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Seniors of CPS: Rachel Y., Joy J., India I., Ryan C., Owen B., Kiran M., Simon N.

(From left to right, top row to bottom) Rachel Yang, Joy Jackson, India Island, Ryan Chang, Owen Burton, Kiran Moorthy, Simone Nelson (Seniors) - Interviews Conducted by Phoebe Shin, Rina Huang, Nora Wagner, Araddhya Tibrewall

This week, your Humans of CPS Team interviewed seven lovely seniors— Rachel, Joy, India, Ryan C., Owen B, Kiran, and Simone for our eleventh week of Seniors of CPS interviews. These interviews were conducted on different days throughout the week, some before dance rehearsals and some during sunny lunches, but they all held the same purpose: to share fun facts about our seniors and memories from their past four years at College Prep. We hope you enjoy!

Q: What is something unique about you/a fun fact that your classmates might not know?

Rachel: I think I spent like…the fact that I spent a lot of time in my first few years of life being in China. Chinese was basically my first language—it's kind of funny—I spent like three months there, and then I came back home and my parents were so shocked I was like, speaking fluently. Why were you living in China? My parents were pretty busy so I was just with my grandparents—they were taking care of me.

Joy: Um…honestly, I don’t have any special talents or anything, but I can crack my elbows. *laughs* Random.

India: I have a black belt in Taekwondo. (deadpan expression)

Ryan: I think a lot of them know this already, but I’m really into classic tetris. The game. It’s the one that’s on the NES, the Nintendo Entertainment System. I’m very anti the modern tetris, but I’m really into the classic one. I play it a lot.

Owen: Oh wow. *laughs* You’re really starting it off! I’m trying to think of something people don’t know. I mean, I like Harry Potter, but I feel like most people know that. Well, most of the normal things people already know about. Yeah, I like Harry Potter a lot. I like fantasy in general. I like Lord of the Rings too. Probably that. I watch a lot of movies. I don’t read as many books as I used to. But I still watch a lot of movies! And I read…sometimes.

Kiran: I don’t really know, I feel like everyone knows lots of things about me…well, I don’t think a lot of people know that I really like shoes. Like, I really like fashion and sneakers.

Simone: Okay, I think some people know this, but I’ve—this is so bad—I’ve had a grapefruit La Croix in my lunch every single day of high school. It’s a little bit of an obsession, but yeah, I’ve had one every day! *laughs* So that’s kind of fun, you know, to think about how many that is, and how it’s been a moment of my lunch every day. I mean, there were definitely a couple of days where I forgot, but overall, it’s been a big part of my life.

Q: Looking back at your experience at CPS, what is something you will never forget?

Rachel: I don't know, everyone says this, but the bonds you make and the connections you make, I think it really…The tangible part was sophomore retreat—I really felt the connections and friendships. I feel like in the future I won’t forget that.

Joy: I probably will never forget the bus ride to our first retreat freshman year—I’ve never seen people sing Taylor Swift together on a bus ride so quickly.

India: Um…I feel like I’ve learned to think pretty well, and that’s really hard to quantify, but that’s something that has been quite useful.

Ryan: All the dodgeball that we’ve played. Especially when we won last year. That was definitely a big thing, because I’ve always been on the team, and I love hitting people with foam balls. *laughs*

Owen: Freshman year in general. I was a lot more into CPS—I’m still into CPS! *laughs*—but CPS was kind of the majority of my life freshman year. It was kind of fun in a way. I’m not going to forget the feeling of being really committed to CPS. I mean, I still am, but less so now.

Kiran: I definitely think meeting new people here throughout the school year was great, also because I think I became closer with my friends through COVID. I think a lot of people drifted away, but I tried my best to meet my friends online and talk to them more. So I think making new friends has been really memorable.

Simone: Ooh…I think there’s obviously all of the people, and the relationships that I’ve formed, that I hope will last long past high school. And then I think dance is something that has been an activity that I’ve gotten to do, but also it’s been an opportunity for me to meet new people and have a little mini dance community within the larger grade, or school. That’s been really important to me, and it’s also just a nice place to go during the day and spend time in.

