Today an open letter to the students currently enrolled in my alma mater, Mercy High School. First off, I want to say this has been SO gratifying hearing from so many Mercy girls (meaning alums) in recent days - each one with her own story to tell and each one so ravenous for any bit of news about Mercy. And to think my nerdy self got the conversation going. Life is strange indeed.
Today I am thinking of the students who are at Mercy now. The present-day students. So different from the students of yesteryear. And yes - when you are aged 13 - 18, anyone over 19 has been living in "yesteryear." (Sobering and sad...but true.)
When I think of all the Mercy students I think of the Mercy guys. The Mercy guys? Maybe since we are living in the year 2013 I should put it in a more politically-correct way. Let me rephrase it - I am thinking of all of the parents, grandparents, guardians and step-parents who are all working so hard to send you to Mercy. Each and every Mercy girl has someone behind her, an unsung hero who is foregoing, say, a sojourn on The Continent to make sure that you are getting a classic education. (I know - it sounds preachy and old lady-ish but it is so true. I have no idea what the exact dollar amount of tuition is there now but am sure it is not cheap.) Put another way, someone is sacrificing because they believe in you. They want you to realize your dreams and be your best self. Make the most of it. Not everyone will be as invested in you as whoever this person/these people are. I realize you are all teenagers now and will not probably realize this until you are much older. But one day you will see the wisdom in what I am writing here. Trust me: you are the lucky ones. Many wish they could be in your shoes.
Other thoughts/reflections to the Mercy students of today - there is such a dearth of educated, classy women who actually have a modicum of respect for themselves. And that dearth makes just such women that much more in demand. Put another way (and this is what no one ever tells you when you are a teenager - except probably/maybe your Mother and who wants to hear it from your Mother?) No one - absolutely no one - wants a bimbo in the long run. Why do I bother mentioning this? My entire point is this: time spent broadening your mind is time well-spent. Make the investment in yourself now and it will pay high dividends in the long run.
I'm sorry for sounding "preachy." It really isn't my style, if for no other reason I don't like sounding like an old lady. I much prefer the hip modern woman image. Put another way, being a nag or "preachy" or haranguing people - anyone - hurts my brand. Infinitely uncool and decidedly NOT me. But I put myself out there just for you, Mercy girls. I hope you take what I am writing here to heart and give it some thought.
I do feel compelled to say this: I am sure every parent everywhere will be proclaiming none other than moi their new unsung hero. There is no need for accolades. I am fine with being the heavy at times. Consider it my little gift to you, parents of adolescent girls everywhere.
Before I sign off today, just to prove my "cool creds" - I chose Scarlet Begonias by the Grateful Dead for you Mercy girls today. I did so as that song has a few lines I think are very appropos. Firstly, Garcia got it right -sometimes you DO get shown the light from the strangest of places. Secondly, it is all about, to my mind's eye, someone catching his eye who he knew right away "was not like other girls." And is that not what it is all about, Mercy girls? To NOT be a cookie-cutter person but, rather, to cut your own broad swathe in life?
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As always, it is my hope that mine is not the final word and look forward to hearing from many a Mercy girl.
All the best,
P.S. Nothing, but nothing, would make me happier than to know present-day Mercy girls have read my letter. I look forward to reading your thoughts on what I have written herein.