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A Virtual Cup of Coffee with Lily Pietryga '20

A Virtual Cup of Coffee with Lily Pietryga '20

You can only have one: Rose’s caramel corn, an ice cream cone from Jersey Junction, or a Yesterdog. Which do you choose?
Ice cream from Jersey Junction.

What are your plans after graduation?

What have you learned in East that will enable you to be successful?
To always be kind and respect everyone no matter the circumstances or the situation.

What were you like in school?
I was kind of shy, but when surrounded by my friends or people I was comfortable with I was super outgoing. I worked really hard at school to achieve good grades but up until junior year I wasn't really that involved in school activities because I was a serious dancer outside of school. Junior year I really came out of my shell, and since then I have thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in any school-related activity I could which made me get to know my classmates a lot better.

Did you have a favorite teacher or class?
It's very hard to choose, but I would have to say that Mrs. Miller is my favorite teacher. I had her in 7th grade for English and I had her my senior year for psychology. Psychology is a very interesting and fun topic to begin with, but the activities we did and her style of teaching will always be my favorite and most remembered. She also is just a genuine and caring person who I feel really comfortable talking to, which makes her class even more enjoyable.

If you had to choose one moment in one location to serve as the signature moment of your East school experience, what would it be?
Although there are so many moments I could say, ranging from the playground at Wealthy Elementary to the dances in the aux gym at the high school, I think my favorite moment would be reading the letters that my parents wrote me during senior retreat at Camp Henry. In that moment I realized not only how far I had come, but looking around the camp seeing my classmates reading their letters made me realize how far we had come as a class. It finally hit me that I was a senior.

What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you were younger?
I wish I would have known that it's okay to slow down and take a step back and enjoy a moment. Throughout middle school and high school I would sometimes find myself focusing so much on the future and what was next that I would forget to appreciate the moment that I was in. It's very important to savor special moments, so take the time to do so because they don't last forever.

Who from East do you think you’ll stay in touch with in the future?
I will definitely stay in touch with my close friends, but I also hope to stay somewhat in touch with teachers throughout my academic career at East. These teachers have taught me some pretty big lessons, and I hope to continue the relationships I have established.

What advice do you have for young East kids?
Don't shy away from opportunities because they might put you out of your comfort zone. Get involved in as much as you can (within reason) and enjoy every moment. I know a lot of people say this and it's sort of cheesy, but your time as a student at East really does go by in the blink of an eye.

Bonus question: What are you glad we didn’t ask you about?
I'm glad you didn't ask about grades. I know it was something I was mainly focused on, but it's important to realize that high school is so much more than your test scores and grades. At the end of the day, you don't remember that one really bad grade you got on a test, but you will always remember the friends and experiences that made high school so enjoyable.

Want to read more Celebrating Our Seniors Virtual Cups of Coffee? Visit the page. And to help educate the next Pioneers during this crisis, contribute to One East.