The following is an anonymous letter from an IMSA student. This letter has been reviewed only for the appropriateness of its language, and no edits have been made to its content, claims, or assertions. The Acronym supports respectful discourse about the challenges facing our community and welcomes comments on this article which uphold that standard.
From a student:
In response to the assembly on February 7th, do not let the doors close on this discussion. It isn’t over, Clash isn’t over, and your high school career isn’t over. This is an opportunity to grow and reflect as a community and as IMSA students. The punishments seem harsh, but the reality is that there are disconnects between students, between the student body and administration at IMSA, and between reality and our IMSA bubble. All we can do is try out best to understand and to take action accordingly.
It’s okay to be confused, to be unsure, or to not know whether you are who you want to be. There are people to talk to, there are friends to make, there are things to do, and there is love in this place. All you have to do is seek it out. Find out what it takes to keep you alight in these dark moments. Like many have said before and I will say, take care of each other and the rest will take care of itself.
It doesn’t matter that we’ve come from varying educations, homes, races, cities, or families. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an A student or questioning your acceptance to IMSA. It doesn’t matter whether you bleed red, white, and blue or if you want to leave this country soon as you can. We’re here now – and that’s what matters. We’re here now, so make it count.
Remember, upperclassmen, what you do and say influences the underclassmen. They will carry your legacy, just as you surely bear your seniors’ legacy. Who knows what the original class was like? All we know is they passed their legacies on to the classes of 1990 and 1991, and those classes kept passing the torch.
You could become the new legend that is passed around, like the guy who flew out of state and gave us rolling check. Or, you could become the unsung hero who solved the disparity between students and administration. You shape how your sophomores view IMSA. You shape how they interact with RCs, teachers, and faculty. These underclassmen are new and easily influenced. Some are just having their first high school experiences. Every moment counts, and whether you are an SSS or a junior struggling through tests, your standing makes a difference.
Sophomores, this is your IMSA. That doesn’t mean rambunctious rule breaking mixed with toeing the line as you see fit. But it does mean what you do both as a class and individually counts. You started building a legacy for yourselves the moment you arrived. Extracurricular activities, memes, and classes are all a part of it – and Clash is only one of many opportunities you will have. Don’t let these events discourage you, but still keep them in mind as reminders that your actions have consequences, especially when administration is a few minutes from your bed.
Consider who you are and who you want to be – is this the legacy you want to leave at IMSA? Are you going to just suffer through these years, hoping to go to college and leave this all behind? Perhaps that’s your plan, and that’s fine. If IMSA means anything to you, why not become the change you want to see? This doesn’t mean shutting down arguments or opposition, but rather opening your mind and heart to what’s going on around you. This is the moment you may look back on in a few years and ask “What did I miss here? Why was it so bad?” or say “That was the time we made a difference – even if it was just at IMSA”.
I hope you can make the most out of it.
Take care, IMSA.
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