Glad You're Here. This Is...
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Glad You're Here. This Is...

An open letter that I wrote...

Glad You're Here. This Is...
Jonathan Gao

For those whose paths may never cross with mine again,

I remember sitting at my desk in middle school, eagerly anticipating high school because for some reason, the thought of discovering who we are and who we will become in life excited me. I also faintly recall one of my teachers telling us that "the friends we make in high school are the friends we'll have for life."

Fortunately, I didn't have to worry too much about meeting new people because I knew that we'd all be going to the same school. Remember the hot days spent playing basketball at Chinatown or at the park near home or spending the entire evening at school just for breakdance?

I don't know when exactly it happened, but suddenly, it felt as if I fell out of the circle for better or for worse. I wondered: Did our interests grow too far apart during high school? Why did we start differing? Were there suddenly better people to be around? There were certainly times when I doubted my own ability to retain the same friends and found it difficult to hang out because I'd never know what you all were up to.

Despite all of these thoughts, I know that this shouldn't get the best of me. Over time, I've come to terms with myself that it's not all that important to belong to a particular group or to try and fit into somewhere I don't really belong anymore. In the next four years, we'll be even further apart since most of you are going to the same college. Now having said that, I sincerely hope that each one of you finds your own success, whether that's success in becoming phenomenal architects, exceptional technicians, marvelous dancers and actors, or whatever you put your mind towards becoming.

Hey, maybe we'll meet again and will have plenty of things to catch up on; whether that's in a few months when we're invited back to school for an alumni event or in ten (or even twenty) years when life has shaped and molded us into the people we were meant to become.

For those whom I've met and trusted in high school,

Whether you're someone I've spent hours doing research in the chemistry lab with, worked on college essays in the hallways with, did a bunch of open houses and major events with, or simply hung out with during weeks off, I sincerely appreciate getting to know you and learning a thing or two about how to better myself as a person. From playing sports consistently throughout high school to doing research in subjects that an average student would dread to taking up several active roles in the school community simultaneously, I've looked up to all of these things that you all already found yourself doing on many occasions. I can rest assured that each one of you will go to far lengths to help and serve others. In the near future, you can bet that I'll strive to emulate you through the qualities which motivate you to do what you do best. The more I hear about the things that you all have already achieved, the more motivated I become to lead by example as well.

As for some of my mentors, I am confident that you will continue to make good efforts to make classes both enjoyable and accommodating and that you will influence future classes to actively work towards their aspirations. As students, we seem to overlook how important the teacher's role is until we genuinely consider what we are passionate about and decide to seek someone else's teaching, advice, or support. Apart from desk-slamming, paper-tearing, frustratingly long hours of studying chemistry, I wouldn't have realized how important it is to take full advantage of the time we are given by pursuing meaningful opportunities (thanks Mr. Lee!). I've had the confidence to try my luck at applying for every opportunity that can help me out in the long-run as well as networking with people who can support me with my endeavors (thank you, Ms. Liu!). I would have never considered aviation and piloting as part of my dream career without flight school (I sincerely appreciate it, Dr. Price!).

(And lastly) For those whom I've already met or will meet in college,

It's nice to meet you! If I've spent a lot of time talking to you already, I hope that you will make my college experience a lot more memorable than my high school one as I wish to do the same for you. Whether it's passing out in the library or lounges before finals, having dumb conversations during club meetings, or getting food in the large time gaps between classes, I genuinely look forward to it all! I'd also like you to know that I want to do things differently, that I'm treating the next four years as my clean slate, that I want to start myself over again.



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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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