More from the Class of 2021 Series:

“Hi! I’m Maya, and I came to Sacred Heart in K3 (2006)! In the fall, I will be attending Barnard College of Columbia University. I’ve always wanted to live and study in New York City, and I still can’t believe that I’m going to start the next chapter of my life at Barnard! Since I’ve lived in Japan for my whole life, I know it’ll definitely take some adjusting to get used to life in the US, but I’m thrilled to explore the diverse city and community of NYC.

I have so many great memories from first grade: my teacher, Ms. Linda, who always called us “coconut-heads” and sang us a Spanish prayer when we got hurt, our class fish, Sparkle, who was beloved by our class and moved into my second-grade class when we got older, and a class project where we had to create and advertise a product that we thought of on our own — mine was a juice called “Maya Papaya”.

Some of my best memories at ISSH are all of the Far East trips I took with the volleyball and soccer team. Of course, playing volleyball games and soccer matches was really rewarding and memorable, but the best memories of these trips come from all the time I got to spend with my teammates outside of the court and field. The exhaustion from playing sports all day brought out the weirdest and realest versions of ourselves, and mundane things like washing our sports uniforms and eating food together were so incredibly fun.

My favorite excursion has to be the one in grade 11. It was amazing. The freedom of exploring the city on our own, discovering local delicacies, and endlessly laughing with my friends are some of the best memories of high school that I’ll always cherish.

Don’t take every day at school for granted! My 15 years at Sacred Heart have gone by way faster than I can comprehend — especially high school. Don’t let yourself get consumed by your academics, and have fun with your friends and family whenever you get the chance! In the end, you’ll want to remember those spontaneous, fun memories, and not the grueling times you spent staying up late to study for a test. It’s all about a proper school-life balance, making sure you keep yourself busy with school and friends, but also never forgetting to take a well-deserved break when you need it.” — Maya