the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

Dear Sophomores, it’s me again

As a sophomore, I wrote an open letter to my class. Now as a senior about to graduate, I have one more piece of advice.
Sarabeth Wester
A reflection of my time in high school.

The first “authentically me” article I wrote For The Gauntlet was an open letter to my class called “Dear Sophomore Class.” At the time, I was writing because we had just finished our second homecoming week, and there seemed to be an overall lack of kindness among the grade. When I published the story, I was absolutely terrified, but surprisingly the overall response ended up being much more positive than initially expected. 

That article was the first time I remember stepping out of my comfort zone in high school. Prior to that day, I had been afraid to do anything like that— I had been afraid to share my voice.

 I think that was the day I fell in love with journalism. 

I loved having a space to share my thoughts. I realized that if I was judged, at least people were thinking about my opinion, so really, who cares if they don’t like it?

In life, most people are terrified of what others think, but people are especially self conscious in high school. Personally, I spent the majority of my teenage years fixated on what others thought, and I lost pieces of myself in the process. But once I learned to be more true to myself, I became significantly happier.  

As high school students, we’re learning and maturing every day, and this part of life causes us to be more self-conscious than ever. However, here’s my advice to the underclassmen: spend these fundamental years figuring out who you want to be and sharing what you have to say, and try to worry less about what other people may think. 

Think about it, if everyone is more comfortable with who they are there would be less room for bullying. Oftentimes people pick on others because they are insecure themselves. So, if people  focused on themselves rather than others, everyone would be a whole lot happier. 

In my letter to the sophomore class, I said “being a teenager is hard.” Now as a senior, that rings more true than ever. As I reflect back on my teenage years, I am left to wonder: what if I had been more confident in my own abilities the way I have done my senior year? What if I had been authentically myself? Would I have been happier the rest of high school the way I was this year? 

At the end of the day, the truth is I did the best I could given my circumstances. Are there things I wish I could change? Yes. But do I regret any of it? No. 

So, I’ll close with this. Being yourself will make you happier. Try spending more time discovering who you are rather than trying to figure out how to be like everyone else. You are unique and valuable and your voice matters. So go out and share it! 

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Reese Williams
Reese Williams, Associate Editor
Reese Williams is a senior and a  third year associate editor on the Gauntlet. In her free time she enjoys reading, listening to music, musical theater and hanging out with friends. Her favorite color is pink, she has one dog, and she is on the Varsity Cheerleading squad. Her favorite musicians are Elton John, Baby Queen, Ben Platt, and Conan Grey.

Sarabeth Wester
Sarabeth Wester, Creative Director/Artist
Sarabeth Wester is a senior on The Gauntlet with four years under her belt of hard work in the newsroom as our Creative Director. Her favorite color is purple, she has a cat and a dog who she loves dearly, and she plays video games in her free time - her favorite being Fallout 4 even with it's imperfections. Her favorite movies are Days of Thunder, Top Gun, and Wall-E - she believes everyone should watch them at least once.  

Comments (0)

Comments are expected to be respectful and constructive. We do not permit the use of profanity, crude language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Commenters must provide their name; no anonymous comments will be accepted.
All the Gauntlet Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *