Before I started at D-E as a ninth grader, I went to school in Taiwan, my home country. I have a twin sister, Nien Yin "Nasrin" Lin '16, who also attends D-E.
There are many classes I enjoyed at my time in D-E; however, there are three classes that I enjoyed the most. AP Chemistry is one of my favorite classes I have ever taken. Dr. Pagnotta brought tiny atoms and chemical bonds to life. He also brings his contagious humor to class every time. For example, he names his tests with names such as Oktoberfest, Spring Fiesta, and many more creative names. He manages to make 90 minutes of non-stop chemistry fun and enjoyable. I also enjoyed taking Latin 3H very much. Even though I am a STEM student at heart, Mr. Biondolino made that Latin class particularly enjoyable. I still remember the pain of translating the passages from junior year, but Mr. B never stopped encouraging me and giving me opportunities to improve my skills. He truly did what every teacher dreams to do: make a student enjoy something out of their comfort-zone. There’s one last class I enjoyed just as much: Chinese Literature with Mr. Daly. He presented to us a part of Chinese history with rich texts and movies that were produced in each major transitional era in 20th century China. Mr. Daly, in addition to teaching me more about Chinese culture, also introduced me to the world of track and field. He saw potential in me the first day we met in spring track back in freshman year and shaped me to be the jumper I am today. He was the one who encouraged me to do a triple jump, arguably the weirdest event in track and field. He is a coach, teacher, and friend, a relationship I don’t think a student can easily form outside of D-E.
Track and field is definitely my favorite sport. The thrill of setting a new personal record cannot be replaced. The whole team is a family and everyone shares each other’s joy when someone breaks a record or sets a new PR. Some of my favorite memories in upper school, such as suffering in the rain during a meet or celebrating Kraut’s birthday, were in track. I also enjoy being part of the Stock Market Club during my four years at D-E. From being a member in freshman year to a President in junior and senior years, this club has allowed me to learn about leadership and responsibility no class in school can teach. With help from Mrs. Tchang, I organized bake sales and a trip to NYSE when I served the club as a president. It has been amazing to see the club grow, and I am so happy I got this opportunity to continue the legacy of this club.
A typical day at D-E for me would be like this: walk to morning classes (trying to wake myself up), a nice relaxation time with my advisory, walk to some more classes (this time actually awake), perhaps hang out with friends a bit during my free periods, go to a club after grabbing some quick lunch, walk to some more classes (eyes starting to get heavy now), then go to track practice. (Don’t worry, I’m always fully awake when I’m practicing.)
I looked forward to getting into college and finishing my duty as a President in the Stock Market Club the most this academic year. I was extremely curious how I would fare in the college process after all I have done in the past three years. Did I do enough? Are they going to like me? However, right now after going through the whole process, I realized that my original vision of this academic year is overseeing something more important: enjoying my last year with my friends and teachers. Right now, I am not going to set a concrete vision for my first year at John’s Hopkins. I plan to fully enjoy the moment, do my best in every challenge or opportunity that arises, and see how everything pans out. There aren’t many high school students who can say “I’ve been inside the New York Stock Exchange.” I still remember setting foot inside the exchange: it was surreal. I saw reporters next to me giving out the latest news, I saw CNBC’s desk inside the exchange, and I learned so much from the tour guide. That trip motivated me to learn more about the market. But I always think back to how it would all be impossible if D-E didn’t give me the opportunity and flexibility to explore what I love and enjoy.