Karin (Class of 2020)


“Hello, I’m Karin. I joined Sacred Heart in 2010, grade 3. I will be attending Waseda University (physics major) from the fall. 

Though I’m not a veteran, the 10 years I’ve spent at ISSH have definitely given me more than enough memories to remember for the rest of my life. For the people who are active in extracurriculars, I feel that the memories from those activities take up a lot of storage in the “ISSH memory” file. The same goes for me. 

One of the best memories I have of the various seasons of sports I participated in was going to Far East with my basketball team in freshman year. I still vividly remember the day we were heading off to Iwakuni. My eyes opened the instant my alarm went off (which is very unusual because I usually have to stop the alarm 10 times when I go to school) because of the nervousness, and of course, the unmeasurable amount of excitement that was building up in me. 

The varsity team consisted mostly of upperclassmen. Alisa, Hannah, and I were the only freshmen. Therefore, the coaches, Alex and Sara, as well as the rest of the team took very good care of us throughout the trip. Looking back, I kind of feel bad for them because I was such a clueless child

There are so many memories I have from this trip. 

I remember having dinner at the Okonomiyaki place. We didn’t have much energy left by the time we got to the restaurant because we played 3 games that day, but the food got us all excited and loud again. As we ate, we laughed over the smallest jokes, talked about the “gossips” in our school, and had fun watching a few people fall asleep halfway through the meal. The final cost of our dinner was twice the price we expected. 

I remember laughing as I went to do a jump-ball against a 190cm girl. I was one of the taller people in my team, but my opponent was at least a head taller than me. I did the best jump I could do to tip the ball to our side but she snatched it away without even jumping. 

I remember ordering at Subway Sandwich for the first time in my life. I couldn’t order by myself because I didn’t understand why they were asking me so many questions for one sandwich. It took me 5 minutes to order one Steak and Cheese wrap, with the help from Alisa as well as both of the coaches. I think I caused a really long line behind me (sorry for that…)

And lastly, I remember washing our uniforms in the bathtub and drying it on the bus. After a long day, we went back to our hotel. It was 9:30 pm and one room (out of the 3) had to give up using the washing machine because the laundry room closed at 10:00. Our fate was to be determined by a game of janken (rock, paper, and scissors)… and my room lost. So, we dumped our uniforms in the bathtub, dosed them with detergent, and then stomped on our wet uniforms to get the sweat out. The coaches advised us to use a hairdryer to dry our uniforms, but we just hung it in the room and fell asleep. The next morning, the uniforms were obviously still wet so we hung our uniforms on the rack above the seats as the bus headed for the base where we would play our game that day.

You may be like, “THESE are Karin’s best memories?” and I agree with you – I don’t really know why I remember these moments either. But, the experiences I tend to remember are usually those that are funny and problematic. I feel like others can relate. When I ask alumni about the things that they still remember from high school, a lot of them talk about the small, rebellious, and not-so-important things they did with their friends. I think it’s because we become more mature by the time we look back at these moments, so the experiences we had then seem so dumb and funny now. 

Therefore, if I were to give a piece of advice to the younger generation, it would be to make sure to have lots of fun during the limited time you have. Of course, have common sense and be smart about what you do. There is no need for you to always be the best and perfect student. School is a place for you to expand your knowledge academically, but also for a place for you to gain experiences and learn from mistakes. It’s a special place where most mistakes can actually be forgiven (that doesn’t always work when you become an adult), so I recommend you not waste that opportunity. Aoharu shiyou-ze! (let’s enjoy the youth)” – Karin