Bedford senior Robert Flynn shares advice for success in school

Bedford’s Robert Flynn, an unabashedly proud member of the Bedford High School Class of 2014, shares some recollections intended to ease the way for those who in their own time will be walking away with a diploma in hand.

Flynn, 18, a lifelong resident of Bedford, credits his participation in numerous school activities for giving him an outlook that is open to new ideas, accepting of unexpected enlightenment and respectful of those whose customs impart knowledge.

Bedford High Principal Bill Hagen suggested Flynn be the subject of this year’s senior profile because of the student’s record of excellence in academics, sports, service to the school and a willingness to assist in community programs and projects.

Flynn allows that his participation in the Model United Nations gave him an appreciation of those whose lives are led in foreign lands. He made the team and was chosen to be on the executive board. One year, his team took on the role of citizens from Yemen, an Arab republic in Western Asia whose population is more than 23 million.

“Growing up in Bedford, you might not really know about foreign countries,” Flynn said. “The first year of my participation, our group was assigned to pretend we were the country of Yemen. We learned a lot about debating and international policy.”

He advises underclassmen to investigate trying out for the Model United Nations organization at the school because it offers an avenue to meeting people of diverse backgrounds and learning about traditions that one might not otherwise explore.

Flynn’s expanded sense of diplomacy had applications in sports. He was an avid member of the soccer team and its fall captain. Track is another of his favorite sports. He credits the school’s sports coaches for their guidance in honing his skills.

“We are lucky to have terrific coaches that look out for our well-being,” Flynn said. “You can go to practice after school, when you might be having a bad day, and you get positive energy from the team and the coaches.”

He urges incoming freshmen and those in other grade levels to take a look at the roster of activities offered at Bedford High and choose an activity that perhaps is a step away from their comfort zone. He allows that the challenge of learning new skills is well worth the effort.

A recommendation to take purposeful notice of the time spent in school and to appreciate the passing of the years is also a part of his counsel.

“I’ve definitely enjoyed my time here,” Flynn said. “You want to value your time and make the most of it. Whether your social life is the most important thing, or your activities in clubs, playing an instrument, or playing a sport, I say, ‘Enjoy the time you have.’”

The application of his time toward productive activities has paid off for Flynn. He said he was mindful from the first day of school that there are many ways to go when surrounded by hundreds of individuals with their own values and beliefs.

“Set yourself up for success, right from the start,” Flynn said. “You make your own decisions. Whatever you put into it, you get out of it.”

Flynn, whose grade-point average is 3.6, will be attending Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, where he will run track. He recently won the NHIAA Division 1 400-meter race at the state meet. The college is a highly selective, coeducational, nationally recognized college that specializes in the liberal arts and sciences.

Flynn said he will study economics and political science. He also has an interest in education. He currently has a part-time job as a fitness coach to youngsters ages 6-10 who are enrolled at My Gym Children’s Fitness Center, 410 South River Road, Bedford.

“Hard work, doing track and soccer and doing Model United Nations helped get me into college,” Flynn said. “I always tried throughout high school to work hard and challenge myself. I think it is also important to have balance and time with your friends and family.”

Flynn said that, in his opinion, school should take priority during the high school years. Distractions are easy to encounter, he added, but perseverance from the first day of high school offers a satisfying payoff on the last day – graduation day.

“Start off strong,” Flynn said. “I’m glad I did.”

The graduation ceremony for Bedford High School’s Class of 2014 is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, June 14, at the school, 47 Nashua Road. The parking lot will open at 7:30 a.m. The location is Bulldog Stadium, alongside the school, or inside the school’s gymnasium in the case of rain.

For more information, visit BHS online at