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Juniors’ Journey: A Tribute to Batch 2023

After a year full of twists and turns, we’ve finally made it—the end of another school year. A lot of us are excited to just take a break and breathe before having to come back in August for another tough rollercoaster ride while others are saying a final farewell to ICS as they prepare to leave and start a new chapter in their lives.

The feeling is bittersweet to many, especially for this year’s graduating students from Grades 10 and 12. The former is getting ready for Senior High School, while the latter is preparing for college. To say that things will be changing for both batches would be an understatement.

Despite the online setup, we wanted both grade levels to feel closure with their fellow batchmates as they begin to part ways. Today, we shine a light specifically on our Grade 10 students before they all leave Junior High School and take on new responsibilities. From their JHS highlights to their personal messages for each other, we have it all immortalized in this article.

Batch 2023, this one is for you.

Looking back

It’s clear that the most memorable experience for the batch was arguably English Playfest. It’s sort of ironic considering everyone was such a mess during those days. Creating and memorizing scripts, building props, fixing music and lights, and everything in between made the experience rather chaotic. However, it seems like that exact chaos is what made it so special.

From playing Dutch Blitz during breaks to sleeping on a mattress that was supposed to be used as a prop, there were so many goofy moments from playfest that are hard to forget. For those who might have forgotten what it was like and for those outside the batch who are curious about it, just imagine a cold classroom with half the lights closed. A group of girls would be wrapped with their blankets in the corner while a group of boys would be wrestling and messing around. Someone would probably be blasting K-Pop or broadway songs through speakers, and eventually someone else comes in and calls for everyone to get ready for practice.

That image sounds so normal, but there’s a sense of nostalgia attached to it. Playfest may have been messy at times, but it was really one of those moments wherein everyone would feel so united because of how the entire batch was under the same stress and motivation. Seeing everyone’s hard work come together and pay off as the plays are practiced and performed was just so satisfying, and it definitely remains to be a major highlight.

Let’s not forget to mention the batch’s bonds with each other in general because that’s definitely another aspect worth remembering. Besides playfest, the casual class bondings and hangouts outside of school (especially in Robinsons Galleria) are what made people’s high school experiences worthwhile. From the Grade 6 retreat to High School Night to History Museums and O-Week, there were just so many events that brought the batch together.

Even during this time of isolation, everyone ironically was able to become even closer with certain people. Whether that be because the different clusters got to know each other more or because everyone was constantly talking on Discord, the friendships in the batch have really made an impact that will be remembered even after everyone graduates from ICS.

Hopes and fears

In her debut album ‘Sour’, Olivia Rodrigo sings, “Nothing’s forever.” Those two simple words convey a fear that the Grade 10 students seem to have when asked what they worry about the most in the future when it comes to their batch.

Although no one really likes to talk about it, it is somewhat inevitable for everyone to part ways and become more distant once everyone separates into different colleges and lives. Even now, that fear of distance lingers as we’re all stuck in a pandemic. Everyone is isolated, and it is a little strange to think about how it’s been over a year since the batch actually saw each other in person. It’s easy to see the future as uncertain, and it leaves a lot of dramatic questions such as if anyone is actually ever going to see each other again.

However, that doesn’t stop Batch 2023 from having hopes.

There’s the obvious wish of course—everyone is hoping that they get to stay in touch and actually be able to meet up in the future. It’s a simple dream, but being able to just hangout and revert back to how everything was during high school even when everyone is in college would be so satisfying. Sure, distance can keep the batch apart, but that doesn’t mean the friendships and bonds made would be forgotten.

Besides that, one other wish stands out as well. The Grade 10 students hope that everyone will be able to fulfill their aspirations and ambitions while remaining Christ-like. The batch wishes each other well, and believes that maybe in the future, each and every one of them will be able to use their talents for the good of the country. They hope that none of them will give up in the future even when faced with tough struggles and adversities just like how they all strived in Junior High School.

