|[Girls wearing white dresses and boys wearing white pants with a blue blazer for graduation]|
Each student was called, told the last comments given by the teachers, and then given their respective diplomas and certificates in the main theatre. The students all looked nervous, and so were the parents. After, the students all received their diplomas and certificates, they watched a video of their memories throughout their high school years that the school played on the screen. The theatre was filled with various emotions; there were both laughter and tears as the graduates were saying their last goodbyes with their fellow classmates, teachers, younger classmen, and the school itself. In the end, all graduates yelled “Goodbye Chadwick” with a lot of applause and warm hugs.
|[Students are coming up to the front as each one of their names are called to be rewarded their diplomas]|
For many students, graduation was the moment they were longing for, especially since starting the IB Diploma Program in 11th grade. For 2 years, many CI students had done their best jobs to successfully get an IB Diploma with good scores. “I am so happy that I can say goodbye to IB. Even though I am a bit worried about college, I am still so excited that I am now done with high school”, said James Lee, a class of 2018 graduate.
The teachers and parents were very proud to see their students and children graduate. “I always get mixed emotions when I see graduations. Foremost, I am proud of my students who had worked so hard until the last moment, but am still sad that this might be our last time seeing each other”, said Mr. Gonzalez, one of CI’s faculty. The parents who were sending their children abroad were worried and upset to be apart from them. “To be honest, I’m not ready to send my child so far away from home. I do not know how I would adapt during the times my child is not beside me. The only thing I can do is to wish she has the best time while she is there in her university in the United States,” said one of the parents.
As much as the seniors were happy to close a chapter in their life, they were, at the same time, both thrilled and anxious to open new doors in their colleges and universities. More than half the seniors are going to colleges abroad, mostly in the United States and the United Kingdom. They were concerned about the change of environments to which they have to adapt to, especially to the different culture, new people, different classes, and the simple fact that they are far away from home. “I was so happy and thankful when I got into Columbia University and was also exhilarated that I could become a university student. However, now being done with high school officially, I am scared and overwhelmed even before I am there at the university”, said Amy Kim, another graduate of the class of 2018.
Graduating high school does not only mean that students are saying goodbye to high school, but it also means that they are saying goodbye to their teenage life and becoming adults. Most seniors were more looking forward to this rather than being worried. “Going to an international school like CI already gives you a lot of freedom and independence compared to other students who go to Korean public schools. Still, I think graduating from high school gives you that feeling of gaining complete freedom. Though, we would all have to face the responsibilities and the hardships of being independent”, said Yenah Jang, a class of 2018 graduate. When asked what they were most looking forward to doing after gaining that freedom from graduation, most graduates replied that they wanted to drink and hang out with their friends as much as they wish.
Now, the members of the class of 2018 are heading towards a novel phase of their life as college students and are getting ready to move forward by setting new goals. At this time of the year, every year, a different group of students will have their turn to graduate and move on with their lives.
Yoonjin Lee firstname.lastname@example.org
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