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What’s Up, Freshmen? – Issue 1

What’s life like at KIS High School? We’ve heard too many times from experienced sophomores, juniors, and seniors: high school – most of the time – sucks. Not only is there a tremendous workload, but there’s a dizzying amount of work to be accomplished, from college applications to standardized tests like SATs, TOEFL, etc. However, we must see if this gargantuan workload has yet to reign upon our new high schoolers—the freshies!

In order to gain a better understanding of how the new freshmen are doing early in the year, the KIS Blueprint Team will interview five different freshmen every couple months to gain insight on the topsy-turvy life of their first year of high school. By the end of year, we’ll revisit these same freshmen to see just how much they’ve changed, and just how much high school has affected them.  

This week’s six freshies for What’s Up, Freshmen?: Amy and Beth Purdon, Skylar Kim, Muchang Bahng, Chris Park, and Duke Moon.

Keep reading to learn whether or not the high school’s reign of doom has come upon them—yet.

Skylar Kim:

Skylar Kim

Skylar is a loyal KIS student, having been attending the school for around 9 years, starting from kindergarten. She is not only well-known for her frank, humorous, and down-to-earth personality, but also her incredible ice hockey skills.

Let’s take a look at her interview!

How long have you been at KIS?

9 years, from kindergarten, woah, kind of an outlier

What differences do you think are most conspicuous from KIS middle school to now?

I feel like we get a lot more freedom, especially with like free block, obviously, and I feel like we have to take on a lot more responsibility.

What activities/clubs have you joined so far? Are you enjoying them?

I joined GIN, ISTA, which is like International School Theater Association, Speech Team. So, I’m really enjoying my clubs, ISTA gets to go on a trip during the spring break? I’m not sure. I’m really looking forward to being part of the speech team because I feel like it’s really out of my comfort zone. I’m also part of the play now; it’s really fun working with other amazing people. It’s really fun. Ms. Cuellar’s awesome, and it’s fun working with great, amazing people. Come watch the show!

What has been the most challenging/rigorous task for you?

Stairs.

What is your next goal regarding school?

GPA of 4.0, man. I’m trying to do different things, and get out of my comfort zone, and be friends with everyone.

What is your favorite thing that has happened so far in high school?

Sleep deprivation

Rate your current high school experience up until now from 1-10 (one being the worst, 10 being the best).

1! No, I’m kidding.

So far, 8.5? 9? 9, stairs! No, I feel like it’s a pretty good score. Since it’s only been a month I know it’s gonna be ten times more amazing than it is now. I like hanging out with my friends in the Family Room with Ms. Cuellar, and we definitely need more furniture.

Duke Moon:

Duke Moon

(Duke Moon)

Also another loyal student, Duke has been at KIS for around 7 years now. He is well-known for taking on several leadership roles throughout his school career, being both the elementary and middle school president. Duke is one to especially know how middle school has turned out to be in comparison to high school.

Let’s check out his extremely simple interview!

How long have you been at KIS?

7 years.

What differences do you think are most conspicuous from KIS middle school to now?

8 block schedule.

What activities/clubs have you joined so far? Are you enjoying them?

JV volleyball is fun, student council is fun.

What has been the most challenging/rigorous task for you?

schedule.

What is your next goal regarding school?

soccer varsity.

What is your favorite thing that has happened so far in high school?

JV Volleyball.

Rate your current high school experience up until now from 1-10 (one being the worst, 10 being the best).

9 cuz I sprained my arm.

Muchang Bahng:

Muchang Bahng

(Muchang Bahng)

Muchang may seem like the most ordinary student who goes to KIS if you don’t know him; however, once you get to know him, he turns out to be someone with a heart of gold. Read his interview to get to know him better!

How long have you been at KIS?

1 year

What differences do you think are most conspicuous from your old school / KIS middle school to now?

A lot more freedom

What activities/clubs have you joined so far? Are you enjoying them?

SAT Prep, which I just think is just a free block where I can study for stuff; Lacrosse where I can be part of a sports-like club where I can just condition myself; and Magic Tricks just for the fun of it, maybe if you’re bored or if you want to impress your friends

What has been the most challenging/rigorous task for you?

Keeping up with the homework

What is your next goal regarding school?

Try to make some clubs, maybe, prepare myself for college

What is your favorite thing that has happened so far in high school?

Being a part of the JV Volleyball team

Rate your current high school experience up until now from 1-10 (one being the worst, 10 being the best).

7 because there’s a lot of improvements from middle school, but also there’s like a lot more challenges and a lot more stress coming up on me

Chris Park:

Chris Park

(Chris Park)

Who is Chris Park? It seems there is still so much more to know about him. All we know about him is that he is a talented cello player, and also an extremely intelligent student. Read the interview to learn more!

How long have you been at KIS?

This is my first year

What differences do you think are most conspicuous from your old school / KIS middle school to now?

It is almost the same—but there are more Asians

What activities/clubs have you joined so far? Are you enjoying them?

MUN, Math Competition, Debate, Trio(orchestra group); enjoying most of them, especially Trio.

What has been the most challenging/rigorous task for you?

Stairs!!

What is your next goal regarding school?

Not so sure at the moment but I want to do well at MUN conferences.

What is your favorite thing that has happened so far in high school?

Orchestra and Trio. (I’m from Chicago and I met 2 other cellists from Chicago who had the same cello teachers as I did. We formed a trio and it’s been fun already, or I hope it’ll be more fun.)

Rate your current high school experience up until now from 1-10 (one being the worst, 10 being the best).

8! But often times, I want to see my friends from Glenview, IL.

Amy and Beth Purdon:

Beth Purdon

(Beth Purdon)

Amy Purdon

(Amy Purdon)

You have probably seen these glamorous, stunning Californian twins walking around the hallways or cafeteria and wonder—who are those twins? How do we distinguish the two?! Well, these two identical sisters tell us how their first year at KIS is going.

How long have you been at KIS?

Beginning of this year

What differences do you think are most conspicuous from your old school / KIS middle school to now?

MORE STAIRS

What activities/clubs have you joined so far? Are you enjoying them?

We have Cross Country and three clubs each–it’s great!

What has been the most challenging/rigorous task for you?

Running in cross-country

What is your next goal regarding school?

Getting third place in cross country, getting all A’s in class, and learning math

What is your favorite thing that has happened so far in high school?

Autonomous block since we don’t have to go to class

Rate your current high school experience up until now from 1-10 (one being the worst, 10 being the best).

8.8: because 8 is our favorite number!

Although these freshies—along with others—have only experienced just over two months of high school, the interviewee’s responses let us to know how much has happened for freshmen. However, the strenuous and enlightening times are yet to come! Best of luck to all freshmen!

Keep up with Blueprint for the next ‘What’s Up, Freshmen?’ the next coming months!

– Ariel Hyunseo Kim & Sarah Oh (‘19)

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