An Open Letter To The Faculty And Staff Of My High School

An Open Letter To The Faculty And Staff Of My High School

Thank you for helping me to succeed, and for making school enjoyable every day.

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I come from a high school that gets a bad rep. It can't help it. Being ridiculously underfunded and a part of a district that is outrageously indebted, it could be looked at the wrong way. My high school gets a lot of bad comments, and a lot of the kids say that they hate it there. (I can't say I haven't said it a couple times when I was being dramatic.)

I'm not going to lie, going there was no walk in the park, but I feel as if we are so caught up by the negatives surrounding West Scranton High School and the Scranton School District in general, that we forget to acknowledge the positives. There is so much good to say about that building, and it needs to be recognized.

Is it extremely underfunded? Yes. Did I break my hand because the ceiling was leaking so the floor was wet and I slipped?

Yes.

Was I unable to take a science class my senior year, despite wanting to major in the stem field in college?

Yes.

Was there more regard given to whether students are in dress code or not as opposed to students' grades and behaviors and well-being?

Yes.

But was it an overall terrible place to be? No. But why? What is keeping that place afloat? Why am I going to stand here and say that that school is a great school and I'm thrilled to have had the opportunity to have gone there, despite all of the negatives I just described? Why does West Scranton High School hold such a deep spot in my heart?

The answer is obvious:

The faculty and staff.

That school honestly has the best group of teachers and staff members. I'm not just saying that because they're nice people who are amicable and are pleasant to be around because although that is true, they are so much more than that. Almost all of the people who work at West Scranton High School are true, genuine people who, at least from my personal experience, went out of their way to go above and beyond what was expected of them to make my high school experience, as well as the high school experiences of my classmates, so much better.



I could say something amazing about every single faculty and the staff member there. They all truly impacted my life. In particular, my AP Calculus teacher spent her free time during the school day tutoring me twice a week because I was struggling, which proves how much she truly cared about me understanding the material.

My AP Literature teacher turned me from a science nerd into a science nerd who loves to read classic literature and can write a fantastic essay. He is such a talented teacher who truly transformed me as a writer. My AP U.S. history teacher went out of her way to help me get two (yes... not one, but two!) scholarships while running the Red Cross club.

All three of my cheer coaches taught me life lessons through the sport of cheerleading, such as persistence and the fact that hard work pays off. So many of my teachers wrote me letters of recommendation to help me get into college. All of the faculty and staff members always said hello.

From the office workers to the maintenance, to teachers and other workers in the building, they are all always willing to acknowledge you and have a nice chat. Teachers who I never even had in class would go out of their way to acknowledge me and say hi.

We have teachers who go out of their way to plan amazing and educational school trips to Boston and Washington D.C. We have the P.R.I.D.E. team of teachers who go out of their way to reward students and make school more enjoyable. The school facebook page, which is run by a teacher, posts inspirational quotes every day.

I mean come on, how cute is that? Our teachers even participate in a fun "anything goes" day at the end of the year. I can't exaggerate the fact enough that it is these people who make West Scranton High School great.

They were the reason I wanted to come to school every day. They made me love to learn. They made me want to be there. I am so grateful to have been able to attend a high school with such amazing people. So what I fell and broke my hand because there was no wet floor sign.

So what if I wasn't able to take a science my senior year. On the grand spectrum of high school as a whole, those things are irrelevant because what truly matters is how I was surrounded by happy faculty and staff members every single day who truly made my high school experience great.



Do I miss high school? No. Do I wish I could go back? Not at all. The college has brought me many bigger and better things, and I have grown a lot since high school graduation. But, does that mean I don't appreciate the time I spent at West Scranton High School, and don't look back on it as a fantastic experience that made me who I am today?

Absolutely not.

I will always remember the lessons I learned in high school that truly prepared me for college and the real world, and it was the faculty and staff of West Scranton High School that did that. I reflect upon my high school years as a period of time in my life that has passed and that I have since moved on from, but still greatly appreciate.