No one really knows where life will take them, but with these hopes and dreams, Batch 2023 is encouraged to move forward.

Dear Batch 2023

With all that has happened, it is needless to say that each person has a message that they would want to impart to their batchmates. It is hard to fully express different feelings and thoughts due to the current online set-up. To make this all possible, we asked the batch to share their own personal messages or words of encouragement that they would like to leave the batch before graduation.

To summarize all of the messages, the most common response was “Thank you.” Whether it has been three or ten years, the batch has definitely impacted each person in a different and special way. Everyone can unanimously agree that their childhood and teenage years would be incomplete without the presence of the batch. It was definitely sad to go through all of the lasts in Junior High School online. However, it was also when some of the “bests” were experienced. Although it may not be the most ideal way to end the Junior High School journey, the company and support of the batchmates made it all worthwhile.

Through thick and thin, the batch has surpassed each challenge with strength, intelligence, and confidence. Others expected problems and issues to break people apart, but instead it brought Batch 2023 closer together. Whether it be a big moment such as a playfests or a small moment such as simply hanging out together, it has been a blessing being able to create special memories with some of the people who matter most.

At a young age, high school was often depicted as how we see it in movies or shows. The movie High School Musical was one of the standards of what a “perfect” high school life is. Even though it almost never ends up this way, the batch can agree that the rollercoaster ride they’ve been through together was so much better. Looking back on the years that have passed, the batch would not have it any other way. As cheesy as it sounds, the journey’s flaws and imperfections brought out the best in every person, and it also allowed the most meaningful memories to be created.

Friendships and relationships have blossomed throughout the years, but it has been a wonderful sight to see the batch grow as a family. When one thinks of the word “home”, a certain place often pops up in mind. However, for most, Batch 2023 has become their home.

Here’s to Batch 2023

Entering SHS may seem scary because people expect us to have it figured out. Even though this is the case, we must not forget that it’s alright to make mistakes. Making as many mistakes can be a good thing because it’s all part of the process to becoming a better person.

Learning from each other is so important because no one gives guide books on how to survive Senior High School. There are people who will help us along the way, but we have to figure it out for ourselves for the most part. Instead of letting fear and doubts stop us from dreaming big, let us take this opportunity to write our own story that will leave a legacy.

Although graduating and being united with the whole batch for the last time does sound exciting, there is still at least a little bit of fear instilled in all of us. We are scared of the unknown, uncertainty, and future.

As a new chapter opens, it is inevitable that some will drift apart. Each individual is called to do different things in life and to go to other places. In fact, that’s the beauty of it all because even though paths may differ, we will always find our way back to each other.

Here’s to Batch 2023!

Message from the Head Owls

Congratulations for finishing the Junior High School race, Batch 2023! We know that it hasn’t been the easiest time, but we made it. Some of us will be staying and some have to leave the nest, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be a family anymore. Families always have each other’s backs, and we are certain that this special bond that we all have will last forever.

Whenever people tell us, “You’re grown up!”, we often feel the pressure to act like an adult and instantly figure out what we want to do in the future. However, we must never lose our sense of childlike wonder and faith. That childhood dream and imagination of ours is what’s going to change the world. We are set out to make a difference and impact those around us in a positive way.

Just so all of you know, we are confident that each and every person in the batch will make their mark in this world. We understand that the pressure to reach certain expectations will always be there, but let us all take a step and figure it out together. Prove everyone wrong by bringing God’s light into the dark and shining brighter than ever, as we all enter this new chapter. We know that you all have it in you.

Always remember a quote from Winnie-the-Pooh that says, “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you’ll ever know. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart…I’ll always be with you.” From the bottom of our hearts, we are so proud of all that you are and all that you will be, Batch 2023! We love you so much, and we will cherish you guys for the rest of our lives. Thank you for the adventure. Now, let us all go and have a new one.

A hoot of love,

Audree, Billie, Cassy, CV, and Luke

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