From spring sports, soccer and swimming, to the spring musical, Beauty and the Beast, as well as graduation coming up next month, the high school students of KIS are busily finishing up the last couple months of school. We all know about the weekly soccer home games that are advertised for students to come watch. We also know about the Graduation Ceremony that will be the last goodbye to all of our seniors. The bonds and relationships created with friends, as well as upper and underclassmen, have become a valuable part of our everyday lives. But let’s discuss how each grade level feels about these events/traditions and if their perspectives really differ with age. Is it true that seniors and juniors are unmotivated to attend school events, or are they the ones who recognize the true value of them? Do freshmen get to be part of the entire high school experience, or are they missing out on a lot?
What does “soccer games and swim meets” mean to you?
Freshman: “I’m a freshman and this is my first year at KIS, so the idea of a large varsity soccer home game where many students come to cheer was very different to me. It seems like all of KIS is becoming a team, despite all the differences we have between us!”
Sophomore: “As a member of the girls’ soccer team last year and this year, I’ve always appreciated the support that KIS students and faculty show during our home games. It really does give me energy on the field when I hear all the cheers!”
Junior: “I’ve been on the swim team for three years, and although no one really comes to watch our meets, it has brought us closer together because we’re the only cheerleaders out there. I’m excited to be a senior and lead the team next year.”
Senior: “I’ve been a part of many groups, teams, and families during my four years in high school, but swimming has always been one of my favorites. It gives me the opportunity to look at my fellow teammates as athletes, rather than friends and lower classmen.”
What does “upper/lower class men” mean to you?
Freshman: “It was scary coming up to high school and being the youngest after being the oldest in middle school, but I quickly realized that the upperclassmen were not as scary and quite approachable!”
Sophomore: “Although Korea’s culture heavily emphasizes the division between those of higher and younger ages, the various school activities that I am involved in has blurred that division line. I share so many memories with the juniors and seniors, and I have gotten close to a couple freshmen.”
Junior: “Other than the fact that upper and lower classmen have different priorities educationally, I don’t think that we are that different at all. In Korean culture especially, there’s a lot of seniority, but I don’t think it’s as prevalent at our school.”
Senior: “Being lower class men means you have an open field of opportunities. Go do whatever you want to do because any mistakes will be forgiven or forgotten (unless you eat tide pods).”
What does “spring musical” mean to you?
Freshman: “It’s my first year in high school, and the spring musical has really been a way for me to escape out of the shell I was cowardly in. With all the support and encouragement that is going on, the musical helped me gain confidence to be better.”
Sophomore: “This is my second year in a musical and it has definitely been another great experience so far.
Junior: “I work behind the scenes, and it’s always so memorable to see the entire cast and crew bond as a family. In our family, everyone is welcomed and appreciated dearly.”
Senior: “Drama has become such a large part of my high school life, and it’s very sad to think that BATB is my last production. I just want to say thank you to everyone who will come to watch and to my drama family for the last four years.”
What does “graduation ceremony” mean to you?
Freshman: “The last place that everyone shares with each other, like a final impression. Even though I’ve only known these seniors for less than a year, I think I’m gonna be super sad to see them go.”
Sophomore: “Last year’s graduation ceremony was very sad, but I think I’ll be even sadder this year because I’ve known these seniors for two years now.”
Junior: “I just cannot believe that I will be letting these seniors go in a month, the seniors that I spent all of my high school career with. Many of them have changed who I am and I’m excited to see them pursue their goals after high school.”
Senior: “Ackkk.. Honestly, I just can’t believe I’m graduating. These four years whizzed passed me and I really don’t want to leave all the underclassmen behind and say bye to my friends. Everything is just really bittersweet right now.”
While all grade levels agreed on many things, there were notable differences in the perspectives between freshmen and seniors. As the freshmen are the youngest in the high school, they seemed more hesitant and doubtful about themselves in the school community. However, the various activities that the high school has offered has allowed them to create bonds with older classmen, as well as exploring and creating their identity. It’s clear that as students age, they appreciate the events KIS holds and how much it means to them.
For the ones who have been in high school for four years, they unanimously agree that the culture at KIS has created the best high school experience. The seniors want all the underclassmen to remember to take advantage of all the amazing opportunities that are offered at KIS and to live in the moment. We should all recognize the power of traditions and events and how they influence us as we get older.
-Michelle Shin ’21