What’s Up, Graduates?

Graduates share their transition experiences and their universities’ highlights!

With the end of the first quarter approaching (already!), it’s easy to forget about the graduates that have left us this May. As these new young-adults adjust to college, they have invaluable tips, comments, and experiences to share with the rest of us who are – sooner or later – getting ready to depart the nest of KIS.

Nadia Kim (‘15)10857809_410233372474263_6350178354135356164_n

  • Introduce yourself!

Hi my name is Nadia Kim, and I am a graduate of KIS class of 2015. I attend Yonsei University, and I study International Studies.

  • What was it like transitioning to college?

Honestly, I never thought college would ever suit me well. At first, I was very scared to attend college, and I did not know what to expect from such a big place like college: starting life without my parents and living like an adult already. This is a new experience for me, and for all of us. But I was able to find a lot of friends, they introduced me to a lot of new things in college and helped me to adjust to a new society, environment and culture.

  • What’s special about YOUR college?

The people in my college make my college experience special. There are different types of people in every college. There some people you want to get close with or some people you want to stay away from, but every individual is special. They have their own talents, those talents make them special and those people make my college special.

  • Any tips for current juniors and seniors?

Dear current juniors and seniors:

I know how stressed you all are. But after you are done with all your SATs, ACTs, and apps, when you get accepted, you will look back and say it was not worth of all the stress you had, so do not stress out too much, enjoy your life, and be patient. Only those people who are patient get what they want. Please, enjoy your junior and senior years and good luck! 🙂

Best of luck,

Nadia Kim.

Junwon Park (‘15) 

  • Introduce yourself!10365493_886754204708223_7175737376314313836_o

I am studying Computer Science and Product Design at Stanford University. I’m also in a philosophy/humanities accelerated residential program called SLE.

  • What was it like transitioning to college?

KIS does a superlative job preparing its students for college. The transition process was smooth for me, and I’m enjoying my time here.

  • What’s special about YOUR college?

Stanford excels in both STEM and humanities, and many students here are interested in multiple disciplines. If you, as a high school student, can’t choose a major because your talents and interests are spread over too many subjects, then come to Stanford.

If you want to study history, go study at (an Ivy League school)

If you want to make history, come study at Stanford 😉

  • Any tips for current juniors and seniors?

Many students make decisions based on–what they believe–colleges will appreciate. However, I advise you to simply continue pursuing your own passion. Colleges that are right for you will then identify you! This way, you’ll enjoy your college more after you get in.

 

 

10847188_10202492406631428_6777264978195235998_oCindy Lim (‘15)

  • Introduce yourself!

My name is Cindy, I attend Swarthmore College, and I don’t know what I will be majoring in, but my interest lies within the humanities and political science.

  • What was it like transitioning to college?

Honestly, I can’t say what it was like to transition, because I’m not done transitioning yet. But what I’ve felt so far: college is very different from high school, ranging from your daily schedule to the number of club organizations on campus. It is also incredibly diverse and vibrant. The change is a big one, and I can’t say everything was completely smooth, but it is well worth it; you’ll welcome all the new things.

  • What’s special about YOUR college?

Swarthmore is really small, with only about 1,200 students and no graduate program. It’s very socially conscious, and most students have a strong sense of civic duty; politically, the majority seems to be liberal. We also have a culture of party on Thursday night instead of Friday nights, but that’s not to say Friday nights are inactive.

  • Any tips for current juniors and seniors?

If you are a perfectionist, or are someone who constantly worries about grades, it will benefit you immensely if you learn how to stress yourself out less. You might have to sacrifice a little bit of work to give yourself time to adjust, make new friends, and get involved in activities you’re passionate about, and that’s completely okay; nothing is more important than your mental and physical well-being. Also, cherish your high school friends; you’ll probably miss them in college!

 

Christine Heeju Lee (‘15) 12068016_10206077831319737_1441117211_n

  • Introduce yourself!

My name is Christine Heeju Lee. I attend Rutgers University, and I’m studying to be a pharmacist.

  • What was it like transitioning to college?

Transitioning in the beginning was, of course, difficult because I was given a clean slate that I didn’t know what to do with: new people, new environment, new information to study. It was overwhelming. But after a week or so it got better. I was amazed at the fact that I was actually functioning away from home.

  • What’s special about YOUR college?

We have a yearly event called King Neptune Night in the dining halls where we can have unlimited lobster and other seafood menus for one meal swipe! Non-Rutgers people come also and pay 60 bucks to get in. Pretty awesome.

  • Any tips for current juniors and seniors?

Try not to judge a school too much before actually attending it. College life is what you make of it when you get there, NOT in the process of getting there.

 

 Jin-Hong Jung (‘15)

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  • Introduce yourself!

My name is Jin-Hong Jung, and I study psychology in University of Washington.

  • What was it like transitioning to college?

