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Sophomore Corner – Issue No. 1

Presenting the next grade series "Sophomore Corner" that offers insight to lives of sophomores.

Thought to be the start of real struggle, taking the first ever AP course, either Biology with Mr. Hopkin or World History with Mr. Yanuszeski, first experiencing the threatening atmosphere of a SAT SATurday, feeling shoulders shrink, fighting to carry heaps of baffling textbooks, dying with the pressure of the realization that you really don’t have much time, fortunately and unfortunately, and indeed very breathlessly, explains the sophomores.

Along with ‘What’s Up, Freshmen?’, Blueprint has brought to you the next in line, ‘Sophomore Corner. Blueprint will interview five sophomores now and then to capture different lives of students surviving their second year of high school.

Take a look at these five sophomores for this month’s Sophomore Corner: Ryan Choi, Jae Won Shim, Matthew Kim, Sally Hong, and Sooji Yang.

 

Ryan ChoiDSC02677

Ryan is not just an athlete, but an intelligent one. Participating in all three seasons of sports, Ryan is somehow able to balance his academics at the same time. He is loved by his teachers, peers, but most importantly, girls, too. Here is an interview with Ryan sharing a brief overview of his high school life, as well as some useful tips.

How long have you been at KIS?

This will be my third year at KIS.

How is your second year of highschool different from your first?

Honestly, I think my second year of high school has been (so far) not too stressful. Of course, there’s much more work to do but not too stressful (yet).

What are some worries that you have?

Not being able to be the best I can be, in academics, sports, and individually.

What is your favorite memory so far in high school?

Soccer AISA tournament last spring!

What are you most excited for this year?

To meet more people and sports!

What is a goal you wish to accomplish this year?

To finish this year with no regrets.

What tips can you give to freshmen?

Don’t waste your time. Every lost second is a second you can’t get back.

 

Jae Won ShimIMG_8767

After school, strolling near the PAC, you may have overheard some voices, because in fact one surely was Jae Won’s. Although soon performing in the fall school play, Jae Won is actually pretty new to KIS, with most of the school not yet seen of. Take a look at his interview to get to know him better!

How long have you been at KIS?

This is only my second semester at KIS! Still a newbie…

How is your second year of highschool different from your first?

I came in the middle of the school year last year, so I had difficulties catching up with the curriculum and most of the academics. However, since this is now my second semester here, I gained a little confidence, and I’m now beginning to enjoy the advantages that the school provides.

What are some worries that you have?

As a sophomore, the upcoming junior year is honestly my biggest concern. I can’t even imagine how difficult it would be, when I’m already suffering in my suffer-more year.

What is your favorite memory so far in high school?

Because everyone was so welcoming and warm from my first day of school, every school day is my favorite, honestly.

What are you most excited for this year?

Since this is my first time at KIS during the first half of the school year, I’m really excited about the upcoming first-semester events, like the sophomore Experiential Ed trip and the upcoming fall/winter sports and events.

What is a goal you wish to accomplish this year?

I personally want to find and learn an instrument or a sport this year, as these are things I’m originally really bad at… Also, I want to perform successfully in the fall school play, which will be performed in November.

What tips can you give to freshmen?

I understand better about the difficulties of freshmen year because I began school in the second semester of my very own freshmen year. I would definitely like to tell the freshmen students that experience and knowledge that accumulates directly help you the following year. I think establishing a personal study habit is very important, because it could come in handy when you receive more work load in the following years. It’s hard, but it’s important!

 

Matthew K. KimDSC02684

Who is Kimbo Slice but cuter? That sure has to be, Matthew Kim. Known for his unbearably lovable voice and smile, Matthew is adored not only by upperclassmen but underclassmen as well. Here is a pleasing interview with Matthew, sharing his thoughts on his very own second year of high school and second year at KIS.

How long have you been at KIS?

2 years!

How is your second year of high school different from your first?

My second year of high school is so much different from my first, not only because of the new AP course but also because of the level of responsibility I had to take with myself as I became a sophomore. The sudden realization that I wasn’t the youngest in the high school building came to me like a wrecking ball. I really had to start focusing on my educational career and start overcoming the fact that playtime is over, that one single mistake can determine my whole high school career. Although sophomore year is much more challenging and needs much more attention and caution than freshmen year, it’s the best year so far because I get a second chance to do the things I failed or missed out last year, and also because I get to meet the new freshies.

What are some worries that you have?

Although the main worries I have are, of course, getting good grades and overcoming an AP course, some other concerns I have are keeping positive relationships with teachers and friends, and always trying my best so that I finish the year with no regrets.

What is your favorite memory so far in high school?

My favorite memory so far in KIS was having a huge chicken party with my advisory family back in 9th grade. Nothing brings me more happiness than fried chicken!

What are you most excited for this year?

I’m most excited about seeking opportunities that I haven’t taken last year and exploring new adventures such as making a club, participating in the forensics team, and trying out for new sports.

