Well North Scott, this is goodbye. I never thought I would say this, but: I’ll miss you.
North Scott has certainly done me and my community dirty on more than one occasion, and anyone I speak to rants about how much they hate the place, but I don’t think it’s that bad. Or at least, as bad as it used to be.
I’ve met so many adults and people my age, and truly found myself in the past two years. Some of you I am glad I will never see again, and I wish you the best of luck. Others, I hope we keep in touch, even if we don’t see each other everyday.
I am so grateful that I had the chance at an education, unlike my family; that I was told again and again that teachers do really care, and the ones who don’t are typically the most disliked; that I was allowed to spread awareness to people on things I care about and truly believe.
Coming from a poor and abusive household, I had a hard time focusing in school, doing homework, showing up on time, and staying awake throughout the day. My teachers never hesitated to help me through the process some of them were far too familiar with.
To my friends and peers:
Thank you for showing me what love and what hate is. Thank you for showing me that not everybody is going to grow up, and that's not my problem. It never was. I’m glad I could show you that people can be different, and still be treated with respect. As the first “out” person in my grade, I hope you remember me whenever you feel differently about queer people. Thanks for all the memories, the emo-phase friends during middle school, the friends who stayed with me during my “normal girl” freshman year, the friends that stayed with me over COVID depression, the friends that graduated years prior that I still speak to, and my friends now. I appreciate each and every one of you, even if I have a strong dislike for you.
To incoming freshmen:
Everyone is still trying to discover themselves, and things typically start to solidify your junior year. People care less about others, care less about being cool, and develop into their own person. It will be okay.
To incoming seniors:
It’s not that serious. Do what you absolutely have to do to graduate, but in the end, it’s just high school. It won’t be the end of the world if you fail your band or choir class, World War III won’t start if you skip one day of school, and nobody will die if you don’t connect with your friends anymore. It will all be okay.
To incoming sophomores and juniors:
These are the hard years, with sophomore year being designed to be the hardest year and junior year comes with depression. Push through it. You will come out the other end happy and better, just as long as you keep your head above water. No matter what happens, it will be okay.
Thank you for everything, North Scott. Once a Lancer, always a Lancer. Good luck with everything from now on. Enjoy the photo of young, emo me, as a gift.
--Scott Stoneking, the transgender 18-year-old with a dream to help our future.