Rant & Rave


Thursday, June 28, 2001

Succeeding by
accepting myself
as I am

At the end of my junior year in high school, I have learned certain lessons from my trials that I think will make my senior year the most wonderful, captivating experience I have yet to encounter. High school has not always been kind to me, yet I have managed to deal with most of the things I have been thrown into with a grace and dignity that one should expect.

These are my lessons:

I am not the fastest, the smartest, nor the strongest in physical feat. I do not have the athletic capabilities of my peers and, for the most part, they surpass me in every way comprehensible in this area. I do not have a competitive desire to relinquish sweat, blood and tears for my school. I am no athlete.

I am not the smartest nor the most tenacious at my studies. I do not hold any academic awards of excellence. I am not a 4.0 student striving for the triple A-plus. I will not be the valedictorian or even an honor student. I will not be remembered by my teachers for throwing the curve out the window. I will not have a perfect SAT score.

I am not the prettiest -- by far I am not the prettiest! I do not turn heads in the hallway and cannot make boys eat out of the palm of my hand. No one will remember me for my looks. I am unshapely and plain.

The abilities I have are more along the lines of making little people out of paper clips and twist ties than anything else. I am not the first-seat musical prodigy, not the pugnacious captain of the debate team, not a computer whiz.

I am not the nicest, most popular, funniest, most outgoing, shyest, most likely to be or do anything. I do not win any Hoss elections.

I will never hold the title of homecoming or prom queen. I will never be the senior-class president or any type of club president.

But the most important lesson I have had and what high school has made me see is that while these realizations are albeit depressing at times, none of them really matter. I know what I'm not. Being the average, cliche high school student should not affect my happiness with my life. Aside from not being any of the things listed above, I am neither princess, pop star nor dancing bear.

I am not a lot of things. I take solace in finding the things that I AM though, because pining to be all the things I'm not will get me nowhere. I'm sure that appreciating who I am will help me soar to whatever heights I choose to reach. This is what will make my senior year worthwhile. Accepting what I'm not and looking ahead to what I am. Like the song goes, "I am what I am, I'll be what I'll be ..." and being me isn't ideal all the time, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Jenna Takenouchi will be a senior
at Roosevelt High School in the fall.

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