Q: What is one word you would use to describe your four years at College Prep?

Rachel: Hm. Diverse, I guess, if that makes sense? Diverse experiences, being able to meet new people and have like, interesting conversations. And, I guess that kind of makes me think about the world differently.

Joy: (Contemplates) Eventful. Chaotic.

India: Turbulent.

Ryan: I’ve been thinking about this, and I would say fast. I feel like my experience here has gone by so quickly. And it was definitely expedited by quarantine. But when I think about it, I feel like just yesterday was freshman year. Just last week, I was working on the sophomore term paper. All of a sudden, we’re ready to graduate.

Owen: Probably tiring. *laughs*

Kiran: Rigorous, I guess? I think College Prep teaches you to focus a lot on your work while also focusing on your social life too, so I’d say rigorous not as much in the academic sense, but more like in the social aspect. It’s hard to find time to hang out with your friends outside of school and family, so I think that’s why it’s rigorous in that you have to learn how to manage your time.

Simone: The word question! I think I’m going to go with…engaging? I think especially after coming back to school last year, it’s been really fun to be around everybody again, and so I think that’s been super engaging, and then also the classes in general—being able to select the classes you’re interested in, especially as upperclassmen. Especially for me, I’ve had classes that have been really important to me. So I think I’ll go with engaging!

Q: What are you looking forward to in the future?

Rachel: I don't know, college is soon, I'm excited for that. More in the future, I feel like everyone here is very accomplished, and in the future will do great things, so it would be really cool to see everyone in five to ten years.

Joy: I am really excited for prom—getting dressed up and everything.

India: I’m looking forward to the sunny weather because I feel like this campus is especially beautiful during the late spring, so that’ll be nice to be here when it’s pretty. I mean it’s always pretty, but even more pretty.

Ryan: Definitely independence. The thought of leaving home and being on my own is very scary for me, but it’s also the thing I’m most excited about. Y’know, make my own choices and do whatever.

Owen: College! Not so much the academics of college, just living away from home for the first time. I’m very much looking forward to that. Summer as well!

Kiran: I’m looking forward to prom, I think it’ll be really fun—especially since it got canceled last year, which I was really bummed about—and it’ll be great to have that sort of typical high school experience. I think these last few weeks are going to be really fun too, you know, spending time with everyone normally, without masks and stuff.

Simone: Yeah, I’m really excited to get to travel this summer, and spend time with friends, and then I’m obviously very excited for college—I think it’s going to be really fun to just be in college, and meet new people.

Q: If you could say one thing to your grade as you begin to close out your CPS journey, what would it be?

Rachel: Just, thanks. Everyone says it, but kind of, yeah. It's really been a journey, and it's kind of crazy to see like, those freshman pictures and everyone looks so small. You don't even realize how different we are from like four years ago, but yeah, it's been a really good four years.

Joy: Probably…it’s been fun.

India: Um…I guess just a thank you. I like my grade.

Ryan: I want to say thank you. I’m sure everyone has been saying thank you, but I mean it. I’ve enjoyed my time with everyone here, and I would love to keep in touch if they want to.

Owen: I’m trying to think of something to say other than thank you. Well, I definitely feel like I’m going to look back fondly at CPS. Some aspects of CPS…not so much, but I will look at the four years as a generally happy time in my life. A good experience.

Kiran: I’m proud of y’all. Seriously, I think it was hard to start freshman year, then go through COVID, go straight into distance learning and not be able to see anyone, and then all of a sudden come right back in person—I think that was really challenging, but I think our grade did a great job at that.

Simone: I think this is similar to what I’m looking forward to, but I’m really excited to see how people change in college, and see all the different things we do, since everyone in our grade is so impressive and will definitely do really cool things. So I’m really excited to see that, and see what everybody accomplishes!


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