I feel very independent because it’s my first time living apart from my family and Korea.

  • What’s special about YOUR college?

University of Washington is in such a nice area. Since it’s a city, it has everything you need at reach. We also have a beautiful campus, and our library is so majestic that it was used as a set of Harry Potter!

  • Any tips for current juniors and seniors?

The only advice I would give is to prepare yourself to be self-sufficient: be able to plan and look out for yourself. In college, you’ll have a lot more freedom than what you had before, so you need to be able to manage your time well! Oh and be ready for some loneliness 🙁

 

Monica Lee (‘15) 

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  • Introduce yourself!

My name is Monica Lee, and I attend Northwestern University. Here, I’m planning on majoring in sociology and international studies.

  • What was it like transitioning to college?

I spent a 4-month long summer idly waiting for college to start, and it was definitely worth the wait. We’re just now entering week 3 of classes, and so far, I love it here. After a 10-day long orientation (known as Wildcat Welcome), transitioning to college has been fun, action-packed, and overall quite smooth.

  • What’s special about YOUR college?

Northwestern is on a quarter system, which means that you can take more courses that you want throughout your undergraduate years. The campus is also really beautiful, with the lakefill and the backdrop of Chicago. But what astonished me the most about Northwestern is the truly outstanding peer group—their intelligence, talents, and even kindness. I also found that a lot of the students are passionate about theater and music.

  • Any tips for current juniors and seniors?

Juniors and seniors, make sure you really research the colleges you’ll be applying to. Ask about the college to people you know who attend it, do a virtual tour online, and once you’re set on your college list, it’s really never too early to write your college essays. Trust me, you don’t want to cram college apps. Good luck!

 

 

1559516_945132988848581_1368199197764042935_oSabin Kim (‘15)

  • Introduce yourself!

Hi! My name is Sa Bin Kim from Class of 2015, and I attend UC Berkeley. I currently plan to double major in Molecular and Cellular Biology along with Astrophysics.

  • What was it like transitioning to college?

There is a greater freedom to choose how you wish to spend your time. I chose to have all my classes as early as possible in the morning, but I do know some people whose schedule doesn’t start until after lunch time, and others who have their Fridays open. The difficulty of homework and content are on another level, and there is so much to do compared to what was available in high school in terms of extra or co-curricular activities. I’m currently part of a hip hop dance team, and do research in a chemistry lab.

  • What’s special about YOUR college?

As one of the oldest universities in the West Coast, UC Berkeley has many unique features. Berkeley is home of the largest library West of the Mississippi river. One of the biggest surprises I recently discovered was that Berkeley has dedicated parking spots for Nobel Laureates!

  • Any tips for current juniors and seniors?

You will have plenty of fun after submitting application and before college begins. Don’t start slacking off now and you’ll regret later. By now, you should have things sorted out in what motivates and inspires you, but never stop experimenting. I wanted to study Biology in 10th Grade, and Environmental Science in 12th Grade, but look at what I’m studying now. Of course, even as a college student, my path isn’t set yet. You only live once, so make the best use of it.

 

Best of luck to all the class of 2015 graduates on the rest of their college year!

– Lina Oh (’16)

The Biggest Cross-Country Team in KIStory

“Run like you stole something!” –Mr. Y

Cross-country is known for its 10 kilometer sessions every practice and countless cases of shin splints throughout the season. During every practice, Captain Jerry Kim (12) witnesses his runners complaining: “I’m so quitting this tomorrow,” until the very last day of season (what an irony!). Despite the daily adversities, KIS currently has the biggest team in KIStory.

 

So let’s see why some students are crazy enough to join this team:

  1. Free Karaoke Experience

Running (for some, sprinting) 10~13K everyday means not only increasing your cardiovascular abilities, but also expanding your lung capacities. You can even hear it! Everyday after practice, all runners gather at the fitness center and sing out their sore muscles while taking an icy shower. It’s hard to imagine how you won’t grow close after an intimate session of karaoke. Quite an interesting experience to jump into don’t you think?

“Imagine ten high schoolers singing “I Miss You” by Bum Soo Kim. That’s us in the fitness center shower room everyday.” – Jerry Kim (12)

  1. Join the Biggest Fam-Bam

While SFS has 40, YISS has 40 and SIS has 30, KIS has an astounding number of 65 runners this year! More people means more support, right? All cross-country runners share post-practice stretches, “cool-down” jogs, and the overall experience all together. Though many athletes have been injured lately, the whole team still endures one another’s pains together in the fitness center. Also, there’s a rumor that H505 has ice treatments to enjoy during your newly embedded autonomous blocks.

