Timothy Alexander returns to address seniors, challenges students to succeed under pressure

Photo by Cayden Gu
Photo by Cayden Gu

Motivational speaker Timothy Alexander spoke in the PAC during study hall on Nov. 4, reminding seniors to challenge themselves to excel under pressure and enjoy their senior year.

“I came to Paly to remind the students that it’s not about what you go through; it’s about what you grow through,” Alexander told The Campanile. “Challenges are difficulties that lead to growth. I want to challenge students to control what they can control and respond the best way they can respond.”

Principal Brent Kline said Alexander wanted to come speak again after a conversation about the Paly-Gunn football game on Sept. 9.

“During that whole time, I was talking to our friend TA on the phone, and he was giving me lots of advice and inspirational words because I was frustrated,” Kline said. “During those conversations, all of a sudden TA said, ‘Brent, I need to come back.’”

Throughout his speech, Alexander emphasized the importance of committing oneself to making the best decisions possible, even if they are tough.

“One of the challenges I give to you today is not just to make a decision, but to choose to live with the decision that you make,” Alexander said during his speech. “I challenge you to make a decision in your senior year to enjoy every single day.”

Senior Anna Wingard said she appreciated Alexander’s speech because it applies to her life.

“I really loved the speaker,” Wingard said. “He helps me have a better outlook on life and a more positive way to think of struggles and barriers I’m going to face in my life.”

Alexander also spoke to faculty the morning before the speech. English Teacher Hunter Reardon said Alexander presents a clear message that students can identify with.

“I think he does such a good job of labeling some of the challenges and struggles that his audience is facing,” Reardon said.

Reardon said he thinks Alexander’s message could motivate students to confront and overcome the challenges that they are facing in Paly’s competitive environment and grow from the experience.

“I think there are students here that are going to need that extra push,” Reardon said. “They have the skills. They have the ability and the resources. I think a lot of students need to be reminded that struggle can be productive.”

Alexander said he appreciated the opportunity to speak to the senior class and concluded his speech by reminding his audience to maintain a positive mindset.

“You all made me feel loved, and you all made me feel like family,” Alexander said. “Remember, we don’t need it to be easy. We just need it to be possible.”

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