Senior Perspective: Taylor Festa

Although East is considered a community, there are communities within communities, families within the large group that is our school. As I entered high school, I was certain that the cliques that plagued Beck would surely infect East as well. My first day of cross-country practice, I was surprised by some of the faces that surrounded me. Girls I would have never expected to run, let alone exercise, girls I heard nasty rumors about, girls I thought I hated, girls that even intimidated me. But after that first season, I found that the stereotypes I had assumed were wrong. Some of these girls even became my best friends. I learned that the dirty and harsh rumor mill that stirs the high school social mix was normally untrue or exaggerated. Most of the time, I had listened to these rumors, even encouraged their growth, as I told more and more people about what I had heard.
After my first season, I learned that sometimes, even if we don’t judge a book by its cover, we judge a book by the reviews we hear beforehand. Being a student of East, I have learned this lesson, and I am relieved that next year, when I enter college, I will not make the same mistake. East not only demonstrated the mature way in which I should approach new people, but high school taught me that no one ever fits into the stereotypes we assume of our high school peers. I may have learned interesting lessons in chemistry, geometry and English, but it is this life lesson I consider most dear, and most valuable, to my future.