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An Open Letter to Every High School Student

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Dear Student,

At this point in time, you’re most likely making several important decisions. Maybe you’re a freshman looking to make new friends, or a sophomore trying out for a sports team. As a junior, you might be navigating the beginning of the college process. Seniors, you’re probably counting down until graduation. At any grade level, all of your choices and actions count toward your future. Whether you realize that now or later, each experience you have impacts you in some way.

As a graduating senior, I understand what you’re going through. Countless hours of homework, studying, and practice creates an impossible social life. Waking up early every morning makes the year feel like it will never end. Finding out that your best friend betrayed you seems like the end of the world. Looking at your Biology test and not knowing half of the answers (even when you studied for hours) ruins the rest of the week. And in the midst of all that, you’re expected to find something that gives you purpose.

While you may think that you’re alone in the challenges you face, you’re not. Now, maybe you’re thinking: “Everyone shares that cliché comment with me.” However, you must remember that you and I are the same. We are both human. We are young people. We have stayed up late studying for exams. Therefore, I can offer you real advice that comes from my journey in school.

First of all, stop worrying about how others perceive you. Be happy with who you are and strive to become the best version of you. Of course, you should care about your reputation, but do not let your classmates define you. Some girls think about their looks constantly. In the past, I didn’t realize how ridiculous this was. What happened to loving yourself as you are? Boys, on the other hand, may care more about being accepted rather than feeling strong in their own interests. For example, a guy might quit band to play football when he has never even held a football before. Don’t let society dictate how you view yourself. Take a look in mirror and be thankful for your identity. Focus on your talents and strengths and search for that in others. At the end of the day, self-love is most important.

Sincerely,

Jessica Sivillo

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Jessica Sivillo (`16) grew up and currently lives in Mentor, Ohio. The 2015-16 school year marks her fourth year at Gilmour Academy and her first and second time as a member of The Lance staff. For grades K-8, Jessica attended St. Mary's of The Assumption. She currently writes about a wide variety of topics including editorials and features. Jessica plans to major in Communications or Pre-Law at The University of Tampa. Jessica is a leader of The Measles Initiative, a four-year member of Peace and Justice Club, a four-year member of SADD, and a two-year Eucharistic minister. She is very passionate about working with special needs people. In her free time, Jessica likes to hang out with her friends, ice skate, and play volleyball.