Thoughtfully, X: Graduation

For the last Thoughtfully, X article of the year, this is a compilation of messages from the graduating class of CO’19. Buckle up because this is one LONG article. Nothing has been anonymised but for old times’ sake, don’t give into judgement, just read.

My time at KIS is something I’ll definitely cherish forever. I’ve spent over 16 years at KIS and as cliche as it sounds, the years have flown by faster than I’d like to admit. Now that I’ve finished all of my exams and have no more classes, I’ll have to admit that I do miss the routine. I’ll miss all the mundane things about school, things which at the moment I wanted to get over with. However, I am excited about my future and all the new experiences it’ll bring to my life. For the first time in my whole life, I’ll be doing something new which I’ve never done before. I’ll be living somewhere new, surrounded by new faces. Yes, it is a part of growing up, but gearing up for this transition is going to be a bittersweet experience.

My advice to anyone who is graduating or going through their last years of high school is not anything new or unheard of. Unfortunately, that advice is better said than done, something you wouldn’t really understand until it is all over. That advice being to cherish each moment, all the ordinary days with your classmates, after you’re done you’ll never be able to experience it again. When it’s all over it slowly hits you, and from my experience, it’s not the super significant events which you miss most, but rather the same routine of sitting in class with a group of people going through the motions, there is comfort in having the same faces in familiar environments. Now that I don’t have that anymore, I’ll simply just be looking back fondly at the memories and smiling back, knowing that some of the best memories of my life so far were created at this place. Thank you KIS, it was a pleasure and I had the time of my life.

— Pippa (Touch-Theera Touch-Phong)

Through my 10 years at KIS, I’m proud to call this place my home. KIS isn’t just a school but it’s a family. I’ve learned many lessons, academically (of course) but also life lessons, many that I’ll forever remember. I’ve made lifelong friends that I couldn’t have found anywhere else. It’s shocking how fast time flies and how soon I’ll be leaving this place. I still remember being in PYP and thinking how long it would be until my senior year. Yet, here I am, a few years later about to graduate. A piece of advice I would like to give is to make the best out of every moment. Enjoy all the little things because soon, it will be the last time – last field trip, last business class, last @corner meal. I’ve called KIS my home for over half my life and as scary as it is to be moving forward to a new chapter, I’m more than excited to be learning something new and making new friends. Still, I would never forget my time and all the people here who made me into who I am today. Thank you KIS, it has definitely been one hell of a ride.

— Jean (Yaninee Suwanwalaikorn)

So we made it. This is it. The class of 2019 has finally (after 2+ long painful years) graduated.

My experiences at KIS go back to KG learning how to speak and get in a straight line.  And while I could sit here and bullshit by saying that everything was perfect, I would be lying. There were so many ups and downs and times that I wanted to give up. But then again, KIS is where I’ve made some of my fondest, memorable and proudest memories and experiences of my life.

Bittersweet is the best way to describe this journey. The sweetness of completion and achievement after these 12 years, but also the bitterness of the harsh truth that things do come to an end and what remains is only the memories that play in your head. It’s weird how I’ll miss the simplest of activities like going from class to class, tapping my card in, reviewing work together with a teacher, or the excitement of rushing to get something before a deadline in as a class. I’ll miss everything so much. ;-;  And like Andy Bernard said in The Office: “I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you actually left them.”

I have learnt so much beyond class content—of life and all the people within it. As someone that is observant, there’s a certain beauty to watching my friends grow and mature with me, witnessing the individuality of how each person expresses both happiness and sadness, and how they cope with stress and overcome their personal hurdles; it has truly taught me so much. However, this journey has also taught me the importance of reflection as you can also learn a lot from yourself. Be mindful of your surroundings and what brings both joy and sadness to you; set a goal and strive to achieve it, it will make your life a lot more. The bottom line is: there is so much to learn and wisdom to gain from both yourself and the people and world around you, but only if you choose to see it.

