More from the Class of 2021 Series:

“Hey, I’m Chihiro Huang and I joined Sacred Heart during the last few months of 1st grade (2011)! Next year, I will be attending the College of Medicine at the National Taiwan University (NTU), striving to graduate as a doctor. 

Studying medicine at NTU has been my dream choice ever since I decided to pursue an MD. Being Taiwanese is a large part of my identity and I have always wanted to go back to my country, surrounded by my family and the comforting, energetic, and collaborative environment I always viewed as home. Furthermore, NTU has one of the most reputable, global, and resourceful medical schools in Asia, and I could imagine myself with many possible future paths within the medical field there. Starting as a medical student right from my first year is both nerve-wracking and exciting, and I cannot wait to start!!

Out of all, my best memory is definitely crying in Guam with my Cross Country Team in my sophomore year, which was simultaneously my most embarrassing yet fond memory. Our race had finished in the early morning and we were watching the sun set slowly from our hotel’s private beach. Call me dramatic, but sitting there with all eight members, eating cheap American Subway, and sharing this sense of self-achievement and unspoken unity, I felt like I was truly part of a team for the first time in my life. I was just so overwhelmingly happy and proud, and when my mom called me at that exact moment, that was the tipping point where I started to bawl my eyes out of happiness (yes that is possible), a moment which my teammates made sure to remind me of for the rest of the season. From then on, I realized how rewarding it was to be part of a team not just in my sports seasons, but in music, debate, social events. Despite the irony that the individual sport of cross country was where I fell in love with team pride, the Guam crying scene always brings back that same happiness, second-hand embarrassment at myself, and thankfulness to be a teammate. 

My weirdest memory is most likely when Mr. Horn made PB&J for my upperclassmen and me during sophomore year Far East Basketball. Before going on our trip to Okinawa, two of my upperclassmen and I brought up in a conversation that we had never truly eaten an “American PB&J.” I remember Mr. Horn being mind-blown and we all thought that was the end of the conversation. But while we were waiting for our plane at the airport, Mr. Horn proudly took out from his very large backpack a Ziploc bag with his homemade PB&J. It was absolutely hilarious, and the upperclassmen and I filmed a foodie vlog/very professional critique of it on the plane. I still have that video on my phone and watching it now makes me laugh. Every. Single. Time. The PB&J was delicious. Thank you, Mr. Horn. 

Throughout my life, I am most thankful for my family. They truly understand who I am, take time to listen to the things which excite me, and help me achieve each goal with all their support. My friends often say that I am energetic and motivated, and that is because my parents and my little sister supply me with energy and motivation every night when I go back home. I lived my life with no regrets because I knew that no matter what happens, I can always depend on my family at the end of the day. 

My advice to the underclassmen would be to find and do what makes you most happy. High school can sometimes be a lot is an understatement, but doing the activities you love will make your day just a bit brighter. Looking back in retrospect, my high school life was defined by my extracurriculars because of how happy they made me. After a long day of academics, a simple scrimmage in basketball or the harmonies of the trumpet section in the orchestra would energize me quickly. If you find that there are multiple activities which make you happy, my other advice would be to keep hold of them as much as you can. With the right time management and the right dedication, your activities will become not a burden but a release of energy.

Another piece of advice is to try to talk to everyone. Humans are a social species: we depend on each other for advice, for new perspectives, and for inspiration. For me, extracurriculars were a great way to talk to new people, and you would be surprised with just how much ~spice~ each person can bring to your life. Some of my closest friends are upperclassmen who I turned for help for quite literally everything (thank you so much for dealing with me). Others are underclassmen, where I found delight in helping them through their worries (always hit me up if you need any help!). Furthermore, I would highly recommend reaching out to students outside of Sacred Heart. Coming from an entirely different school gives them an entirely different mindset to one found in our school. You brainstorm all these crazy ideas for events across schools and when my friends and I did execute them, they created my most wacky, unfamiliar, yet exhilarating memories.

Looking back on my high school life, I truly feel like I made the best of my four years. I joined all the extracurriculars I loved to do, took the challenging courses which interested me the most, and made my lifelong friends every step of the way. My experiences at Sacred Heart and the people I met both within and outside this community have made the past 12 years the best of my life — Thank you Sacred Heart!” — Chihiro