Humans of Northwood: Su Hae “Jessica” Jang

Jang

When I was younger, I had a fear of talking to people older than me. Even people I’d known for basically my entire life, like my grandparents. It was more than just shyness. For example, I could never order food at restaurants. It was not easy challenging myself. It was only when I was in the eighth grade that I began to feel okay talking to my teachers one-on-one. I think Northwood has really helped me overcome my fear.

At first, I tried hiding my fear. I wanted to appear calm and not let others know the panic I was feeling inside. But as I got more and more opportunities to voice my opinions, I actually began feeling comfortable enough to push myself further. As I got involved in the rowing team, the Sustainability Committee, the Wild Center’s Youth Climate Program, the student councils, The Mirror, and other activities, I became more and more confident interacting with teachers and other adults. This was one of the reasons why I chose Northwood. I’d always wanted to go to a boarding school to learn to be more responsible for myself and to be more independent. Now, after four years of Northwood, I’m not even afraid of public speaking. I’m really thankful for how the Northwood community has always been supportive and loving all along.

Another reason why I decided to go to Northwood was the winter activities. I love skating and snowboarding. I’m sad that I had to leave Lake Placid in the middle of winter. I was getting better and better at snowboarding and was planning to learn skiing from my friends as well. Now that I’m back home in Korea, I don’t get much time to spend on outdoor activities. I’ll never forget all the hiking I did in the Adirondacks.

I’ll also miss my friends and teachers. They believed in me more than I did and always encouraged me to trust myself even when I doubted what I could achieve. Without them, I would’ve never been able to listen to myself. I can’t say I loved every single moment I spent at Northwood. There were days when it was a struggle to get through study hall or times when I missed my family and friends in Korea. But the good moments overshadow the bad ones. I’m glad to be a four-year survivor at Northwood. It means that I got to enjoy almost all the opportunities the school has to offer. Regardless of what I do or where I go in the future, the support of the Northwood community will always stick with me and be a part of who I am.

Su Hae “Jessica” Jang was the editor-in-chief of The Mirror for two years (2018-19 and 2019-20). This profile was published on her originally-scheduled graduation day. The ceremony was postponed until May 20, 2021 due to the global pandemic.

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