“By running in cross-country, we don’t get to know our limits. We get to know that there is no limit.” – Terry Lee (12)

  1. Going Bananas for Bananas

“If you’re not a fan of water and bananas, join cross-country. The two will be your lifesavers.” – Joy Youn (11)

Every cross-country member knows that they run for bananas. KIS is the only KAIAC team that provides potassium-packed bananas to every single player, after every single practice. The feeling of achievement these bananas bring exceeds the daily pain, encouraging the runners to push their limits a little further.

  1. Crazy Coaches

“Run like you stole something!” – Mr. Yanuszeski

KIS cross-country team is known for its crazy coaches – Mr. Yanuszeski, Mr. Bunting, Mr. Reschke and Ms. Yousey. Most of them ran in high school and in college, and they sprint through the entire training session. On top of their above-and-beyond physical abilities, they are “laid back” and great partners to talk to before and after practice. Talk about having excellent examples!

“Mr. Bunting wears shoes that look like socks and has a water bottle that looks like a bag…” – Yoo Bin Shin (10)

  1. Potential Guam Trip

If you are the lucky top 7 of either gender of cross-country, you get to compete in the Guam race! Running alongside international runners, making new friends, enjoying delicious meals, all while enjoying the beautiful scenery of Guam – who wouldn’t miss that?

 

– Lina Oh (’16)

Team “Hope & Punishment”

Is it volleyball season or captain Harry’s hunting season? Click to find out more about this year’s Varsity Boys Volleyball team!

Any Facebook addict would know the love this year’s varsity boys volleyball team has for each other. From visits to Coach Callahan’s house, to intimate team photos taken by managers Jiyoung Choi (‘16) and Cindy Kim (‘16), this team has shown (maybe a little too much) love for this year’s team on and off the social media platforms.

(Harry Song, '16)
Smiles all around. (Harry Song, ’16)

In light of such an indiscreet affection for one another, Blueprint decided to take a deeper look at this year’s varsity boys volleyball team:

1. How is VBV 2015 different from other seasons?

Harry Song (‘16): This year’s volleyball team is vastly different from the years past since we lost a lot of players who both excelled in and enjoyed volleyball, like David Chin (‘14), Jaemin Shin (‘14), Philip An (‘15), Jeff Kim (‘15), and more. This year, we truly believe in “Hard work beats talent” (kudos for the aphorism, Mr. Evans!). So, we will work harder than we ever did to achieve our dream: undefeated season.

Kevin Han (‘15): The “hogu-ness” is at its peak.

Jason Kwon (‘15): Volleyball itself is a hard sport because we have to come back after a long summer of relaxation and get adjusted right away to an intense season ahead of us. But by the look of our undefeated season so far, I’m sure that we are fully capable of keeping this up and finishing with no “L” in our records.

2. How is the season so far?

Kevin Han (‘15): We are undefeated for the season with 4:0!
Harry Song (‘16): Although we lost to YISS and SFS in the pre-season tournament, our team is improving day by day. We’ll take them down in AISA!

3. Any fun facts?

Kevin Han (‘15): Watch out ladies… Harry Song (‘16) is hunting for freshmen girls for prom…

Harry Song (‘16): We’re the team “Hope & Torture” (희망고문)!

Jason Kwon (‘16): What does “Hope & Torture” mean? We give “hope” to the other team when we make mistakes, but we take it right back and “torture” them with our success. It’s hard to explain, and I’m not even sure who first came up with this name… Also, another fun fact: Harry Song (‘16) is a scary man!

4. Any tips for current and future volleyball players?

Harry Song (‘16): PLEASE talk! PLEASE communicate! PLEASE respect each other!

Jason Kwon (‘16): Have fun when playing, but know when to focus and be serious. If we don’t enjoy the game, there is no point of playing for the team or playing this sport. However, we shouldn’t be having fun simply by fooling around, but by playing as a team to achieve our goals together.

– Lina Oh (’16)

Featured Image: Yunji Chung (’16)

Dear Me, 9 months ago

To: Junior Lina, August 2014
From: Senior Lina, June 2015

Dear me, 9 months ago,

 

I dimly remember making an Instagram post with the number of days until junior year is over, and – believe it or not – today is only 8 days away from D-Day. Since that day, 42 weeks ago, much has changed. As much as my brain is telling me to type, “Much has changed, all for the better,” my fingers hesitate because they know the statement to be false. So, “mostly” will have to do for now: much has changed, mostly for the better.

