Lara Jean writes letters when she has a crush so intense she doesn’t know what to do. I did the same thing, but instead of letters, I wrote club applications. And senior spring, with Feb Club and Senior Week in the mix, I find myself not thinking of what lies ahead, but of those lost loves, merely vape in the wind. Maybe it’s sentiment, maybe it's my waning sense of self as I wait for a job offer. But, hey, we always what we can’t have, like perfect skin, the blind confidence of men in a group project, or an honest mental health conversation (oops, different op–ed). So this is my love letter to all the clubs I’ve loved before.
Kenny from Camp: Greek Life
The first love, the only thing we knew made us feel something as kids. Whether you love it or hate it, you probably knew what it was from childhood. (We all watched Animal House with our moms when we were 8, right?) I worked so hard to impress you. Doing my hair, pretending my hobby is hiking, and acting like I actually listen to The Black Keys. But when rush ended this short fling, I realized I kind of lost myself in the process. Oh, and even after I caught my crush’s eye, I couldn’t stop trying to impress. (At least at camp, I could rest from swimming by saying I was on my period.) I still needed to make friends in the organization. If I had, you could’ve been my saving grace. But I didn’t—and your love letter was sent right back to me.
Lucas From Homecoming: Pre-Professional Societies/Social Clubs
You’re fun–loving, a little awkward, and honestly deserve more screen time. I sent my letter, and you welcomed me with open arms. But one caveat: you’re gay. At least Lucas was. That’s fine, and I can’t blame you for who you are, but should I blame myself for not catching on earlier? I sent you 3 applications, 2 rounds of interviews, and the blood of a virgin to get this far, so why didn’t I realize this wasn’t going to work? You act cooler than your Greek counterparts but are equally unattainable. Your email was a gentle rejection, sure, but I never had a chance. It’s like trying to fit square pegs in round holes or in Lara Jean and Lucas’s case, his peg in her hole. Maybe we can be friends, even though I was rejected for not already being besties with half the club. But stop sending me Facebook invites for your bake sale.
John Ambrose From Model UN: Consulting Clubs
At some point, we all thought we wanted a strong, driven man in our lives. You're confident in yourself, and I thought I could osmotically absorb that trait. We parted before ever getting close, but anytime you show back up, I’m a little confused if you’re here for me or just trying to prove to the world how posh you are.
Josh, My Sister’s Boyfriend: Comedy and Performance Clubs
From the start, this could never work, but that doesn’t mean I gave up hope. Seeing you with other people tears my heart out, knowing how happy I could’ve made you. Everyone else sees my pining as fucked up, and I’m not trying to be a homewrecker. Like Josh, there’s only one woman for you. (And I’m pretty sure it's to meet university quota for gender diversity.) JK, I love you, well, not really because I’m still pissed, but HAHA, LOL. But thank you for giving me professional drive, because half the stuff on my resume was to prove I’m better off without you.
Peter Kavinsky, the Most Popular Guy in School: Senior Societies
Have you ever gotten an unprompted rejection? Someone approaches you, says they’re not interested, and you’re like, “When did I ask you to be”? That’s something Lara Jean and the people who aren’t in senior societies have in common. To the outside world, you seem cocky, but maybe you’re just unfulfilled. You’ve got the stamp of approval from the “in–crowd," and whether or not it’s true, you think people are naturally thinking of you. You’re the "most handsome of all handsome boys," but just because you’re special doesn’t mean you’re not basic.
Maybe these letters are my way of rejecting you after your rejected me. But like another tumultuous love story, I’ll be your Rose. And Jack, I’m letting go.