Hey, you.

You thought you could avoid me, Freshman Jenna? 

Before you mindlessly continue down a long winding journey where you´ll try to define what a tradition of excellence means to you, take some advice from a not-so-distant stranger. 

I know that you’re scared to take off your glasses. They´re your safety shields and the only image that people know of you. It’s the only way you see yourself because without your glasses, everything is blurry. Literally. But losing your old image opens doors to a new you, with twice the clarity. 

When you first dance to Kpop in public, you confront fear like never before. Instead of lurking beyond its shadows, you stare in its face. And you. Must. Win! You will be stronger because of it and care less about what people think of you.

Please, wake up earlier and stop procrastinating. There will come a day where you will wake up five minutes before the bell and run over to school in three feet of snow with a head of frozen hair and wonder how you are even still alive. 

You know how everyone thinks you´re a 12-year-old all the time? Well, theatre shows you the versatility that is inside you all along — acting from an eight-year-old to a crazed old beggar woman.

I know college apps are on your mind. But, SURPRISE! It takes a global pandemic during senior year to impress upon you that you must learn to live in the present. You have made a family within your violin, choir, theatre, and journalism communities. You have made a home amongst your fellow classmates walking down the ceiling-less halls, most of whom you may never see again. 

The beauty of high school is that everyone on all paths and walks of life are gathered in one place, so enjoy the faces and places around you.  

One day, you will become Senior Jenna. You´ll have your regrets and reflections, but you have found what a tradition of excellence means to you. The world awaits. 

Peace out West High. Thank you for everything.

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