Truth No. 5: Tomorrow is not far away.

Dear Self,

Semester one is almost over, and you’re already dying. Seriously. Not cool. Get yourself together, because in a week and a half you’ll be done with your midterms and you know what? Sure, you have to put up with Ms. Redd for another five and a half months, but you’ve already put up with her for four and a half months. You’ve survived. And sure, she had the nerve to lie to your face two days ago and sure, she’s a creepy stalker and absolutely the worst teacher you have ever met, but look: during the remainder of your life, you’re going to have to deal with much, much worse.

Honestly, you have way more important things to deal with right now. Like the fact that for Latin you need to translate an Engish song into Latin. Or the fact that you need to graph a conic section monster for math. Or the fact that you have a global project due the day after tomorrow, and you’ve done practically nothing. Seriously, all you have right now are three books to read (because you haven’t actually read them yet) and a posterboard on which you spent five hours painting a Cartesian plane. You should really learn how to prioritize.

And yes, I agree. Semester two is going to be awful. Five more months with Ms. Redd when the situation has been slowly deteriorating? Gym twice a week? Science bowl, Biology Olympiad, speech competitions, AMC, FRC, and basically every other competition you’re entering this year? Competitions are fun and all, but they’re really time-consuming. Also, in order to do well, you actually need to work. Hard. Get your act together, and remember:

Midterms come. Midterm go. And after that, there’s always tomorrow.

In preparation for the new semester I’ve gotten myself a fourteen file expandable folder to help organize my stuff. A few days ago I received a package in the mail containing snacks and love and stationary and happiness from an aunt in Korea. I also got an ARC of The Office of Mercy, which seems fairly interesting despite its disastrous cover. I’ll post a review here as soon as I get around to finishing the book.

And really, this semester has gotten to me in a lot of ways. So many of my classmates have dissolved into crying fits these past several months because of grades, teachers, and life. But still, I’m really happy for two of our robotic mentors for getting into Harvard and our science bowl captain for qualifying for the International Mathematics Olympiad. I baked some awesome pasta today, and that made me proud. It’s so easy to forget the good stuff amidst all the troubles and intense emotional exhaustion that comes of being an angsty teen who sleeps less than five hours a day, but hey–that doesn’t mean it should be forgotten.

I love you, you know that? I love you in the way that one needs to be loved when they’re being smothered by exams and projects and expectations and devastations; I love you in the way that everyone deserves to be loved, just for being who they are.

And maybe, just for a moment, think about your English teacher too. She can’t have had life too easy, and sure she’s an awful teacher, but don’t be too hard on her. Remember that “[a] teacher can change a person’s life. A good teacher or a bad teacher. Each can change a person’ life…. But only if the person is ready to be changed” (Potok, The Promise).

Live another day. Get your work done. Go to bed (it’s already half past twelve!) and try your best–after all, that’s all anyone can ask of you.

Best,

Larky

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