Anyways, there’s so much more that I want to say but I would like to end this by thanking everyone that has helped me throughout this. Although it may sound generic to whoever is reading this, there’s a certain feeling of gratitude you feel after such an accomplishment knowing that you wouldn’t be able to achieve this without the help and support of others. With that being said, I would like to thank my teachers, my friends, my family, those that have supported me, but also those that have tried to push me down. Thank you all for building me into who I am today. 🙂

— Thinzar (Theint Thinzar Nyi)

7:23…that was the time I first tapped my card on my very first day at KIS. Since then I don’t think I was ever early to school. I remembered spending lots of time in Ms. Nura’s office (for detention, of course) and feeling so anxious and scared because who wants to be in detention….just to find out later that detention was one the best things that I ever experienced. Why? Because during detention I got to socialise with people from other grades and catch up with their “tea.” Although, that probably wasn’t the purpose of detention, I guess that’s how I see it nowadays. I’m not saying you guys should try and get into detention though. 🙂

I’ve been to eight schools and KIS is my favourite. I’ve seen many different types of communities and KIS is the most inclusive. I’ve learned with many curriculums, and KIS makes me the most well-rounded. I used to hate Mondays, not because it was the beginning of the week, but because I had Mr. Park’s SNRs due. Now, I miss having the freedom to research anything that sparks my interest when watching Mythbusters video. I used to think double chemistry and biology were the sleepiest times of high school and hated how my back got sore from sitting on a chair with nothing to lean my back against (please get new chairs for the upcoming grades, or else they’re gonna suffer from back problems), but now I miss those double periods where my brain was always jam-packed with interesting scientific facts. Native Son is probably one of the thickest books I’ve read, but I’m glad I read it because it felt like reliving history. If you take Mandarin with Mr. Primo, he’ll make you do different gestures for different vocabulary, and honestly, till this day, I still can’t tell how each gesture corresponds to that particular word, but I did enjoy doing them A LOT! Every subject has its own charisma.

Apart from the academics side, I’m going to really miss all my friends. I will miss singing along to Avi and BJ’s guitars, dancing with Saloni to Fitness Marshall videos whenever we’re so tired with revising for exams. I will miss my squad, NP Syrup, one the best group of friends I’ve ever made throughout twelve years of school, and just getting to really be myself around them and knowing that there’s always a shoulder for me to cry on if things went bad. I will miss Arsineh, my chemistry and biology buddy, and how we managed to study for a biology test just the night before, throwing facts at each other and getting pretty decent grades on our tests (probably not the best way to study). I will miss Claire’s hugs, Praju always asking me “Idea, how do you have time to study” and me replying with “how do you not have time” (hopefully I didn’t piss her off with that reply :D), Sha Sha sending my Teletubbies photos to cheer me up, Hugo’s weird obsession with Doctor Who and speaking as if he were a movie character, Suchit’s sense of humour, me telling Ohm not to call me the night before TOK essay is due if he needed help (of course, he didn’t call me the night before but more like on the day eight hours before it was due), Thinzar making her Student Council announcements, and Prin’s annoying claps. Of course, there are always more moments with my friends I would love to talk about, but I’ll be boring you because you wouldn’t be able to relate unless you’re me, just graduated and about to leave all these as memories behind.

I’m not going to lie: the last two years of high school will be tough. You’ll face rejections, stress, and there will be times that will make you question your ability. I know it’s not okay, but sometimes, the world isn’t fair, and we just have to accept the fact that failures are normal, and it’s okay to not be okay. You’ll have to learn to accept and live in this not so okay world. But remember, there’s always beauty in everything. Even through the darkest, most depressing times of my life (like getting rejected by not going to say how many, but lots of MED school in Thailand), I’ve learned to become a much stronger person. These past two years for me was like a rollercoaster of emotions. I’ve failed so many times and cried more easily, and yet accomplished many things. I guess life is really that, it’s not fair because many times I feel like my efforts are never really paid off, but that’s alright because it is unfair to everyone. My mum always tells me that life is not like a mathematical equation, where input doesn’t always equal to output.

You might learn about osmosis, trigonometry, and chemical equations in high school, but one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from twelve years of schooling is that a great learner isn’t the ones who achieves the best grades, but more like the ones who are inspired to learn, the ones who are resilient, and the ones who are selfless and always ready to share their knowledge. If you want to have an enjoyable high school, you should help your friends, teach the people who are struggling or ask for help when you need it, always share your knowledge, because one day it’s the friendship and that bonds that matter most, not the grade on your report card (that’s pretty important too but you know what I mean).

