there are few things better than the feeling I get after cleaning my room.

86. I’ve learned that I enjoy getting mail.

87. I’ve learned that optimists live longer than pessimists.

88. I’ve learned that everyone should go skinnydipping at least once.

89. I’ve learned that people should smile more.

90. I’ve learned that “your only limits will be the size of your dreams and the degree of your dedication.”

91. I’ve learned that ghosts are real.

92. I’ve learned that gym class is a dangerous place.

93. I’ve learned that I enjoy seeing my name in print.

94. I’ve learned that every adult walked 12 miles to school in the snow.

95. I’ve learned that we are all as capable to teach as we are to learn.

Which ones resonate with you? Do you have any to add?

Topics: Personal Growth

Chris Heinz

Written by Chris Heinz

I help people know themselves so they can be better. I'm a trainer and coach around strengths, the Enneagram, and employee engagement. As the Chief People Officer for EnergyCAP, Inc., I'm also a top-rated Learning Partner for Penn State. I hold coaching certifications from Gallup and the International Coach Federation, and in the Enneagram. My writing has been featured as "Best of the Week" by "Human Resources Today." I'm also the author of the “Made To Pray” book and prayer assessment, which helps people find their prayer strengths. I live with my wife and three children in central PA and blog from www.ChrisHeinz.com.