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Like I said, things have definitely changed, but I don’t exactly know what. My mornings have slowly yet surely started later and later throughout the year. Certain cherished people have left and certain unexpected people came. I’ve gained a few more skills to put under my belt and I’ve learned to deal with a couple more unfamiliar situations. But, really, me-nine-months-ago, I fail to pinpoint what exactly has shifted so greatly.

oh-lina---dear-me-8-months-ago_18230437860_o
Good ol’ AP Lang…

And that’s the thing, me-nine-months-ago, things change. Things change a little too quickly, a little too constantly for my liking. That BFFF of yours (one extra ‘forever’ because s/he’s extra important) is moving out of the country for abrupt reasons. That one opportunity you’ve pondered about for weeks, it’s gone now, you never took it. But things have changed for the better too – quickly and constantly. That one time you did look past your fears, you’ve conquered them. That one friend you’ve made in your quick trip to Indonesia set important, long-term goals in your life – visions, as people call them.

oh-lina---dear-me-8-months-ago_18391745336_o

Things change a little too quickly, a little too constantly for my liking. But while most would say, “Don’t be afraid of changes,” or “Make the best out of the changes,” I want to say, “Be grounded”. Be grounded in who you are; be grounded in the goals you have set; be grounded in what you know to be true, and don’t be shaken by the standards that others hastily put upon your life. Be grounded amid the ephemerality around you. You don’t have to travel down the same road as everyone else.

 

Maybe this is what changed, this realization right here… who knows.

 

You’re on the right track. Frankly, there never existed the one correct track to start with anyway. So keep doing what you’re doing, keep doing what you love to do – with the little passion you have. Keep putting effort into things even though the results seem too far away. And, finally, keep faking it ‘till you’re making it – after all, you came this far with that motto.

oh-lina---dear-me-8-months-ago_18231979459_o
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As you are legal in a little over a year, please try to expand your mental, interpersonal, psychological, and academic capabilities. And please put effort into acting like an adult.

 

See you soon!

in Him,

Lina.

Graduation ’15 Part IV: Gratitude for the Graduates

Just two words: thank you.

oh-lina---graduation_17716529553_o

All beautiful things must come to an end, and this beautiful class of 2015 and their beautiful – questionable word choice – time here at KIS has also come to a dissolution.

 

oh-lina---graduation_17714566284_oBeginning with the music department’s annual – yet still stunning – ensemble, to Mr. van Moppes’ modest, genuine speech, to Joonyon Park’s striking solo. From Cindy Lim’s beautiful high-note melodies, to Jaehyun Park’s joyous serenade to the class of 2015, all the way to Ara Cho’s usual moment of selfie; this graduation was filled with all things cheerful, unique, K15story-worthy, just like the class of 2015.

 

oh-lina---graduation_18337193635_ooh-lina---graduation_18149452180_o

Seniors, your class in its own entity has made a difference here at KIS. Your unparalleled leadership – whether you recognize it or not – has closed the wide chasm between upperclassmen and underclassmen, moving KIS away from the rigidness of a typical Korean society, and brought comfort and inclusiveness, and “joy” into our lives (as Jaehyun Park so eloquently sang), all of which the underclassmen will hopefully have enough responsibility to carry onto the next generation of KIS. This class has produced, by far, the largest number of competent leaders, and though the current juniors are burdened by the thought of following after your foot steps and filling up the ineffably large shoes you’ve left behind, these two overused words cannot be truer: thank you.

oh-lina---graduation_18149440788_o oh-lina---graduation_18338633621_o

Thank you for showing us how to have fun and enjoy each others’ company amidst the most stressful times. Thank you for leading by example, not by words. Thank you for being our friend, not our sunbaes.

But most of all, thank you for being you – the humble, creative, self-driven, and funny, you.

– Lina Oh (’16)

Graduation 2015:

Part 1: High School Bucket List

Part 2: “If Only I…”

Part 3: Final Remarks

Junior Year Survival Guide

Brace yourselves, sophomores…

Dear future juniors,

Is the thought of the infamous junior year slowly creeping up on your window, licking its lips in delight at all the nightmares it’ll give you? Okay, maybe I’m going a little too far, but you get my point. Well, today’s your lucky day! Loosen up that furrowed brow and let out a deep sigh – Blueprint’s got your back! Here’s a compilation of tips and thoughts from current and past juniors alike to help you embark on your new journey of junior year (dun dun dun…)

plan ahead1
Get your head together!

Yes, challenge yourself with difficult courses, but don’t over do it. You’re going to have a lot of things to do: APs, college visits, SAT/ACT preparations, and probably a multitude of extracurricular activities. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself with too many hard courses that will drag you down the entire year. Figure out what your priorities are and plan your schedule from there.

  • Yunji Lee (‘16): “Find balance. Don’t overwhelm yourself so much with academics that you don’t have any time for family and friends, but don’t slack off to the point where your grades start slipping.”
  • Jaye Ahn (‘16): “If I could do one thing over in junior year, it would be to focus a little less on my extracurriculars. Don’t sign up for every single opportunity just for the sake of it. Be mindful of your limits, your priorities, your health, and literally every decision you make.”
breaktime
Give your heart (I mean, your brain) a break

Psychology has proven that prolonged stress manifests itself as physiological symptoms – this includes lack of sleep! Not sleeping is going to hurt your performance, even on assignments you have stayed up hours for, and your performance on the following day. Also, have some fun! #TREATYOSELF! One relaxing Saturday isn’t going to hurt you, nor your grades. If it does, you should seriously reflect on your time management skills. “I have too much to do” isn’t going to fly by as a legitimate excuse anywhere – not even as a junior.