Thank you to the faculty and staff of West Scranton High School. We truly appreciate you and all that you do! Thank you for being the reason we bleed blue. #InvaderPride

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Please Spare Me From The Three Months Of Summer Break When People Revert Back To High Schoolers

They look forward to swapping stories with their friends at the local diner, walking around their old high school with a weird sense of superiority, and reminiscing their pre-college lives.

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I know a surprising amount of people who actually couldn't wait to go home for the summer. They look forward to swapping stories with their friends at the local diner, walking around their old high school with a weird sense of superiority, and reminiscing their pre-college lives.

Me? Not so much. I don't mean to sound bitter. It's probably really comforting to return to a town where everyone knows your name, where your younger friends want you around to do their prom makeup, and where you can walk through Target without hiding in the deodorant aisle. But because I did this really annoying thing where my personality didn't really develop and my social anxiety didn't really loosen its grip on me until college, I have a very limited number of people to return to.

If you asked someone from my high school about Julia Bond, they would probably describe her as shy, studious, and uptight. I distinctly remember being afraid of people who JUULed (did you get high from it? was it illegal? could I secondhand smoke it and get lung cancer?) and crying over Algebra 1 in study hall (because nothing says fun and friendly like mascara steaks and furious scribbling in the back corner while everyone else throws paper airplanes and plays PubG Mobile).

I like to tell my college friends that if I met High School Julia, I would beat her up. I would like to think I could, even though I go to the gym now a third of the time I did then. It's not that it was High School Julia's fault that she closed herself off to everyone. She had a crippling fear of getting a B and an even worse fear of other people. But because she was so introverted and scared, College Julia has nothing to do but re-watch "The Office" for the 23rd time when she comes back.

Part of me is jealous of the people who came into their own before college. I see pictures of the same big friend groups I envied from a distance in high school, all their smiling faces at each other's college football games and pool parties and beach trips, and it makes me sad that I missed out on so many friendships because I was too scared to put myself out there. That part of me really, really wishes I had done things differently.

But a bigger, more confident part of me is really glad I had that experience. Foremost, everything I've gone through has shaped me. I mean, I hid in the freaking bathroom during lunch for the first two weeks of my freshman year of high school. I never got up to sharpen my pencil because I was scared people would talk about me. I couldn't even eat in front of people because I was so overwhelmingly self-conscious. I remember getting so sick at cross country practice because I ran four or five miles on an empty stomach.

Now, I look back and cringe at the ridiculousness because I've grown so much since then. Sure, I still have my quirks and I'm sure a year from now I'll write an article about what a weirdo Freshman Julia was. But I can tell who had the same experience as me. I can tell who was lonely in high school because they talk to the kids on my floor that study by themselves. I can tell who was afraid of speaking up because they listen so well. I can tell who was without a friend group because they stand by me when others don't. I can tell who hated high school, because it's obvious that they've never been as happy as they are now.

My dislike for high school, while inconvenient for this summer, might be one of the best things to happen to me. I learned how to overcome my fears, how to be independent, and how to make myself happy. I never belonged in high school, and that's why I will never take for granted where I belong here at Rutgers.

So maybe I don't have any prom pictures with a bunch of colorful dresses in a row, and maybe I didn't go to as many football games as I should have. Maybe I would've liked pep rallies, and maybe I missed out on senior week at the beach. But if I had experienced high school differently, I wouldn't be who I am today.

I wouldn't pinch myself daily because I still can't believe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I wouldn't smile so hard every time I come back from class and hear my floormates calling me from the lounge.

I wouldn't well up when my roommate leaves Famous Amos cookies on my desk before a midterm, or know how to help the girl having a panic attack next to me before a final, or hear my mom tell my dad she's never seen me this happy before.

