Letters From Class of ’22: Pickle Coleman


I still remember one of the first days of JK around 14 years ago when I looked at my name on my name tag and it had ‘22 next to it. I remember asking my teacher, Ms. Rimoin, “What does the ‘22 mean?” She said, “That’s the year you graduate.” All I could say was, “Wow, that’s so far away.”

Latin is all I have ever known. I grew up here. Starting as a yellow bear at just 4 years old, to being a fourth-grade “leader of the Lower School,” to crossing the street to the Middle School, to walking across the bridge to the Upper School, and now, in just a few days, stepping across the stage at graduation.

High school is complicated. I have had some of the best, most exciting times of my life here, and also some of the worst, most stressful ones.

I remember entering the Upper School, unsure of what the next four years would look like. I never thought that I would spend a year and a half of high school taking online classes because of a pandemic, but remote learning allowed me to reflect.

I didn’t realize how much being at school meant to me until it was taken away as a second-semester sophomore.

The first day of senior year, when we were finally all back in the building together, I was reminded of all of the good of high school. Saying “hi” to people in the hallways, the small chats before class starts, and stopping by my teachers’ offices were things that I took for granted.

I worked extremely hard in high school and put a lot of pressure on myself. And then when I thought it couldn’t get any more stressful and challenging, the first semester of senior year completely flipped my world upside down. From playing on Latin’s golf and hockey teams simultaneously, to sleepless nights getting all of my homework done, studying for the next day’s test, and then grinding out college supplements and applications, I can only now take a deep breath and think, I made it.

Whenever I’ve been asked to describe myself, the first word that comes to mind is: athlete. My experiences with athletics at Latin are definitely my favorite memories. From stepping onto the varsity golf and hockey team my freshman year, and the field hockey team my junior year, I could’ve never predicted the friendships I would make and the goals I would accomplish. I never thought I would get my first hole-in-one in golf or win the state championship in hockey my senior year.

An important thing that high school taught me is to try everything and be a self-advocate. You never know what will spark from signing up for a certain class or club, and it never hurts to try things. For me, putting myself out there and trying new things led me to find some of my passions. I acted in the Lower and Middle School plays and sang in the chorus, but in high school, I didn’t have the time to engage with performing arts as much. However, I decided to sign up for the improv company class my sophomore year. Fast forward two years, and now I’m the assistant teacher for that same class that I started in and I’m about to perform in my final advanced improv show.

At the start of my remote junior year, I remember thinking, “Maybe I should write an article for The Forum since I have so much extra time.” And now here I am going off to college in three months as a journalism major.

High school is a time for discovery, and you don’t have to like everything you try. It’s also okay to not be amazing at everything. I’m a perfectionist, so I still struggle with this, but it’s okay to not do well on a test and it’s okay if you don’t understand something right away even if you feel like everyone around you does. And most importantly, it’s okay to ask for help. Getting to know my teachers outside of class through meeting with them transformed my Latin experience.

It feels like just last week that I was in JK reading a book aloud to the class, making up every single word because I couldn’t read, which now looking back makes me think that my improv career may have started even longer ago than I thought.

And it feels like just yesterday that freshman me was writing and filming a music video for my math-rap on linear equations for Mr. Sanchez’s algebra class or pretending to be on Dr. Phil in Mr. Joyce’s classes.

There is truly so much that I am going to miss about high school.

I’ll miss playing on the golf, ice hockey, and field hockey teams.
I’ll miss the feeling of early dismissals to get to a big sports game.
I’ll miss the spirit at the DePaul basketball games.
I’ll miss the 7:30 a.m. Romanettes rehearsals on Wednesday and Thursday mornings.
I’ll miss sitting in the locker bay and the Learning Commons with my friends.
I’ll miss racing out of class to beat the lunch line.
I’ll miss sitting in the aisle seat of the front row on the right side of the theater every improv class.
I’ll miss saying “whiz” or “shua” every day.
I’ll miss Funny Friend.
I’ll miss standing on the stage of the Wrigley Theater with about a million layers of paint below my feet.
I’ll miss the Forum meetings after we publish an edition.
I’ll miss texting my friends “early or late lunch? or “LC?” or “LB?”
I’ll miss sitting with my advisory at gatherings and playing hangman.
I’ll miss saying “hi” to Sami every single day.
I’ll miss all of the people who make up the Latin community.

Throughout my time at Latin, graduating, let alone even being a senior, has always felt like something so distant that it would never happen. Nevertheless, here we are.

Something I learned along the way is to not take anything for granted. Soak up every moment, and try to get to know people even if they aren’t in your grade. Be kind to everyone, and greet your peers in the hallway. A simple smile can mean so much more than you think.

Time never stops moving, so try to get the most out of every day you have left of Latin.

Latin, I’ll be thinking about you as I hop off the plane at LAX in a few short months. I can’t believe this is finally it.