What’s your name?
How many years did you attend ISHR?
What year did you graduate?
What are you up to now?
I am currently completing my social voluntary year at an art gallery – the Kestnergesellschaft – in Hannover. I have a range of tasks there, but primarily focus on social media marketing, updating the webpage and offering tours through the exhibition spaces. After that, I am planning to move to London. I am looking forward to commence my studies in Creative Arts and Humanities at University College London (UCL) in September 2023.
What was your favorite subject at ISHR?
English Literature and Art
In what ways do you feel ISHR prepared you for what came next?
I believe that ISHR taught me to be an open-minded, critical and creative problem-solver, and tackle challenges. The school showed me how to handle unfamiliar situations and adapt to new surroundings. Furthermore, the IB curriculum helped me learn how to work under stressful conditions and time pressure, thus I am now able to manage my tasks efficiently and work productively. Finally, I believe that ISHR helped me master both independent and collaborative work. I am able to take initiative and work well on my own, as well as flourish and communicate effectively within teams.
What was the biggest challenge you faced in adapting to life after ISHR?
The biggest challenge I personally faced, was that despite knowing that school wouldn’t last forever, I suddenly found myself being thrown out of the main structure in my life and released into the real world. I had to adapt to a non-academic environment for the first time in my life. This was a hard transition, especially considering the rigorous IB Diploma programme I had just completed. I also heavily struggled with the uncertainty that surrounded the topic of university and the course I wanted to pursue. At the beginning of my gap year, I was very unsure of what I wanted to do in the future. Seeing many of my close friends leave and commence their studies was also emotional. It felt like I was saying goodbye to a part of my childhood.
What advice would you give to current students or your former self?
Take it slow! I believe that I always feared I would somehow be behind in life, … that I should have more things figured out. I now realise that this type of thinking fits a scarcity mindset. Over time I learned to adjust my thoughts to fit an abundance mindset, which helped me understand that the pace I was going at was exactly the right pace for me. This enabled me to have a positive outlook on the present and the future, remembering that every individual is different. Take your time to know what you want. It is okay and completely normal to feel uncertain. Eventually, we will all find our paths and hopefully find joy in what we do.
What’s your favorite memory from your time at ISHR?
Despite it being one of the most recent memories from my time at ISHR, it is truly my favourite. Graduation day was probably one of the happiest days of my life. The feeling of uniting with your year group one final time, before each individual purses their own unique path, was incredible. Seeing all of our teachers, parents, siblings, friends and other relatives assembled to celebrate our class was an incredibly emotional experience. I will never forget that Mr. Pearson attended our graduation to surprise us, making our day unforgettable. I believe that the graduation reflected what ISHR is truly about: community. Our school feels like a large family and I believe that it will always be a place that alumni can return to.