Winterfest Court Couples: Helen Le and Julian Bernado

Gabriella Backus, Co-Editor in Chief

Helen Le

My most prideful achievements include thinking of relatively accurate synonyms off the top of my head when I can’t think of anything else, scoring high on my ACT despite not having enough time to finish the math section properly, sticking with sports in high school even though I’ve never imagined myself to actually run for fun, impressing teachers enough on some level to have them nominate me for various things like interviews and Winterfest, educating myself on current events for a period of time before being enveloped by homework, and having the wisdom to befriend some of the best people I know. (Can I edit this if I get accepted into a UC?)

I’ve been in Red Cross for three years now, and this year I’m an officer, so that’s pretty cool. I love volunteering with this club especially because there really is a sense of community, so regardless of the service event, I always have fun. I’m also a sprinter for the track team after realizing that distance wasn’t for me. Even though the races can be really painful, it’s worth it to improve myself (and to win).

My favorite high school memories are honestly the little moments with all of my friends. There’s the annual Secret Santa with my close group of girlfriends, and that’s always hyped up and entertaining. There are those meets with my teammates, where the sky is darkening and the wind is picking up but nothing else really matters besides the loud singing on the bus and the laughter floating in the air. There’s going out to eat with friends and just chilling somewhere like T4 and ending up on the ground with tears in our eyes because somebody refuses to learn how to play Mao and decides to throw the cards instead. I’ll remember a lot of these memories for a long time.

I’m hoping to attend a university that 1) accepts me and 2) doesn’t put me into crippling debt. I’m majoring in political science, mainly because that’s somewhat interesting, but I want to couple that with something objective-based like (astro)physics (mostly for fun; astronomy has always interested me, and I’m OK at math). Either I make it somewhere or I don’t, I suppose, but either way, I’m going to work my hardest to be able to own a dog in my own place in the future.

Thank you to all the teachers who have inspired confidence in me and significantly influenced my growth, especially Mrs. Duffel and Mr. Meredith. Also, shout out to Jamie and Kelly for always spoiling me with their friendship, to Kaylanie for having the best tea, to the boys for always being hilarious and somewhat useful, to the girls for being the solid foundation of my high school career, and to Julian, ever the idealist.


Julian Bernado

So, my goal with this bio is to give you a glimpse into my mind. Not that I have any excessive reverence for my mind, I just think that with something like this, if you’re trying to decide who to vote for, fluff about the stereotypical things that people are proud of are probably not going to stand out. I’m not trying to sound pretentious, but maybe I’ll come off that way, maybe I’m a pretentious person? Maybe I’m giving myself too much credit and I’m just arrogant. Oh well.

Let’s discuss the cliché topics, and I mean, this stuff is cliché for a reason, this is pretty vital to understanding my high school experience.

What’s my favorite high school memory?

There are a couple moments that stand out.

Something notable to me was my two years at Leadership Camp, but more specifically, the nights spent bonding with some of the people closest to me. Bearing yourself to someone and having them bear themselves to you is an intimate experience, one that has brought me some of the most satisfaction in all my years. Inside jokes and head splitting laughter just tops off this experience to make it one of the most memorable.

The other experience that came to mind was Every 15 Minutes last year. I wasn’t one of the people that actually participated in it, but I quite enjoyed crying in my English class and the feeling of helplessness that I felt in that moment. That’s not sarcasm, I really do enjoy feelings of intense emotions, even sadness. It was a new experience. It feels…good? Satisfying maybe. Maybe I don’t get those kind of emotions out as much as I should, so being able to cry everything away felt good. The hug at the end with Jacob was extremely charged, and just letting everything out was so satisfying to me. Is it odd to enjoy crying, to enjoy sadness? Either way, even if it’s faded from our memories, please remember the true meaning of Every 15 minutes.

What’s my dream school?

Stanford University. I want to be at a school with the brightest people on this planet, not because I think myself one of them, rather I admire the intense accomplishments I’ve heard of from these students, and I believe if I’m surrounded by these people, I’ll gain more tools to satiate my unrealistic ambitions, and maybe they’ll become a little bit more real.

So with that over, I’d like to discuss my views on what I think is truly admirable about humans.

I think the most admirable thing someone can do is apply logic to their life, think about things rationally. This is not to say that one should have a disconnect with their emotions, or should have a certain level of intelligence. I just think that if you want to accurately accomplish your goals, you need to think about things logically. If you understand that eating that tenth donut isn’t good for you, and you still do it, that doesn’t show a lack of logic, maybe just a lack of will, regard for health, or even an intense love for donuts. When someone lashes out, but apologizes in a way that shows they understand their emotions aren’t totally reigned in, that shows character as well as logic. I think it comes down to self-awareness and responsibility. I’m of the belief that every able-bodied person can reasonably do anything they set their mind to, so if you make a mistake, you need to analyze why you made that mistake, and begin the self-improvement process, or, the mistake wasn’t that important and so you don’t put in the effort. There’s nothing wrong with not actively improving some of your flaws as long as you’re real with yourself and understand that you do have those flaws and you can change them with enough work. If someone can explain to me their own behavior, then you’ve impressed me, if the reasons you explain for what you do are positive, I’ll admire you.

Please be logical, and I guess I’ll be logical here and end this drawn-out rant with my shoutouts.

The following have truly made me who I am, and supported me along the way, so an enormous shout out to Mom, Dad, Rob, Mr. Goodwin, Ms. LaRue, Ms. Blount, Jacob, Spencer, Rashad, and Helen.