Thank you KIS for everything, thank you all my teachers who have supported me throughout the way and thanks to all my friends for staying there with me. If I could turn back time, I wouldn’t do anything differently because from those failures and stupid decisions, I’ve learned so much from it! Remember, life is like a story, you’re the protagonist, so tell a story you want others to remember you for. ❤

— Idea (Phasavee Vanicharoenchai)

Heyyy guysss,

I want to first say thank you to all the teachers, friends and my coaches for making my time at KIS really fun. I’ve been here for 4 years since Grade 9 and wow I’ve changed a lot (but in a good way, hopefully). I will really miss the environment here because everyone is so welcoming and always there to help others. Writing SNRs in Grade 9 really shocked me just because I didn’t know how to write a report. Round table debates and Grade 9 residential was really fun, sadly I had to leave early 😦 Then comes Grade 10. Personal Project. Biology. Chemistry. Physics. Wow. All these sciences in one year drove me mad. that was wayyyy too much to handle but I somehow survived :D. I think it was in Grade 10 where volleyball became a club and I really miss playing with all the mixed grades. I hope that in the future we can all reunite and play once more.

Grade 11 and 12 was like riding a rollercoaster. There were so many ups and downs but it was a once in a lifetime experience. Though I may have struggled, I love all of my subjects and teachers. I’m really grateful for my teachers, they were always there to help and made the class really enjoyable. Keeping up with psych notes, trying to make short notes for ESS, trying to understand the book, The Stranger, was all really hard but I can’t believe I did it. I honestly found CAS the most fun part of the diploma programme because I was able to do and learn new things like selling coffee in KISCO or learning how to drive. TOK made me think a lot more as well as confusing me (hehe) but I feel more “knowledgeable,” “open-minded” and became a better “thinker.” Those ESS videos made me more aware of global warming, so thank you Mr. Park for being our ESS teacher! Hearing BJ saying “despacito” countless times in our Spanish class is unforgettable. I will never forget how much I hated calculus in Math Studies—that was the most confusing part of math I ever had to do (I hope to never do this in the future).

Also, I have officially graduated from KIS! This feels so unreal. I’m excited about the new part of my life, becoming more independent and I hope to still stay in contact with everyone. Studying is important but make sure to enjoy your school life because you can’t go back in time and you only live once. 🙂

Here’s my advice for DP students 🙂

  • Please don’t forget to take notes along the way, this helps sososososo much later for your final year exams.
  • NEVER BE SCARED TO ASK FOR HELP (YOU’LL GET SO MUCH OUT OF IT IF YOU JUST ASK FOR HELP).
  • Okay, yes I procrastinate but try to avoid it. There are a lot of assignments you have to do so be ready for that and don’t leave things to the last minute. Please.
  • Don’t forget about your hobbies, don’t stop playing sports. Don’t stop. BELIEVINGGGGGG. Really don’t stop. You have a life and it’s always good to balance things 🙂
  • Keep up with CAS, it’s really not hard to do 🙂
  • Choose what you’re interested in for your extended essay, that makes the process more fun. 🙂
  • Just be you and help others. ❤

— Aki (Aki Oshima)

Hello Everyone!

I wrote this article straight after graduation finished. I felt the urge to write this final article with all the emotions I was feeling.

Let me start off by saying thank you. I know you all have probably heard this hundreds of times but I’m seriously grateful for all these years. Seeing you all happy, fooling around and working hard together during school days was the most enjoyment I had with you all. I may not be the perfect bright student in the class, but I’m glad to be able to witness everyone’s silly moments. The future is ahead of us, follow your paths. Meet more people! Make new friends! Socialize! Don’t regret your decisions—if it’s done, it’s done. Learn from your mistakes, accept others and become a better person. The world is much bigger than you can ever imagine but don’t let others tell you who you are. Don’t mind how people think about you, ask yourself who you want to be.

I guess this is the end of our high school years, never again will it be the same. Goodbye, everyone. Keep in touch if possible. There’s a beginning and there’s always an end. Love you all 3000. Let me know if any of you are visiting Hong Kong (not just my class but everyone who reads this).

Thank You.

— Hugo (Hiu Cheung)

My experience in KIS has truly been one hell of a ride. I’d say I’ve gone through hell and back academically and socially. Having to experience a huge fall academically during the time it mattered most opened up my eyes to so many things in life. It taught me many, many lessons on how I should’ve prioritised things and how I should’ve dealt with my failures. If there’s something I’ve learned, it’s to never stop fighting no matter how tiring and draining it might be at the time because if I hadn’t fought on, I would not be where I am today. However, if all truly goes to shit and you end up becoming someone you never imagined you’d be, then you will have to accept what has happened and come to terms with it in order to move on and rebuild.