  • Hannah Park (‘16): We unconsciously believe that juniors have this unspoken right to procrastinate, sleep in class, be late to school, or etc., just with the excuse of being a junior. If students can continue to hold a positive mindset to set good examples for other students, junior year will be easier to cope with!”
  • Subin Hur (‘16): You will be surprised to realize that it is possible to sleep before 12 AM even with four APs – as long as you know how to stay away from social media. Sleep when people party and work when people sleep. If you take naps from 4PM~12AM (which I usually do), virtually nobody will be online by the time you start working, so you don’t need to worry about being distracted. ***successful social life not guaranteed***
best
Do your best, and leave the rest!
  • Stephanie Yang (‘15): I feel like some people believe that they have to do certain things to set themselves up for the college application process, like choosing the most “prestigious” or popular KIS club, or doing a ton of community service just for the sake of the hours. Do what you want, because, ultimately, your version of the “perfect” student on paper may not be that unique: you might stand out more by being a part of the Christian club.

 

College doesn’t determine your future, and junior year doesn’t determine (well, completely determine) your college acceptances. You might attend an Ivy League and learn nothing, and you can go to the dreaded-by-KIS, small liberal art school and squeeze all opportunities you possibly can to be enlightened, it’s all up to you. You determine how valuable college experience is, not the name of the college.

 

So, bottom line: don’t freak out. To be honest, from what I believe, junior year is not worthy of much worry. It should be just like any other time of you high school career: simply do your very best, accept the consequences – positive and negative – and move on and work with what you have.

  • Michelle Hahm (‘15): I would say, do everything with 110% effort, to a point where you know you can say, “I’ve done my best” by the time you are done with whatever big or small task you are working on. The same outlook should be for non-academic goals as well.

college fairs

I know, I know, our counselors have reiterated this multiple times, but, personally, I found great value in attending different college fairs. College fairs are never about binding yourself to a few colleges that you attend their visits for, nor is it about impressing the international delegates (s/he probably won’t remember you anyway). It’s about letting the college know that you had prior interest in their school before senior year starts and learning about distinct cultures and opportunities of different schools.

 

Some specific points to keep in mind:

  • Don’t solely rely on bigfuture.collegeboard.org. Find what is important to you – internship opportunities, financial aid, programs of interest, sports, school ambience (aka boon-wee-gui), class sizes – and visit the school’s website beforehand to ask specific questions.
  • Ask yourself, what is special about this particular college that distinguishes itself from the other colleges?
  • If financial issue is daunting for you, make sure to ask about international scholarship/financial aid availability and on-campus work programs. Some schools have a limited number of scholarship applications for international students.
  • Ask about the application process. Not all common-app colleges are the same. Is choosing a major highly suggested (i.e. required)? How are international students’ applications viewed? If you are a dual citizen living in Korea, are you considered as an American applicant or an international applicant? Be a pest and squeeze the juice out of our college counselors! Don’t feel bad, that’s what they’re here for!
keep going
Fake it ‘till you make it

Let me tell you a little secret about junior year: no one knows what they’re doing. You just go with the flow, submit daily assignments, practice SAT/ACT problems, research colleges, etc. etc. But quite frankly, no junior has completely mapped out their near or far future – and really, no one can. Junior year is an entity of confusion and constant changes; you’re going to be stabbed in the back by things you’ve never expected. If you think taking AP Biology makes you a “science” person? Think again, AP Physics is a whole other realm in itself, and at times, it will make sure you suffer and doubt yourself. Think acing 10th grade British literature makes you a good writer? Think again, for AP language is a whole other amalgam of frustration (and, of course, satisfaction, at the end of the day).

My point is, you’re going to hit slumps – quite often. But that doesn’t mean you are a bad person, it doesn’t mean you’re a lacking student, and it definitely doesn’t mean your academic career is going downhill. Keep pushing yourself, and keep in mind that many of your peers are hitting rock bottom alongside you.

You are more than fine, and you will be more than fine no matter what grade you are getting in APUSH, no matter what score you received on the January SAT, and no matter what college you get accepted to. Life – and frankly junior year, too – is more than the numbers. Have fun discovering what this “more” is for you!

Headers by Yunji Lee

Orchestra Drama Llama

You’ve heard all the rumors, but Blueprint’s got the truth.

Over the past couple years, KIS has been through some dynamic changes: the one-three test regulation, the no-flip-flops rule, the prospective 8th block, and many more that more or less improved the lives of the KISians. However, there was one recent change in the music department that was a stifling shock to many. This catastrophic change baffled the prospective AP Music Theory students, unimaginably distressed the Tri-M officers, and left nine current juniors with an empty, extra block. 

