The class of 2019 need not be nervous about leaving Brooks and going out into the world in little more than a week. As Sathvik Sudireddy '15 assured all the soon-to-be graduates gathered in the Wilder Dining Hall last Thursday, everyone in Brooks' community is "so connected to the school, even years after graduating."
Sudireddy '15 himself showed as much, returning to campus to serve as the featured speaker for the annual Sixth-Form Induction Dinner — marking the class' official welcome into the alumni community — on May 9.
The alum, who is preparing to graduate too, at the end of the month from Harvard University with a degree in computer science, joined 17 other alumni members including President of the Alumni Board Jon Gibbons '92 at the event fielding questions and offering advice about life post-Brooks.
See the album of photos from the Sixth-Form Induction Dinner
"My years at Brooks were some of the most transformative years of my life," he shared after the talk. "I grew quite a bit as a person through my involvement in the community and was anxious to leave it, so I wanted to come back to Brooks to give back to the school that gave me so much and ease any anxieties the seniors might be having about entering the next phases of their lives."
If students' smiles and laughter was any indication, he accomplished his mission.
"I realized in college that you are not only the reader of your life, experiencing moments as they come, but you are also a writer," he told guests at the event, during which students received Brooks ties and Brooks charm necklaces as gifts to be worn during graduation as well as watched a slideshow video highlighting their time together. "Despite the chaotic unpredictable nature of life, we still have control over the choices we make."
Sudireddy urged the class of 2019 to seek out groups and communities of people in college that will be like a family to them during the inevitable ups and downs of their next four years. "I thought that I would never be able to find the same kind of happiness at college as I did in high school, but I was wrong," he said.
Learn more about the alumni community at Brooks
A big picture view will help them too, he added. "So, as you begin to read the next chapters in your books of life, make sure you never cease to keep writing: that is, be conscious of the fact that any community that gives to you also grows because of the ways you choose to serve it," Sudireddy said. "Don't treat college as a means to an end but as an experience in its own right filled with memories, emotions, failures, successes, friendships, and love. You truly are the masters of your own destinies."
The messages were on point, according to one student who admitted he has "mixed emotions" about graduating. "I am excited for the next phase of my life," Senior Prefect Connor Silva '19 said a day following the event. "But it is going to be very hard to leave Brooks and not see all the people everyday."
Sudireddy's advice? "Don't isolate yourself and devote time to the people around you," he offered as a final takeaway. "You will learn and grow so much from your relationships with other people and should constantly strive towards creating and strengthening these lifelong bonds."
OTHER RECENT STORIES
Using Her Voice
Singer Juliana Cervizzi '20 wrote and produced a single as part of a fundraising campaign to help a young girl get a seizure-alert service dog.
"Very Exciting" Day in the Courtroom
Katharine Gutkoski '22 took her oratory experience from Brooks to the annual Lawrence Bar Association Law Day speech competition.
More than 200 people came together to celebrate the new Center for the Arts, and success of our $60 million Campaign for Brooks, with an art, music and fun-filled soiree.