2003 Yearbook Flashback

Pinewood

I stumbled upon all my old yearbooks this weekend and sifted through the myriad of notes written in sparkly, multi-colored pens. One entry always stood out to me. I remember my senior year and having our graduation cap decorating party at my house. One of my classmates Jon* stayed behind. We had gone to the same school for 13 years (kindergarten-12th grade), but we weren’t close friends. The finality of high school graduation was hitting me. I’d gone to school for 13 years with the same person and now, we would be departing to our respective schools, across the country from one another. Would I see this person again?

As we sat across from each other in my kitchen, he asked to sign my yearbook. I watched in amazement as he filled up an entire page. I didn’t want to be rude or awkward so I read his entry after he left. It was the most poignant note that I’d ever read.

I always remembered Jon’s note as being touching, but I couldn’t remember the words he wrote. When I found my senior year yearbook, it was the first thing I reread. Nine years later, and it still evoked the same feelings I felt as a 17-year-old girl, getting ready to embark on the next chapter of her life.

Jon and I didn’t keep in touch. As fate would have it, we actually had a random mutual friend from his college and we hung out a few months ago for the first time since 2003. Ironically (or maybe not so ironically), he didn’t remember what he wrote in my yearbook, but I told him how much it meant to me.

It’s almost a decade later, but reading his note has served as a good reminder to stay true to myself. As cheesy as it sounds, I like the person that I was and still am. Thanks, Jon.

Jackie,

Been there, done that. 13 years of Pinewood life. It’s funny. I felt like I found out more about you in this one year than in the 12 previous years that we have been around each other. It goes to show how much more you learn about someone when you’re in a class with them. Before this year, you could say that I knew you and yet, I didn’t. But now, I know what I know and you are a kind and considerate individual. Unlike some people, you don’t let adversity stop you from getting the most out of yourself. You’re fragile and sensitive, easily coming to terms. And yet, you possess the resilience to overcome your troubles. It means that you can sense the problems of those around and help them out. In a world where the norm is to be inconsiderate and rugged, you extend your generosity and kindness to anyone and everyone. I’m sure you’ve always been the kind and sympathetic person that you are, but I was able to see this firsthand for the first time this year. I just hope that no one thinks of taking advantage of your innate kindness and care.

I hope people at USC can appreciate the special qualities that you have. I’m sure we’ll see each other soon.

Truly yours,

Jon

*name has been changed

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