A Senior Send Off with a Little Advice from Jack

While the June issue has been sent to print, the S&S thought it would give you a sneak peak…
JackFA Little Advice By Jack Feria
Four years ago, I was the poster child for Hot Topic clothing who constantly thought about escaping his home and his sexuality. I think it’s safe to say high school has changed me. My transformation into a bow tie wearing, show tune humming diva began in the most awkward stage of any teenager’s life: freshman year.
Every John Hughes movie and every Judy Bloom book I stole from my sister’s room told me that if you didn’t find out exactly who you are and what you wanted to be during the first year of high school, you would be
doomed to spending each lunch alone in the hallway next to your locker. I spent the entire first year trying to find ways to be accepted so I took to Facebook and demanded explanations as to why Backyard was so stupid and why Megan Fox wouldn’t return my calls. Cool guy statuses like these were definitely going to save me from four years of eating alone! Each one of my cries for attention flopped and although I eventually
gained a few acquaintances from my freshman core classes, I never felt happy with myself. I felt this constant need to act cool around them, act like I was “normal,” act like I was straight. And that’s when high school started to feel really slow. Coming to school every day with a fake personality made me dread every step I took in these halls. It wasn’t until I found a passion and people to care for that things began to change.

Although they weren’t without their own trials and awkward stages, the processes of becoming fully part of the Memorial forensics team, drama department, and Sword & Shield gave me a voice in this school as well as the confidence to put myself out there, meet new people, and realize my sexuality wasn’t something to be ashamed of. After that, high school has flown by. I’ve been lucky enough to perform in six theatrical productions, compete at over a dozen forensics tournaments, and publish my work seven times in the Sword & Shield because I decided to put myself out there. And I’m happy to say my only regret regarding high school is that I didn’t fall in love with those clubs sooner.

Freshmen, this may feel like it’s been the longest and most alienating school year of your life, but if you take a risk and get out there, try out for a sport, audition for the musical, join the Sword & Shield, get involved with GSA, forensics, Environment Club, Pressions, Superhero Movie club, or any of the dozens of other organizations Memorial has to offer, you’ll find that you have a place at this school that will help the next three years of your life go by faster than you ever expected. Trust me, they will.

As I leave Memorial with a flamboyant skip into the sunset, I thank you all for every awkward moment, every article, every performance, every class, and every triumph that shaped the person that I am today. I couldn’t have done it without you.

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