So what exactly was this disaster?

Keep scrollin’.

 

Recently, what seemed to be an easy time of course registration became a time of pure frustration for many current orchestra students as Dr. Kang, the HS and MS orchestra teacher, shortened the number of prospective orchestra members. The choice was highly upsetting especially because of the specific group of people that were removed. Turns out, the current 11th graders who did not attend KIMEA were the majority of the elimination list.

Some were understanding…

  • “Since I’ve been in orchestra for a few years now, it was hard to imagine a school year without it. Although we don’t know the exact reasons why many juniors got cut from orchestra this year, whatever decision Dr. Kang made probably has a reasonable purpose behind it… sadly.” — Anonymous (’16)

 

But some were not…

  • “To my 541 word email I had sent her, she simply replied, ‘Please let me know if you would like to take Concert Orchestra next year.’ This upsets me the most: the fact that she could be so nonchalant about a class that meant the world to me.” — Anonymous (’16)

 

While some replied with pure anger: 

  • “This isn’t a hyperbole: we all know that all the juniors got cut because of [Dr. Kang’s] pure hatred towards the class of 2016. No matter how hard we try to understand her decision, it,  really, is impossible to do.” – Anonymous (‘16)

 

Olivia Kim (’16) is one of the few that has managed to a sound remedy for this disaster.

Blueprint: How do you feel about this sudden, unexpected news?

OK: At first, I was devastated; it was a tragedy. However, now, I have hope for new beginnings!

BP: So, what are you gonna do now? What’s your plan/solution?

OK: I will be taking Advanced Theater next year. Acting was always my hidden dream, and I’m excited to discover more of it next year.

 

Every turmoil has its lesson, and this one – despite the anger and confusion – has something we can learn from as well. This mishap might not merely be a “high-school” drama. In fact, it may happen again. No matter how far or how intricately we plan for our future, there are things that we have zero control over, and—fortunately, or unfortunately—we need to be okay with that. Adjustability and forgiveness seem to be the key in life.

 

– Lina Oh (’16)
Header: Faith Choi (’16)

5 Reasons Why “How To Get Away With Murder” is the Best Show Ever

Everyone needs a little bit of How To Get Away With Murder in their lives, guaranteed.

Need a little spark in the mundane spin of high school life? How to Get Away With Murder is, literally, the perfect combination of thrill and romance you need to turn your life upside down.

 

Before we proceed, here’s a convenient snippet of HTGAWM for you (no spoilers, I promise):
The series takes place in Middleton University in Philadelphia, one America’s most prestigious law schools. Here, 5 law students – Wes Gibbons (Alfred Enoch), Connor Walsh (Jack Falahee), Michaela Pratt (Aja Naomi King), Asher Millstone (Matt McGory), and Laurel Castillo (Karla Souza) (aka the Keating 5) – are hand-picked by the infamous defense attorney and a criminal justice professor Professor Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) to work under her. The murder of Lila Stangard, a psychology student in Middleton University, drags the Keating Five, Professor Keating herself, and her two employees – Frank and Bonnie – into a gruesome murder case(s).

The cast of HTGAWM in all their perfection. (people.com)
The cast of HTGAWM in all their perfection. (People)

Phew! Now that the synopsis is out of the way, here are 5 reasons why you should start watching HTGAWM:

5. Twist that Plot!

“How To Get Away with Murder is constantly full of suspense and has so many interesting plot twists that its really hard not to get hooked. I can’t wait for season two to air!” – Hannah Byun (‘15)

“You want to try and put all the pieces together but right when you think you’ve figured everything out something new and crazy happens.” – Sara Drake (‘15)

Wow, can I just say that the plot development is AMAZING, PERFECT, SUBLIME??? In the beginning, the bits and pieces of information may seem arbitrary, but as you get deeper and deeper into the series, every details start to congregate to one masterpiece – like a mosaic. HTGAWM continues to build on the already-close-to-perfect plot with the most jaw-dropping and bone-chilling twists, making it impossible to press pause.

 

4. Great Camera Techniques

The setup of the series is quite unique. There is an ever-present back-and-forths between the present and the flashbacks (you’ll have to find out what kind of flashbacks they are 😉 ), which sustains the zest of HTGAWM. Even as a non-cinematic enthusiast, the transitions, the cliffhangers, and the overall aesthetics of each episode are impressive and eye-catching. A perfect example of visuals enhancing the storyline!

3. Sentimental Character Development

Contrary to the heartless theme of murder, the episodes reveal important secrets and personal conflicts of each characters, bringing cohesiveness to the entire cast and, surprisingly, arousing sympathy – an unexpected emotion to get out of a criminal series.

