David C. '22
My dearest Lakeside,
Hello! I hope you’re doing well. I’m writing to you in particular about a recent Tatler Poll respondent’s Angry Lion submission. You’ve probably seen them by now, as they were published in last month’s issue. “I understand that the purpose of the angry lion is to rant,” they write. “HOWEVER, it makes me very sad and often angry to read comments from people complaining about things like tests, hard classes, or ways in which they feel Lakeside sucks and is failing them and their childhood/education… Recognize your privilege.”
Whoever this anonymous student was, I wholeheartedly agree with them. Though our classes are difficult and the school isn’t perfect, too often students (including myself) get caught up in your negative parts. Lakeside, despite your flaws, there is so much to love about you. We students need to take a step back this year and look at the bigger picture. I know if you had your own voice, you would tell us to realize that the food in the cafeteria we complain to your friends about is a luxury. We need to realize that the teachers are doing the best they can. We need to realize that we have a duty to turn all this privilege into doing some good in our community.
And how can I write you a love letter without talking about all the little things that are great about you? Though we’ve perhaps exited our honeymoon phase, I still love all the same things about you. I love the way campus smells after it rains and the WCC’s incredible gluten-free cookies. I love the old buildings that so many students despise — in my humble opinion, Moore Hall has seriously unrivaled charm. I love walking from Bliss to the AAC and hearing too many happy, laughing people to count. Lakeside, you’re my soulmate. It was love at first sight.
I’ve heard too many times to count that, in the cutthroat world of high school journalism (okay, not really, but bear with me), bad news is good news. I must confess, even I have picked up a new Tatler issue and flipped back to the Angry Lion immediately to hear complaints. Negative headlines generate more interest than positive ones, because we sad little humans like to focus on the bad. And Lakeside, you’re not perfect, obviously. We can talk about the changes that need to be made to the Wellness curriculum or which sports receive funds compared to others. These are absolutely conversations that our community should have. But perhaps there’s a better balance to be found between gratitude and working to improve upon what we have.
So I sat down to write this letter to you, trying to be the start of something. You’ve left me wondering who the letter was really to all along. Lakeside, you are not truly yourself at night when the campus has gone dark and the air is stale and silent. When the echoes of laughter in hallways have faded, I wonder if you’re even the same place I fell for in eighth grade. We, the students, make you who you are, with our not-exactly-school-appropriate jokes and sneakers accidentally splashing into Red Square’s puddles. Without us, you’re just a series of cold, vacant buildings.
Dear Lakeside — the place and the people — we can do better than this. We can show our affection. In a time where negativity stares us down at every corner, let’s try to stay on the side of positivity and appreciation for what we have. I believe in you.