February first, 2022. I arrived at school promptly before 7:30. With a few minutes to spare, I scrolled through Instagram. Then my world was rocked. Not figuratively, but literally: my car got hit by a student driver. 

As much as I want to dislike the current school parking lot and join in on the hate, I don’t mind it. The seven-minute walk wakes me up in the morning and winds me down after school and track practice. Depending on my spot, I can look out my window to the right and see some couple snuggling, while to the left, there’s a car filled with smoke. Thus, it’s better to park in the farther lot with fewer people and less traffic. 

2019, I stepped out of my dad’s car, slammed the door, and speed-walked into high school overly confident and arrogant, with a Harvard t-shirt underneath my fuchsia Patagonia sweatshirt. Determined to take all Honors and AP classes and get all As. Four years later, my transcript is colorful, and I most certainly didn’t apply to Harvard. I would study my transcript every year, watching my GPA rise sluggishly. Today, I’m grateful for the collection of grades I have received over the years. Of course, I strove to obtain all A’s, but a B and C didn’t break me. I took hard classes and found them challenging. Instead of dropping the class, I accepted the grade I got and was thankful to have taken it.

My style has been modified over the years. I retired the Harvard shirt and Patagonia jacket and moved to leggings, sweatpants, and sweaters. 2021 I got cystic acne, and I stopped caring about my appearance. Acne humbled me for the better. Most high schoolers get acne, yet it’s so stigmatized today. I can be a heavily judgemental person, but never on something out of one’s control. As for people judging me, I’ve stopped caring, just as freshman me desired. 

My advice? Take classes you enjoy; try a sport; eat the school food; thank your teachers; challenge yourself; join the WEB. 


Be kind and don’t make a student driver cry.