 

2. Become a Great Storyteller

Aside from the one underlying foundational murder case that the entire series is based on, each episode features cameos of various, head-twisting criminal cases – from monetary complications and drug cases to tabooed stories of adultery and parental abuse – all of which you can chip in as conversation-continuers!

 

1. Smokin’ Men and Women

How can you say no to this gorgeousness?

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Seriously. Look at that face. I think I need a moment. (ABC)

And to this familiar and beautiful face from Harry Potter?

This kid has seriously Neville-LongBottomed. Big time. (Buzzfeed)
This kid has seriously Neville-LongBottomed. Big time. (Buzzfeed)

Remember Paris from Gilmore Girls? Well, she’s Keating’s employee now.

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Talk about a throwback. (ABC)

Any film with Viola Davis, you know you can bet your money on – her acting is above and beyond phenomenal.

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You see this? This is the face of someone who knows she’s good at what she does. (ABC)

Days of reblogging photos of Kendall Jenner and “aesthetics” are gone! Lovers of Tumblr, stock your blog posts with these fine-lookin’ ladies.

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Hot dang. (ABC)
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Hot dang part 2. (ABC)

Personally, I would give this series a 4.5 out of 5. A soft-hearted person that I am (cough cough), I was surprised to find myself actually enjoying a murder series. This was only possible because, visually, the crime scenes are obscure, which I (and a lot of you) can appreciate a ton. However, there is one downfall, and it’s the fact that there are one too many sexuals scenes. But if you’re into murder and sex appeal, go right ahead, this is the perfect show for you.

 

– Lina Oh (’16)
Header: ABC
Captions: Faith Choi (’16)

What’s New, Milan?

Check out Blueprint’s best picks in one of the most anticipated fashion events of the year.

Paris is the world’s fashion venue,

New York is the city for all clothing entrepreneurs,

London is for all things chic and classy,

But how many people know of Fashion Week in Milan, Italy?

Here are 5 stand outs of Milan Fashion Week 2015 Spring/Summer from Blueprint, to you:

1. EMPORIO ARMANI

Theme:

  • Casual – especially paired with sneaker-like footwear
  • Fitted tops with loose trousers
  • Boxy, ankled pants
  • Dashes of cobalt blue
  • Neutral colors and patterns

Review: 

Just like the name of their brand, their new designs ooze elegance and royalty. Their spring emphasis on cobalt blue was an eye-pleasing choice, and so was the feminine, waist-hugging structure of their line. But what’s new here? Perhaps not much. Everything was there, but the lack of creativity may have been a downfall.

Rating: 4/5

 

2. DOLCE & GABANA

Theme:

  • Darker hues of red and black
  • Latin-inspired colors
  • Bold, elaborate patterns (jewels and distinct, vine-like patterns)
  • Fitted figure

 

Review: 

Who would have thought a brand as European as Dolce&Gabbana would go Hispanic?! Swirly black patterns on red, with hints of glistening gold: all things españoles that scream “sexy” like no other. Hats of to you, Domenico y Stefano!

Rating: 5/5 for novelty and creativity

 

3. VERSACE

Theme:

  • Wide range of bright colors
  • Boxy fitting
  • Slicked back hair
  • Geometric patterns 
  • Tinge of 80’s throwback

 

Review:

Although their designs had an underlying support of the infamous black&white, really, the colors range from from coral orange to baby blue, from hot red to a medley of all of three. Keeping the clean and structured look, Versace incorporated a lot of geometric shapes, and embellished their work with sparkles. (Always yes for sparkles.) Versace’s design might come off a little mundane, but truly, they have managed to bring sophistication and aesthetics in such simplicity.

Rating: 5/5

 

4. GUCCI

Theme:

  • Waist-fitted apparel
  • Muted colors with few bold colors
  • Delicate touch – feathers, minimal gold studs, strapped heels, silky material
  • Clean, slicked-back pony tails

 

 

Review:

Mid-length skirts, bright feathers, wide-legged pants, and patterned scarves? I see what you’re doing here, Gucci, bringin’ the 90s back! It’s hard to mess up 90s fashion, but this year’s Gucci designs seems to be a little too ill-fitting. Honestly, the quintessential impression of a fashion show is exactly what Gucci brought to Milan this spring: excessively bold and quite incomprehensible apparel.

Rating: 2/5

 

5. ANTONIO MARRAS

Theme:

  • Unfitted figures, boxy
  • Bold patterns
  • Contrasting colors
  • Over-the-knee dresses

 

 

Review:

The perfect combination of the past and present! Frankly, I have never heard of Antonio Marras until this spring, and from what I’m seeing, it’s a brand to keep and eye out for. Like Gucci’s approach, Marras’s designs may seem a bit dated and daunting at first, but the more you look at it, the more it grows on you – not necessarily as day-to-day apparel, but as art. Bringing shapes and textures of the Victorian Era, yet spicing the out-dated with a modern twist of geometric shapes, abstract lines, and floral patterns, what can I say, it’s true brilliance.

