A Letter to Him - Jake Yu
*this letter intends to reply to the one Jake has written during his freshman year.
Thank you for spending the whole 45 minutes during the senior forum to write me this letter. I’m glad that I can have this opportunity to reply back.
It seems like you have numerous worries, confusions, targets and dreams about your future. Well, I hope this letter will guide you through some of them and give you more encouragement and enlightenment.
My man Jake, you should know that nothing is perfect. When you believe that doing everything on the right track always leads you to the expected destination, you might get disappointed. There are hardships and uncertainties in life. It’s those impediments and pain that make us stronger, and it’s a crucial part of our life. You will find out that you won’t fulfill all the dreams you mentioned in the letter. C’est la vie. However, Jake, you should also know that nothing is impossible. You’re always an optimistic young man, so you should look forward to what you are going to accomplish.
Alright, I’m sorry to throw you some intangible concepts at the beginning. I know you can’t wait to eavesdrop some of your future deeds from me. Let me answer your questions and tell you some stories.
You don’t need to worry about your grades at all. All you should do is treat each assignment, each class session, and each course seriously. Enjoying every minute in class will help you learn new concepts and discover the most suitable way of learning. With hard work, the academics won’t impede you. Moreover, you will not only learn from what teachers teach in class, but also learn from them in life. Each teacher is a different bottle of perfume. When appreciating them more deeply and absorbing their unique fragrance, you will adapt the scent elements into your personal bottle and make yours more aromatic.
In high school, you will realize that academics is just a part of your experience. Pressure and joy always coexist.
You will never forget Mr. Thayer’s uplifting cheers when sprinting final hundreds in the race; you will never forget scoring your first official goal in a soccer match after waiting for 2 years and 7 months; you will never forget joining the “my man cohort” and being called “my man Jake” by Mr. Diniz for the first time; you will never forget solving metal puzzles Saturday night in the common room with Mr. Haight; you will never forget watching the Japanese speech contest with Ms. Nagashima and witnessing Kev winning first place; and you will never forget whimpering at 3 a.m. because of a moving Thai series.
"Do you believe in destiny?"
This is a question Ms. Stockdale will ask in your English class. Without doubt, you will answer yes.
Looking back now, I will still choose yes: everything happens randomly, but everything comes for a reason.
My man, you will never believe that you are going to write a script in French at the end of freshman year. It’s unbelievable that you spend a whole weekend staying in your dorm and writing. Creative writing wasn’t your interest before high school, but things will change. You won’t regret it. With your limited French vocab and fractured grammar, you’ll create a 17-page screenplay called Le Destin. Don’t be embarrassed about the imperfections, I’m still expanding and polishing it. However, please don’t lose your passion in everything, and remember the pure pleasure and adrenaline-flooding feeling of creation when writing this screenplay.
You will also never believe that living with another person in the same room is such a fun and precious experience. You will know Maxim more, not just limited to daily habits, but also about his story, his enthusiasm, and his dreams. You guys will cover lots of topics after study hall, or sometimes even after lights out. He will be your mentor who guides you through culture shock. I know it’s hard at first to open your heart at once because of the differences in multiple aspects. Trust me, don’t give up and always be open. You will receive kindness and friendship.
At this point, your mouth might be wide open. You might wonder why this crazy senior Jake writes me some random stories? Believe me, they have a logic, and the logic is you. It’s your passion in French and writing that motivates you to finish Le destin, and it’s your courage that helps you discover and make friends with an interesting soul. Jake, everything has its destiny, but it’s your characteristics, your ability, and your hard work that lead you to the finish line.
Destiny is fixed up front, but the process is not completely determined. Don’t just strive to see a result, Jake. The process is more essential and is the only thing we can hold. You have four years ahead. Enjoy every day and every moment. Don’t mourn and regret when looking back!
You’re wondering about romance as well? Well, it’s all up to you. Que será será, whatever will be will be. Just remember, when she comes, don’t let her wither. Yup, I’m talking about flowers, don’t think too much. :)
Bonne chance et bon voyage!
Yueran (Jake) Yu
P.S. Do you ask me which Jake I prefer? Jake as a freshman, or Jake as a Senior? The truth is: I love both. They are both Jake. They are always Jake.