Senior Column: Jack Rintoul

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Senior Column: Jack Rintoul

Jack Rintoul, editor-in-chief

University of Missouri-Columbia 

Major: Journalism and Computer Science 

I used to get this feeling in my stomach back in sixth grade. This unbearable pain that would keep me up for hours just sitting on the toilet. But it wasn’t because I was sick. It was the feeling that in just a few short hours I would have to wake up and go to school. The place, which at the time, I dreaded most in the world.

Every day, the class two years above me at St. Peter’s would torment me. Calling me words like ‘gay’ or ‘fag’ and making fun of my high-pitched voice, or picking on me for being such a ‘try-hard’ on student council. They even listed my name on a Wikipedia page for a reason as to why they ‘walked-out’ one day at recess. And as stupid and minuscule as that sounds, it crushed my sixth-grade soul. So in order to make it stop, I put on a mask and tried to fit in.

I stopped trying so hard at school, my passion for student council dwindled and I became exhausted. I gave up theater. My grades dropped. But, I pretended to be happy and started to act like the guys in my grade whom the upperclassmen seemed to respect more. Looking back on it, I was probably depressed and should’ve sought out help from my parents. But instead, I did nothing. To this day, those winter months of sixth grade are still some of the darkest moments of my life.

I was lucky and able to move past all that when they graduated. I started caring about the things I was passionate about again. I put more work in school and excelled in student council and theater because that’s what made me happy. I learned that happiness in doing what I love was more important than pleasing those eighth-grade bullies who made fun of me for being a little different.

Now as a senior in high school, pursuing those activities, which to some may seem a little odd or atypical,  is what makes me who I am today. Trying hard is fun. You get rewarded for your efforts and if you’re passionate about it, why not try hard?

I don’t get those stomach pains anymore. In fact, throughout high school, I became an even more authentic version of myself. I learned to not care so much about what other people think of me. If it is making you happy, do it. Regardless of what others might say.

So to the St. Peter class of 2015: thank you. Thank you for making me a stronger person. Thank you for making me not care about what people thought about me or the activities I was passionate about. Because without the things I do, I wouldn’t be who I am today. And I’m pretty happy with that.

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