If I had loved high school, I wouldn't realize how amazing I have it in college. So amazing, in fact, that I never want to go home.

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What Kind Of Alcohol Are You Based On Your Zodiac Sign?

Let your horoscope decide what you drink this weekend.

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Have you ever wondered what kind of alcohol fits perfectly with your zodiac? Have you ever thought, "if I was a drink, what kind of drink would I be?" Well, look no further because here is a comprehensive list of what kind of alcohol each of the zodiac signs are:

1. Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Beer

Relaxed, down to earth, and always there when you need them, Taurus you are just like our good ol' pal beer. You never let us down. You're always willing to relax with a calm night in, eating food and having a good time, which is why you're the perfect counterpart to beer. Beer is perfect while having a nice, chill time at home or the bar.

2. Gemini (May ​21 - June 20)

Vodka Red Bull

Just like the two sides of every Gemini, mixing vodka (a depressant) with Red Bill (which gives you energy), is the best of both worlds. Better watch out though, because while you can be the life of the party, one flip of the switch and you can be an angry drunk. Just like when drinking Vodka Red Bulls, you never know what you're going to get by the end of the night.

3. Scorpio (October 23 - November 21)

Whiskey

You're strong and intense, just like whiskey. There's no moderation, and you're either going full force or going home early. There's also no telling where the night will end up when it comes to Scorpio's or drinking whiskey. Will you fight someone, or will you open up about your true feelings and end the night crying? Who knows.

4. Libra (September 23 - October 22)

Champagne

Libra, you're friendly, outgoing, charming and idealistic. Just like a nice glass of champagne, you're bubbly, full of fun and always a good time to be around. Basically, you're the ideal drinking partner. Just like champagne, you're full of socialization and the perfect way to do this is by splitting a bottle of champagne with your friends.

5. Aquarius (January 20 - February 18)

Cosmopolitan

You're independent, original and intellectual. You're a classic, just like the Cosmo. Whether you're relaxing after a day of work, or meeting up with your friends at the bar, you're always standing a little bit on your own, and you like that.

6. Cancer (June 21 - July 22)

Wine

You're creative, sensitive, and relate to everything and everyone in life. You're life can seem like a roller coaster of emotions which is why wine is the drink you most relate to. Depending on the kind of night, wine also can make a person feel all kinds of emotions -- from happy to sad, creative to festive -- wine just as much of a roller coaster as you are.

7. Leo (July 23 - August 22)

Tequila

Bold and enthusiastic, packing a punch and always headstrong, Leo, you're one in the same with tequila. You're always the center of attention (whether it be good or bad) and you never run out of energy, which is why you are just like tequila.

8. Virgo (August 23 - September 22)

Gin

Virgos are always paying attention to the smallest details, have a deep sense of humanity and are one with nature. This is a sign that's often also misunderstood, and all of these reasons are why Virgo's are so closely related to gin, which many people either don't like or don't understand. You're also very much of a solo act, which is much like Gin in that nothing else even slightly compares.

9. Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21)

Screwdriver

Energetic, fun, generous and humorous, you are one of a kind, Sagittarius. Just like a vodka OJ, you're enjoyed pretty much by everyone, and tend not to be sloppy while everyone else is getting trashed.

10. Capricorn (December 22 - January 19)

All. Of. It.

Capricorns, or should we say chameleons, are the perfect drinking buddies, as they can have fun in pretty much any situation they are thrown into. Capricorn's are your carefree friend who just wants to have fun, and this means drinking pretty much anything they are given. They don't care about much other than partying and getting drunk.

11. Pisces (February 19 - March 20)

Absinthe

You're creative and adventurous. Just like the drink Absinthe, you march to the beat of your own drum. Drinking with a pisces, just like drinking absinthe, is quite the unique experience and you never know what's going to happen by the end of the night. Whatever does happen, however, you know it's going to be an adventure.

Next time you go out, think about what kind of alcohol the stars have aligned for you.

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