More from the Class of 2021 Series:

“Hey! I’m Lili and I came to Sacred Heart in K4 (2007). I will (most likely) be studying at the London School of Economics (LSE) from the fall. I feel that COVID-19 hasn’t particularly affected my decision of where to study. I’ve always been set on studying in London (or the UK in general) because my family has always been quite connected to the city and I feel that its universities offer exactly what I want. While I do have some worries about being so far away from home, I have a lot of family in both the UK and in other parts of Europe so this strong support system definitely helps to alleviate my worries.

Reflecting on my early years at ISSH, there are so many things about Kindergarten that I remember clearly, even in my (relative) old age. The rainbow parachute, Splash Day, Polar Express Day, scooter tag—all of these things were the most incredible memories of Kindergarten for me, and they were made all the better by the friends I shared them with (many of which still remain at ISSH to this day are graduating alongside me – love you guys!). My best memory is playing a large-scale game of Night at the Museum at summer school when I was in  K4, and for the first time in my little life, getting the golden hippo!!! This was definitely one of my life’s highs even to this day.

With most of my life thus far taking place at ISSH (about 13/18 years), it’s very difficult to pick out my specific best memory at ISSH out of the abundance of good memories I have. However, if I had to choose, it would most likely be my memories centered around music. Although I started choir in 2nd grade alongside most of the other students in my grade with somewhat of a herd mentality and little real interest, this definitely changed as I progressed through school—particularly through 8th grade and up. There are so many unforgettable moments in music I’ve experienced: the Festival of Gold in Chicago (G9) with the International Show Choir, the competition at Maastricht (G10) with the Vocal Ensemble, and even the virtual competitions (G12) with the HS Choir and Vocal Ensemble this year. They were all moments in which we came together and produced incredible music that was accordingly judged and rewarded. However, more than the scores or trophies or actual wins, what remains with me is the way in which we came together. Students of differing ages, backgrounds, and interests all came together with a common love for music, working towards a common goal, and it was only with this passion for music we shared that the results were able to follow. I am so thankful for the music teachers, fellow G12 singers, and singers of different grades and schools that enabled me to delve into my passion so deeply and experience what is truly is to sing as an “ensemble”.

My favourite excursion was probably the 10th-grade excursion. There was so much to do, make, try for the first time, talk about, and get hyped about—every part of it was honestly so memorable, and even among the many excursions I have embarked on thus far (8 I think?), it is one of my fondest memories.

My weirdest memory at ISSH took place at the stuco workshop scavenger hunt in grade 10. Karin, Maya, and I were in the lead but we encountered an unexpected obstacle set up by Noe (the then exec vice president) who required me, the least spice-tolerant of the three, to eat a dessert filled with sugar, cream, and an unexpected addition of tabasco. I knew that I had to eat it in order for us to quickly progress and maintain our lead, but to my surprise, the abomination of a dessert I had dreaded eating so much actually wasn’t so bad, and I felt myself enjoying the added kick of the tabasco. This was definitely a scary experience for an avid dessert enthusiast like myself.

I’m so thankful for the many support systems that have helped me through my years at ISSH. Whether it be my siblings offering me words of wisdom, my friends pushing through late-night study sessions alongside me, my parents putting up with me even when I wasn’t exactly a very delightful child, all of these extremely important people in my life made everything I’ve done so far possible. This is but the end to one chapter in my life, but whether it be in this chapter or the many more to follow, I know that they will continue to be there for me in my best, worst, and in-between moments alike.

Your high school experience is exactly what you make of it. Take those extra APs, try out for that solo, run for the club leader—what you try and don’t try is entirely up to you and unless you keep making those small leaps of faith, your experience will never live up to what you envisioned. High school is an incredible, raw, exciting, and at times, an incredibly arduous journey, but it will always give back what you put into it. So why not put your all into it if you’re going to go through it at all? After all, nobody else is going to do that for you.

Thank you ISSH for an incredible 14 years!!!” — Lili