Sunday, August 12, 2012

Dear SJP 2012,

By Melina Torres (SJP '10)

These past 10 days have been just as amazing and memorable for the counselors as it has been for the students. I am sad that I didn’t get to say my proper goodbyes to many of you (please keep in touch). I truly enjoyed getting to know each and every one of you. And I am still amazed that we had so many awesome students in one setting. But really, it doesn’t surprise me at all.

In my 19 years, I have done several programs and met interesting people, but they don't compare to SJP. It will always have a special place in my heart for the life-long friends I’ve made and for everything that it’s done for me. I hope you all know that you are now part of a very tight-knit network and family (cult, if you wish…JOURNALISM!). As the last day of the program wraps up (and I assure you: there will be tears), look forward to months and months of collaboration with your mentors (which you will find tiresome at times, yet rewarding in the end.) Personal narratives when written with utmost sincerity and self-reflection are hard to do. At least for me that is. During the college admissions process, my mentors played an important role in my life. It is my wish that all of you have the same positive experience.

You will also have lots of support from your fellow SJPers who are going through the same process. SJP ’10 (my year) maintained a message forum on Facebook, one that was less intense, and more supportive and helpful than something like College Confidential.

I am now fortunate to attend Yale with other SJP alum who I’ve become very close friends with and have given me the unique type of support that is typical of SJP. I can honestly say that I’ve had the time of my life during my first year of college (which is something you can all look forward to!) But I would be lying if I didn’t say that I’ve encountered some rough-patches here and there. Transitions from high school to college are easier for some than others. While things have been hectic at times, I’ve realized that I’m finding my way. And growing as a person is what college is all about!

Returning to SJP as a counselor has been one of the most rewarding things yet (and I hope to come back again!). I look forward to being a source of support in the upcoming months and working with some of you on college applications. I don’t know if you realize this, but being a counselor has been as reassuring and inspiring as being a student. It’s not everyday that you find a group of teens who are interested in your story and your experiences. Your passion and desire to make this world a better place assures me that our generation will do great things.

Having said that, I look to my second year of college with optimism and fierce motivation. I had forgotten what it was like to work in a newsroom filled with diverse and downright fun individuals. I floated around this past school year trying to find my perfect niche. And now, I’m determined to find a publication that encompasses the ideals and environment of SJP. Until next time! #PUSJP ‘12

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