Some good advice to me, from me
November 8, 2015
Dear 14-year-old Cris,
On your first day of high school, you’re going to be disturbed by the difficulty of physics class. Worry, it only gets worse from there ;).
But here I am, writing a letter to guide you through high school, so don’t sweat it.
On a serious note though, nothing will, nor should, come easy, so don’t panic too much! This lesson especially applies to your “athletic career”.
Now for some odd reason, although you haven’t run more than 1 mile at a given time in your life, you’re signed up to do cross-country in the fall. Love every painful, breathless, and euphoric moment on this team. You’ll never end up doing more than one season, so learn as much as you can about perseverance and friendship, because those will be the most valuable things you take away from the experience.
You’ll realize that for every meet you place last and ache you feel first, your teammates will be there suffering with you and, although much faster, have all been through the same struggle. Don’t forget to give back to the team, because even the simple act of slowing down and staying beside your mate when they’re having a bad practice means a lot. Cherish each other’s support, but persevere and get better, too. Nobody can run your race but you.
Just as you’re starting to get the hang of cross- country, the season will be over. Your love for running, perseverance, and friendship, though, will live on.
In the winter, you’ll audition for a part in the musical “Bye Bye Birdie” and get a speaking role which is not quite a lead, but not tree No. 3 either, so be glad. In fact, it’s just what you need; the chance to develop a good sense of the stage, yet not having to stress about memorizing pages of dialogue.
The theatre squad will be different from the XC one, expectedly more dramatic and less cardio-based, but again you’ll realize just how meaningful friendship is. Your theatre buddies improv around the lines you forget, laugh at your ridiculous attempts to be a “serious actor,” and slap you in the face face right before the solo to calm your nerves. It’s weird, but trust me, that’s a good thing.
But all the while trying to balance cross-country and the musical, you’ll also have school work to be concerned about! I won’t go into too much detail about classes, but there is one thing you need to remember when you select your courses — challenge yourself. Take physics class, because although daunting, it’s eye-opening and familiarizes you with the caliber of responsibility expected in high school.
Take and please stick with band all four years; it’s the only course where you as an individual and the class as a whole have to work and practice together to be successful.
At the end of the year, you’ll come to realize that persevering through your challenges and forming bonds along the way is how people survive high school and life. And the next time you walk into that “disturbing” physics class, remember that it’s only as useful as you make it.
Good luck, 17-year-old Cris
–Nov. 7, 2015–
Cris Patvakanian is a veteran member of the Raider Times staff (2014-16).