What is a goal you wish to accomplish this year?

The goal I wish to accomplish this year that is more important than keeping up with grades and maintaining a stable GPA is finding perfect activities that I will be able to stick with for the rest of my high school year. Instead of trying to juggle many activities at once and eventually failing to polish any of them, I want to, by the end of the year, only focus on two or three main interests I’m most passionate about and try to be number one in those few activities.

What tips can you give to freshmen?

Always try to be on the good side of the teachers, and never, although almost impossible to do, procrastinate.

 

Sally HongScreen Shot 2015-11-04 at 10.24.44 AM

You can’t be any more busier than Sally Hong (yet she’s only at her sophomore year)! Already the officer for the reputable Mock Trial club, she’s also the member for both the KIS speech team and debate team! Oh and if you’re wondering about AP World or AP Chinese, she’s just that person for you’d want to ask.

How long have you been at KIS?

I came during the second semester of 8th grade so it’s been nearly 2 years now!

How is your second year of high school different from your first?

There’s a lot more pressure on your academics, but I think the classes are a lot more interesting this year. There are also more opportunities to meet more people from other grade levels— both underclassmen and upperclassmen!

What are some worries that you have?

It’s getting increasingly hard to balance my academics with extracurricular activities and rest, so I’m worried about whether I’ll be able to balance everything because I tend to procrastinate a lot.

What is your favorite memory so far in highs school?

The Sunday night before an APWH exam, my friends and I tend to lose our minds and start meditating, having deep talks about Daoism, making raps out of our notes etc (we end up spending hours on these!). Although that time’s the peak of stress and exhaustion, I think these moments are what keep me somewhat alive before the night of an important exam. My real favorite memory would be the Patio on Fire though!

What are you most excited for this year?

I’m excited for the EE trip this year! I heard the teachers and students are working really hard on this trip so I’m really looking forward to that. Patio on Fire was also really fun so I’m looking forward to more performances in school!

What is a goal you wish to accomplish this year?

Firstly, I aim to really stop procrastinating so I can start sleeping earlier and concentrate better in class. Another goal I hope to achieve is to find what I really enjoy and want to learn more about by the end of sophomore year!

What tips can you give to freshmen?

Mr. Yanuszeski recently posted a tip on his Facebook page saying “work smarter, not harder”. I think this applies to all classes, especially AP courses! Spending some time to find out the most effective ways to study for a certain test will save time and help improve your results. Another tip I would give is to explore around more to find things you really enjoy. These will most likely be the thing that will motivate you even when you’re just physically or mentally exhausted.

How is mock trial and debate going?

My first speech and debate tournament is coming up, so I’m really excited and nervous at the same time. For Mock Trial, we just started working on a new case for an upcoming in-school tournament, and I’m really excited to work with the teams because I think both the beginners and the experienced members of the Mock Trial club are really eager and motivated to learn.

Sooji YangDSC02676

That one sweet voice by a pretty sophomore girl you’ve heard at least once in your highschool career—perhaps in the choir concert, patio on fire, or just passing by at the skybridge—most likely is Sooji’s. She’ll sing you a song with all her heart, and in less than three seconds, you’ll be mesmerized on spot. Let’s take a quick peek at Sooji’s sophomore life so far!

How long have you been at KIS?

I’ve been in KIS since 2nd grade!

How is your second year of highschool different from your first?

I feel like during my first year of high school, I focused on searching for the right clubs and classes for me, which I would enjoy for the rest of my school career. During my second year, I had to start dealing with AP, but mostly, everything was quite similar.

What are some worries that you have?

I’m currently worried about my AP bio exam. Biology is life! hehe

What is your favorite memory so far in high school?

If I had to choose a favorite memory related to school, it would be when I first sang as a high schooler for pep rally. Even though I was nervous, it was a valuable experience.

What are you most excited for this year?

For this year, I’m most excited for our volleyball KAIAC tournament!

What is a goal you wish to accomplish this year?

This year, my goal is to read many books!

What tips can you give to freshmen?

Some tips I would give them are

1.) Don’t be afraid to try new, different things

2.) Don’t be scared of upperclassmen

3.) Don’t procrastinate

4.) Enjoy your life. Be positive!

How is singing going?

I’m glad that I have many opportunities in KIS to perform in front of lots of people! Also, I feel like every time I perform, I’m getting rid of my stage fright. For singers in KIS, my advice is, don’t be afraid to show off your talent in front of people and just enjoy your own performance! Because you’ll do great~

 

So hey there Freshmen! With these sharp advices by some of your experienced, talented, and affectionate sophomores, you’ll progress in no time. But most importantly, let’s work hard at the present moment to ready ourselves for the rest of our strenuous High School life.

Blueprint will be back soon with the next ‘Sophomore Corner’!
– Sammie Kim (’18) & Yoo Bin Shin (’18)

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