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Stratton Smith

A Panel Alongside the Youth of America

by Stratton Smith | Oct 26, 2016

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of speaking to just over 100 East Noble Middle-Schoolers at Manchester. A fellow blogger and I took the stage as all of these students asked us question after question. Just as the mind of a middle-schooler works, the questions were scattered everywhere from, “What do you want to do after college” to “When do you guys eat lunch?” Nonetheless, time flew by quick because these students made the experience fun. Hilariously, I even was asked if I modeled by a little girl. AT LEAST SOMEONE APPRECIATES MY FACE. Sadly, I should’ve mentioned to the girl that the world doesn’t deserve to see THIS much beauty at one time. I pride myself on my humility.

As we moved along from question to question, I noticed we didn’t get THAT many silly question. All of these middle-schoolers were asking questions that I was asking just months before I made my decision to go to Manchester. It’s REALLY, REALLY cool to see the youth of America this excited and interactive about their futures.  I have a nephew in 7th grade and it’s weird to think that he might already be thinking about college. *sheds tear about my widdle baby nephew growing up, but in reality I’m crying because I’m getting so old, but then PLOTTWIST; the tears I’m crying are tears of joy because I know I’m just THAT much closer to cashin’ in those social security checks and just straight-up FLEXIN’ on haters—Holy wow, that got out-of-hand. My apologies everyone.

Getting back to these mini-adults, it’s really reassuring to see them excited about education, because I don’t see much of that in college anymore. Several students come to Manchester for a sport. Truthfully, there is nothing wrong with that. I partially came here for a sport as well, BUT I have always made sure that I don’t define myself as an athlete, as opposed to a well-rounded human being that is just trying his best (coffee helps). Education and expanding/maturing your mind something we should all strive to do at Manchester, but so often we believe our four years at MU should be based around something we do on a field or court. It’s just super reassuring to see an abundance of young people be eager to further their education, while I’m not seeing as many living, breathing students making those strides.

Stratton Smith ’17 is an English major, hailing from a small town just east of Indianapolis. Stratton is the captain of the tennis team, co-founder of Academic Probation, Manchester's improv troupe, and Vice President of the Theatre & Society club.