To be completely honest, I’ve been crying everyday since the grad trip because I am not ready to let go. I am not ready to leave this school, a place I call home, leave my friends or my family. The last couple months of school were the hardest and most depressing but the reason why I still got up, got ready and went to school was my friends. They were the ones that kept me going on till the final sprint so I am forever grateful for that. I don’t think anyone can replace them but I hope I find the right people to surround myself with in university.

Lastly, graduation. It was one of the most emotional days I’ve had in a while. I was crying from the morning till night. The butterflies in my stomach were insane. I’d never been so nervous in my life. I felt so blessed and loved…everything was so overwhelming. Like Saloni said during her speech, there will be many more June 1sts but this is one that I will always remember. 🙂 I love you 3000 CO’19. Thank you for all the amazing memories.

— Arsineh (Arsineh Ohanian)

Around this time last year I was probably busy sulking—sulking because I knew when I got to Grade 12, all my friends would have unis to go to and new lives to begin and I’d still be where I am (sitting in bed). However, I have realized 1) I quite like my bed and 2) I don’t really care anymore. I used to care about being left out or that I’d look like a loser or a failure or boring or stupid because I’m not going to uni yet. BUT now I realize it really doesn’t matter at all—I’m actually quite proud I’m doing my own thing instead of worrying about everyone else’s choices: which is advice I’d like to share with everyone else too.

Besides that, here’s more spicy advice for DP:

  • If you accidentally say something stupid in class don’t worry, no one will remember (expect your best friend who will remind you of it every day).
  • You don’t really have time to resent people, there are way better things to do than putting your energy into being negative.
  • Use your free periods to work and then you can go home and sleep. It’s that easy.
  • If your friend tells your teacher you can play the ukulele and you can’t really, it’s okay because your teacher probably will not ask you to play the ukulele anyway.
  • Do not play a game that involves truth or dare with Mr. Ben T or you’ll get yourself into a situation you do not want to be in.
  • One of my biggest worries was that I’d leave school regretting that I hadn’t done something—so go do that thing before you leave! Whether it’s admitting to someone you like them or running around school in only your underwear (actually idk if you should do that one).
  • Accept compliments, accept help, and accept that you may have a mini breakdown in the DP lounge (but life will go on).
  • If you find a kitten stuck in your kitchen wall there will be people at KIS who will help you save it dw.
  • Eat lunch omg you’re going to be hungry even if you tell yourself you won’t be.

And since Saloni More said she wanted this to be personal instead of generic I would like to say, despite my reluctance to actually move here in the first place, PERSONALLY, I’m so glad I graduated from KIS. I’ve been to loads of different schools and left many friends behind along the way but I’m so glad this is where I got to graduate with such amazing people. Usually, I feel kind of awkward saying “I’d like to thank my friends, family and teachers,” because it just sounds like an obligation? Something that people say because they have to, not because they necessarily mean it. So I usually choose to opt out of saying that because I do truly appreciate my friends/family/teachers but don’t feel I have to say it to prove it. BUT I actually love so many people at KIS and even though I’ll still be here for another trillion months I’m going to miss loads of people like crazy (so even when exams suck and school is hard and when the AC starts dripping in the DP lounge and you want to die because of the heat, remember to be happy with your time here ‘cause if you’re like me you’re going to be so sad when that last day of school comes around).

— Petra (Petra Williams)

Leaving this place will be difficult but I will always be grateful for every valuable lesson. Throughout my time in this school, I had many accomplishments along with mistakes that I will learn from it and overcome any obstacles in the future. Teachers and friends have greatly impacted my life for the last 14 years. The school had taught me to challenge myself and I want to challenge myself by stepping outside my comfort zone into a new environment, meeting new people, visit new places, and experience living abroad. This isn’t goodbye, this is the start of the next phase of my life. Thank you KIS!

— Nan (Nattaporn Khajornkiatichai)

I can’t believe I graduated yesterday, I really can’t. I’m gonna be honest It hasn’t really hit me yet, despite the bucket loads of tears I cried yesterday. I’ve been at KIS for 13 years now, since KG, and I still remember walking in those PYP gates, running across the playground in my little pigtails and my little pastel blue uniform. KIS is the only school I’ve ever been too, and I’m so so so thankful that I got to grow up and become the person I am today here. I have made such amazing memories and have been able to meet the most beautiful people throughout my long yet feels-like-extremely-fast years here. Thank you to all my teachers and my family who have encouraged me to push through my boundaries and to never stop believing in myself through my hardest times through IB. What I will miss the most are the connections and relationships I have been able to build here at KIS, between my friends, my teachers, the staff, the basketball team, and the dance team. KIS holds an extremely special place in my heart, and always will. Now enough of me crying, you have all definitely seen enough of that, thank you KIS. For those who are still in school, you guys know that you can text me anytime ❤ y’all know who you all are 🙂