Rating: 5/5

Which fashion brand was your favorite? Leave a comment or a poll response below!

Shining Stars (& Apparel) of the Oscars 2015

From Benedict Cumberbatch to Emma Stone, we’ve got the best dressed from this year’s Academy Awards.

Talented, beautiful, AND well-dressed! It’s that time of the year again to be stunned by the magnificence of the Oscar nominees. From elegant white to emerald green; from umbrellas (?!) to a Jesus look-a-like(?!), the Oscars’ staggering fashion never fails to disappoint the eyes.

 

Here are 9 standouts of Oscar 2015 from Blueprint to you:

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Simple and Fitted: Reese Witherspoon (still trying to shake off NPH’s disappointing pun at the Oscars) surprised her fans with a simple, black and white dress, but pulled it off to make it every bit as amazing as it looked on her. (The Academy Awards 2015)

Reese Witherspoon: B&W

Nothing screams simplicity like black and white. Reese Witherspoon elevates a rather mundane combination of colors to another level of sophistication with her dress designed by Tom Ford. Her goddess-like figure accentuates the already-established elegance of the black and white.

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A Vision in Pearl: Lupita Nyong’o, last year’s winner of the Best Supporting Actress for her role in 12 Years A Slave, dazed the crowd with her beautifully elegant pearl dress by Calvin Klein. It apparently got stolen last Tuesday, but the dress has thankfully been found. Guess that’s the norm when you own a precious $150,000 dress. (The Academy Awards 2015)

Lupita Nyong’o: No Need for Words

She aces every time. Following last year’s beautiful baby-blue dress, Lupita Nyong’o strikes again – this time in pearl white, literally. Graduating from the youthful dresses of the past, Nyong’o oozes gracefulness and maturity through her sleek, embroidered pearl dress. With the subtle, cool-toned accents on her ears and fingers, Nyong’o truly brought a 10/10 to the carpet again.

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Old Hollywood: As stunning as ever, Emma Stone wowed the crowd with her long, detailed dress, open back, and classic Hollywood hair that only her and all her red-headed-glory could pull off. (The Academy Awards 2015)

Emma Stone: The Golden Beauty

True beauty resonates from a beautiful heart, and we might as well put “Emma Stone” as the definition of beauty. Emma Stone blinds the eyes of the audience once again with her ____ in her daring, delicate golden dress. With the slight tan she has acquired over the years, gold was the perfect option for Stone.

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The Couple of the Hour: The Cumberbatch couple turned heads during their appearance on the red carpet, with future Mrs. Cumberbatch’s gorgeous red dress nicely complimenting the red carpet and contrasting nicely with Mr. Cumberbatch’s suit. (The Academy Awards 2015) 

Sophie Hunter: Simply Red

Recently, Cumberbatch followers had to renounce their beloved British darling to Ms. Sophie Hunter (soon to be Mrs. Sophie Cumberbatch). Despite the lament, we have to admit that she looks astonishing in this all-red dress. Hunter’s number is perhaps the most basic of all the nominees, a simple red cloth with a side slit, but she was able to upgrade it to an Oscar-worthy (and Cumberbatch-worthy) apparel.

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Under My Umbrella: Although we’re not totally sure what look Jared Leto is going for here, if it’s him trying to be Mary-Poppins-Meets-Jesus, he totally pulls it off, umbrella and all. (The Academy Awards 2015) 

Jared Leto: (A Little Too) Creative

Jared Leto, whipping his astoundingly long and luscious ombré hair, enters the carpet in a baby violet suit with… with a contrastingly black umbrella. Leto’s joviality, creativity, and his Jesus-esq appearance captivated Blueprint’s attention.

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New Classic: Although he plays a bit of a mad character in The Grand Budapest Hotel, Adrien Brody showed a different side of him with a sensible, sight-for-sore-eyes-esque suit. (The Academy Awards 2015) 

Adrien Brody: Charming All Over

Amid the all-black suits explosion of Oscars 2015, Adrien Brody deserves some credit with his white and black suit. His ever-so-attractive eyebrows and mustache deserve some credit too.

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The Theory of Eddie: My theory is that he can just pull anything off. And look at that pose! He’s got everything on lock down, from the smile, to the hand positioning, to the slightly leaning forward, to the suit. (The Academy Awards) 

Eddie Redmayne: Sweetie Eddie

Perhaps it’s the height? Or the sweetheart smile? Whatever it is, Eddie Redmayne brought his crisp and proper British essence to brighten up the red carpet. Although not creative or unique, Redmayne’s suit unquestionably enhances the aesthetics of this year’s Oscars. His down-to-earth speech was heart-warming, too – just like him and his outfit.

– Lina Oh (’16)

Header: The Academy Awards, Hollywood Life

Captions: Faith Choi (’16)