Graduation ’15 Part IV: Gratitude for the Graduates

Just two words: thank you.


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.



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

Graduation ’15 Part III: Final Remarks

“You are young only once so don’t fear the adventure. At the end, you’ll find out that the things you feared were actually nothing special.” Chaewon Lee

grad pt 3

We tend to moan in agony when asked about our days in high school, saying that it was a hectic time filled with academic burdens – the all too familiar banal hardships. Yet we all know that it would be a lie that cherishable moments didn’t constitute our time at KIS at all. The graduates of Class of 2015 bring the good times into perspective as they reflect on their younger years and light-hearted moments of bliss that have been commonly overlooked.


Chaewon Lee


It’s been almost 8 years since I came to attend Korea International School from the States. As I was transitioning from a timid middle school student to a high school student, there were uncountable parts that I worried about. But as I was meeting old and new companions from this school, I found out that nothing was new. You are young only once so don’t fear the adventure. At the end, you’ll find out that the things you feared were actually nothing special. Also, do not forget to cherish the moment. Do not waste time thinking about your future all the time. You should be feeling grateful of what you are doing at present life. I’ll miss every little bits of KIS: from awkward skybridge encounters to elevators at the back side of the G building. But mostly, my friends who always stayed beside me whenever I had difficult times in either human relationships or academics.  Although I have to admit that only few will stay in touch with me after the graduation, I want to thank the Class of 2015 for bearing with me. I personally want to recognize Soohyun Kim (’15) and Dain Lee (’15) for the best memories. Even if each of us had different philosophies, we, at last, finished on the same line. In the end, friends are true presents in your high school life. I want to thank and congratulate the Class of 2015!becky-nostalgic-class-of-2016-lifestyle--4_18145204949_o

John Park


I’m going to miss the people more so than anything else. Over the nine years that I’ve been a part of this community, I’ve made countless memories and valuable friendships, some of which I’ve been maintaining for all nine years. Although a new beginning awaits in college, thinking about how I’ll be leaving my second home and my friends gives me this wretched sensation. Perhaps, this is what you call bittersweet. I’ll truly miss the spontaneous visits to the zoo, long bike rides to Incheon, the Busan trip, overseas MUN conferences, EOW book club meetings, and, not to mention, SLC gaming at 10:30 PM. Without doubt, the memories and bonds I’ve made throughout my stay at KIS will always remain as a significant part of my life. I still remember in 4th grade, Joseph and I made bets on who would read the most books in a month. In 5th grade, sadch and I were soccer fanatics who would practice after school everyday even with intimidating high schoolers. In 7th grade sonch, jeongs, and I would meet up, say we’re working on Chinese projects, and end up just messing around. In 9th grade, I recall being with my XC teammates on the trunk of the van, soaked wet from running in the rain during the Guam race. Now looking back, wow… it’s been quite a long journey. For these past three years, I was always in the crowd congratulating the previous seniors on their graduation. It sure does feel weird now that it’s my turn to step onto the stage and shake Mr. Drakes’ hand. I’ll miss you, KIS.


 Jessica Um


This past year has marked my 9th and final year at Korea International School. The most valuable part of high school that I will be taking away as I transition into college will be the countless relationships I’ve built up with different students and teachers. The tight community at KIS has allowed me to learn and grow so much from the people I have had the privilege of being surrounded by, and I will be forever grateful to call myself a proud Phoenix. I hope you will too cherish and make the most out of the moments you have left in KIS. Good luck and most importantly, always have fun! 

Eric Kwon

becky-nostalgic-class-of-15-lifestyle---9_18143775820_oThey’re too many memories to say which one was the best. So in short, I’m going to miss all my upperclassmen and underclassmen during my basketball seasons, my cafe sessions in Bundang, my road trip squad and my bi-yearly trips to Seoul.


Philip Bae

becky-nostalgic-class-of-15-lifestyle---10_18143679518_oYou know how when you go off to college, you don’t receive much opportunity to join sports since it’s too competitive? That’s why I’m going to miss bonding with my teammates.





 Daniel Suh


As a person who is relatively younger compared to students in my grade, I often felt I like I was more comfortable with the underclassmen. We had so many things in common that we were able to predict how each other felt and expect how others would act. This relationship I had with the underclassmen significantly helped me throughout the school year and gave me unforgettable memories that I will miss forever.




Certainly, it’s hard to admit that high school’s over and college looms only months ahead, but what more can be done than to be thankful of the memories?

To the graduates: Blueprint wishes the best of luck on your upcoming journey, expresses gratitude for sharing your innocent recollections, and congratulates you on enduring high school with grace. To the underclassmen: hold dear the days that you take for granted, since time will buzz by without you being conscious of its agility.

With the school year coming to an end and academics coming to a slight cease, it is reckoned that we take a break to look back and appreciate what we had, or what we still have. Who knows? These moments may never come again.

– Becky Yang (’16)


Graduation 2015:

Part 1: High School Bucket List

Part 2: “If Only I…”

Part 4: Gratitude for the Graduates

Graduation ’15 Part II: “If Only I…”

If only I knew it would end so soon.