It’s going to be a huge huge step for me leaving high school, the idea of going to another country and just starting a whole new life outside of Bangkok is extremely scary, I’m not gonna lie. I’m SO excited though. I’m ready (kinda) to live on my own, and be independent and go to university and totally be responsible for all my own things adults have to be responsible for, even though all my friends would say I’m not. 😉 Nah, but for real, I really do believe that I’m ready to start a new and fresh start in my life, as much as I hate to leave.  

— Kiara (Kiara Querubin)

So this is it, I’m finally done with high school! Many tell me that this period of my life will be the most fun I’ll ever have. Often times I don’t particular believe in that statement since I’ve only lived 18 years, but in some ways, yes, the statement does hold some truth.

High school life here at KIS taught me many things, not only how to properly cite sources or how ionic bonds work, but it also taught me how to become a better person for myself as well a for those around me. Throughout the years here in this lovely community, I formed many meaningful relationships with wonderful people, some since the very beginning, some just a couple of months ago, but despite this, it taught me the value of friendship and love and how such deep connections can form within just a short period of time.

However much like everything, my time here has reached an end. It’s been very hard to bid farewell to so many friends and teachers during the past couple of days as I wrap up my final moments here at this school, but I just want to say thank you to all for being a part of this very special period of my life! I wouldn’t have it any other way.

— Man (Navamin Leelabulanatanakool)

We graduated today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know.  

References to The Stranger aside, I am beyond proud of what the Class of 2019 has accomplished so far. We completed the DP, we made it through the IB, and now we’re moving on to a different phase of our lives. University. It sounds like a place for grown-ups, for adults. Sometimes, when I think about just how close I am to entering university, I find myself wishing for more time. More time to be with the people I care so much about, more time to learn, more time to better myself before I step into a different place.

But regretting lost time would get me absolutely nowhere, and so I’ve decided to be more thankful towards the people around me and whatever I have achieved so far in life. There’s so much more to do, so many places to be and so many different people to meet. And even though I know I’m going to have trouble letting go of KIS, I’ll always remember it as a place that has changed my life in many ways. My experience at this place has been absolutely unforgettable (I mean that in a good way), and I’ll carry all the memories with me wherever I go.

I do not exactly have many fears about the future because I know that if I can survive the IB, I’ll turn out alright no matter what happens next. So, the only way from here is forward, and life will go on. People will change, times will change, and so will we.

Finally, I’d like to leave you with a last set of song recommendations (The Wolf’s Howl, anyone?):

Thank you for everything 🙂

— Avi (Avantika Mishra)

And now, I have the hefty task of wrapping up this piece. I’ll do my best not to be repetitive.

I’ve spent more than a decade at KIS. I had always viewed it as a Barbie castle and later, once I read the Harry Potter books, it became my very own Hogwarts. It’s only now, in these final moments, that I’ve learnt to appreciate KIS for what it truly is: a supportive and friendly community where no one is left out. And perhaps that’s better than anything I’ve read in fiction. 

I’m terrified of what the future holds. KIS is such a nice corner of the universe where (almost) everyone knows each other, the sun is always shining and it’s all well and good. Now that I’ve graduated, it feels as though I’ve been thrown into the abyss of adulthood without having developed into a fully functioning human being. I mean, I have the brain of a five-year-old! Learning to cook, doing laundry, surviving freezing temperatures–it’s funny how school doesn’t prepare you for those realities.

So, on top of everything else that CO’19 has said–enjoying your time at KIS, forming deep bonds with your peers and teachers, appreciating all that you have–I want to add this: retain your childishness for as long as possible. Just because you’re a teenager does not mean you have to become a reclusive rebel and break rules just for the sake of it. Enjoy your parents’ cooking, hug your friends a little longer, cry when you’re upset (or when you get a crappy grade in chemistry–that really does knife you in the heart). Run around the field, annoy your siblings, embrace your weird. Because this is it. This is the only time you’ll get to really exploit all the powers that come with being a child. So cherish it.

With that being said, thank you for everything. We, as the class of 2019, would definitely not have made it this far without your support and love.

Thoughtfully,

CO’19

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