By Austin Block
I always get made fun of for being the happy columnist on Chronicle. I’m too bubbly, people say. Too optimistic. Too loving.
I have too much faith in people in a harsh, cruel, angry, malevolent, unforgiving, directionless dog-eat-dog world. I should write a nasty column, they say, a sarcastic, withering attack on some unjust institution on campus. And I’ve tried to come up with something to criticize. But I just can’t do it. My columns always end up happy.
But I’ve come to a conclusion. My columns always end up happy because, at least for me, Harvard-Westlake has been an incredibly happy place. People are nice here. People do things for a reason, and those reasons are almost always reasonable reasons. I’m a member of a community where everyone genuinely cares about each other.
So I’m going to write one last happy column, but I’ll keep it short. First, let me, with the minimal wisdom I’ve gained from six years at Harvard-Westlake, offer a few quick suggestions to the underclassmen:
1. Take some time to chat with people, even those you don’t know that well. One of the main things I’ve learned here is that everyone has a story to tell. Take a few minutes to chat with anyone on campus. It always feels good to make a connection.
2. Try something you haven’t tried before, even if it doesn’t sound appealing. If a lot of people really enjoy doing something, there’s a good chance you will too.
3. Do a little bit of writing, even if you don’t like writing. You would be surprised how fulfilling it can be to get your feelings out on paper and write something you’re proud of.
4. Keep your head up, even when life feels awful. The world is not a harsh, cruel, malevolent, unforgiving place. Things will get better.
I don’t have a lot more to say, so I’ll leave the rest of the page to Emily Khaykin ’11 and Jordan Freisleben ’11. To every member of the Harvard-Westlake community, I want to say thank you. You have made high school the best time of my life. I will miss you all. Please keep in touch. Every single one of you means a lot to me.