“If only I…  

…studied more.”  

…had met you earlier.”  

…procrastinated less.”  

With graduation in less than 12 hours (I can’t believe it either), the inevitable game of reflect and regret begins for both the upperclassmen and underclassmen. The year is winding down to a close: AP exams have been administered, final projects have been assigned, and yearbooks signed ad nauseum. All the while, for the graduating seniors of the Class of 2015, an entire chapter of life is slowly coming to a close, while a new one is waiting to be opened.  

Endings are liberating; but it’s difficult to savor the end with the bitter taste of regret lurking in the background.  

If only I tried out for the soccer team.

If only I talked to him/her earlier.

If only I pushed myself a little harder in senior first semester.  

Here are what some seniors had to say:

No matter how hard we try, regrets will always be embedded in our lives, in our day-to-day, 24 hour experiences.  

Although it is difficult to detach ourselves from the past, and although regret is never the healthiest form of thought, perhaps it may be a suitable thought during a time of frequent goodbyes and farewells. Of course, regrets suck, but hopefully we remember to still put the losses to good use, and to remember to always counterbalance it with our gratitude and good memories. It’s to help remind ourselves of the values and failures we’ve collected over the years – a reminder to live our lives to the fullest, from the small, daily things that we do, to the special things we get to share with the special people in our lives.  

To wrap it up, here is Emma Yang with her two cents on senior year:

“Being a senior is odd. While a chapter of your life is closing down, another novel world opens up in front of you. It is a battered mixture of anxiety, excitement, confusion, and many more inadequately inexplicable emotions. However, here I am, gratified to have made friends that follow through every minor mishaps I take on and to have met people that inspire me on another level. I will always have an indebted appreciation for all the memories and experiences that KIS has bestowed and will reminisce, always, about the moments we shared together!”

  Goodbye seniors :’)

– Jaye Ahn (’16)

Graduation 2015:

Part 1: High School Bucket List

Part 3: Final Remarks

Part 4: Gratitude for the Graduates

Graduation ’15 Part I: High School Bucket List

How many of these have you done?

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 9.16.57 PM We spend 4 years, 40 months, and almost a thousand days in high school. We experience our highest highs and, sadly, also our lowest lows. But throughout the rocky ride that is high school, there is a set number of things that we should accomplish before we say goodbye to the ups and downs. Below is a bucket list that we should — and hopefully will — check off by the end of senior year.

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Even Peter Han will miss JJ’s!

Believe it or not, you’ll miss the cafeteria food one day. Savor every last bit of the soggy bread, boiled vegetables, and repetitive stir-fried dishes — I can guarantee you that you (hopefully) won’t see them later on in your life. If you simply refuse to go for the food, go for the companionship. The great thing about eating the school lunch is that they come with friends to enjoy the 30 minutes with — for free!


Yea, a bit counterintuitive that you skip school when you‘re a student. But when else can you try it? Treat yourself and your friends with a mental-health day and take a break from your hectic schedule. While you’re at it, try not to feel too guilty — you’ll be back in school slaving away the next day anyway.


Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 8.49.22 PMThere’s much more to high school than studying. Take for instance, sports. You’ll never understand the thrill and euphoria of watching your school’s team shoot a goal, make a three-pointer, or run to first place until you go watch. Take your best buds with you to any sports event and soak in the crowd’s loud cheering — or better yet, be a part of them!

    Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 8.52.18 PMTeachers, teachers teachers. Although they hurl mountains and mountains of homework towards our direction, we just can’t help but appreciate them. Yes, we constantly point fingers and frame them as the cause of our sleepless nights and constant depressions, but it’s undeniable that they’ve made a difference in our lives. Tell the teachers you adore how much you appreciate their time and effort into helping you prepare for your future; it’ll make their careers all the more meaningful. Ultimately, a simple “thank you” is all they want to hear.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 8.53.12 PMThe alumni who went say prom was a special night. Even more, alumni who didn’t attend say the number one thing they regret is not going to prom. So, don’t be silly and take the chance to dress up fancy with your friends, ride a limo, and drink mocktails. With or without a partner, enjoy the night while you, your friends, and the night are still young!

    Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 8.54.12 PMWhat happier, lighter way to spend your last few months in high school than planning out one last prank? Go full out (but consider the consequences while doing so) in collaborating with those you’ve spent the last four years with. The school gave you enough misery and now it’s time to strike back!

    Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 8.54.54 PMBefore you walk out those doors, make sure to tie any loose ends. If you were mistreated, stand up for yourself. If you were the one mistreating, apologize. Have any friends that drifted apart? Take another shot! Also, don’t forget to confess to that significant other (no matter how mortifying it may be) — who knows, maybe a bit of courage is all that’s needed for a lifelong relationship.  

Ultimately, just take advantage of your youth, be carefree, be silly. It’s never too late to start on the list so go for it! High school is no doubt a time that you’ll look back at, so make sure it was truly, genuinely worth it.

– Emily Kim (’16)


Graduation 2015:

Part 2: “If Only I…”

Part 3: Final Remarks

Part 4: Gratitude for the Graduates