The Future Plans and Reflections of Six 2018 Graduates

At Hyde we have the privilege of working with an exceptional group of young people, and to be part of their growth as they challenge themselves to discover their unique potential and develop their character to its fullest. Graduation gives us time to reflect on the tremendous accomplishments of those moving on to college, taking with them the skills they learned at Hyde as well as some great memories. We asked a few of our graduates this year to share what they most valued about their time at Hyde and to give us a glimpse into their future plans. Then we also asked them to leave some advice for the undergrads.

Marlena De Castro

Marlena De Castro
Marlena De Castro

Hometown: Oak Park, California

What college are you attending?

The University of California Santa Cruz

What are you looking forward to the most there?

I am most looking forward to the simple act of continuing my education. Learning always has and continues to excite me and I am excited to become knowledgeable in a wide array of subjects.

How do you feel Hyde has prepared you for the next phase of your education?

Hyde has prepared me to be my best self in college. Thanks to Hyde, I have become a well-rounded individual who is able to pursue excellence in many different areas, including athletics, academics and interpersonal relationships. I now have a profound understanding of myself that I believe will empower me to reach success.

What is one thing that you have learned here that you will take with you?

Hyde has helped me shift the focus from achievement to character. Before Hyde I was always a high-achieving student, but my emotional intelligence was seriously lacking. Hyde put me in touch with the more important things in life: integrity, inner leadership, family relationships and courage. My life is now guided by my character rather than a desperate desire to excel, and I believe this is a much more meaningful existence.

What will you miss most about Hyde?

I will miss the incredible people here. Hyde has the most caring, insightful and amazing faculty members and students. I am deeply saddened to leave them.

Do you have any advice for the undergraduates?

My piece of advice for the undergraduates is this: don’t waste your time being resentful. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to focus only on yourself—understanding your emotions, forming good habits, resolving issues in your family, and setting yourself up for success. Instead of getting caught up in the frustrations of day-to-day Hyde life, take advantage of all that it has to offer. And be grateful.


Serge Mudogo

Serge Mudogo
Serge Mudogo

Hometown: Johannesburg, South Africa

What college are you attending?

Hult International Business School in Cambridge, Massachusetts

What are you looking forward to the most there?

I’m looking forward to working with students from all over the world. I’m also excited to be able to learn more about business from a global perspective.

How do you feel Hyde has prepared you for the next phase of your education?

When I first came to Hyde I did not have confidence with my public speaking. I was shy and reluctant to talk in front of a group of people. Hyde has definitely helped to boost my confidence in public. I already feel more prepared to face the daily pressures of business school.

What is one thing that you have learned here that you will take with you?

I learned that sharing emotions is normal, and that it does not mean you are weak if you show your vulnerable side.

What will you miss the most about Hyde?

I will miss being in Mrs. Moore’s Discovery Group and having Mr. Bragg as my basketball coach.

Do you have any advice for the undergraduates?

Yes, one of Hyde’s sayings—”The truth shall set you free but first it will make you miserable.”


Nina Janjigian

Nina Janjigian
Nina Janjigian

Hometown: Wyckoff, New Jersey

What college are you attending?

Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania

What are you looking forward to the most there?

I am looking forward to getting involved in various clubs, such as Mock Trial, and expanding my knowledge while being challenged with more rigorous academics.

How do you feel Hyde has prepared you for the next phase of your education?

Hyde has prepared me for the next phase of my education by teaching me to never slack off, even the little stuff that “does not matter”.

What is one thing that you have learned here that you will take with you?

I learned I am capable of anything as long as I work hard. I came to Hyde with no self-confidence, but in my four years here I have been pushed beyond what I thought were my limits and yet I came through stronger. The challenges that I have faced here have taught me that there is nothing I cannot handle.

What will you miss the most about Hyde?

I will miss the supportive teachers that genuinely care about you and want to see you succeed, as well as the open communication and challenges that you receive from the community at large.

Do you have any advice for the undergraduates?

Hyde is what you make of it. Take hold of everything being asked of you here and you will see yourself drastically improve as a person. Challenge yourself and always give everything your best. The only thing standing in the way of your success is your attitude.


Lucas McCabe

Lucas McCabe
Lucas McCabe

Hometown: Venice, California

What college are you attending?

Willamette University in Salem, Oregon


What are you looking forward to the most there?

The freedom—at Hyde I was kept very busy with specific activities, and sometimes I didn’t make the best use of my free time. I am very excited at the prospect of being able to go off into town and spend my time doing what interests me. The Willamette campus is a 10 minute walk from downtown Salem, and I can’t wait to explore this little section of the Pacific Northwest.

How do you feel Hyde has prepared you for the next phase of your education?

At Hyde much of our free time is taken up with responsibilities like study hall. Spending at least two hours a day doing homework was difficult for me when I arrived in my sophomore year, but, as I matured more, I was able to take control of my study habits and use that time well. Hyde taught me the study habits that I need to be able to succeed at the college level.

What is one thing that you have learned here that you will take with you?

I learned that I have a voice. Before I attended Hyde I had a hard time finding my place and figuring out whether or not I belonged. I often thought that regardless of what I had to say, no one wanted to hear it. Hyde put me in a place where I could share my voice, and the community listened.

 

What will you miss most about Hyde?

I think I will miss the challenges of a Hyde education. At Hyde I was challenged to do my best by students, faculty and coaches—in a way that I do not believe I will be challenged once I graduate. In that way college may be easier—the personal growth that I’ve gone through here is immense.

 

Do you have any advice for the undergraduates?

Accept the challenges that come your way. When I first arrived, I hated Hyde. I hated every little lesson that the school tried to teach me. It took me about a year to realize that it was okay to feel that way. I did not come to Hyde to have fun—I came here to be challenged and pushed. My personal growth at Hyde was the result of some uncomfortable situations. So yes, Hyde can be uncomfortable, but that’s only because that is exactly what it needs to be.

 


Yingke (Kors) Li

Kors Li
Kors Li

Hometown: Jinan, Shandong, China

What college are you attending?

George Washington University in Washington, DC

What are you looking forward to the most there?

I plan to study Public Relations in college. I hope to take advantage of some of the internships that GWU has with DC institutions and with the federal government. I am also looking forward to studying in a city where many new things happen everyday.

How do you feel Hyde has prepared you for the next phase of your education?

My Hyde education has given me confidence and leadership skills that I can use in my college life. Hyde taught me to challenge myself to be the best and to discover what my unique potential in life is. At college I won’t be afraid to express myself and help others to achieve their best.

What is one thing that you have learned here that you will take with you?

Courage. When I first came to Hyde, I was worried about how to communicate with others and how to express myself. As time went on, I started to push myself out of my comfort zone and to challenge both myself and others. I think Hyde taught me how to be brave—that is something I will take with me for the rest of my life.

What will you miss the most about Hyde?

I will miss two things—my personal relationships and the performing arts program. During my time at Hyde I developed many meaningful relationships that I hope will continue for the rest of my life. And I will always remember the performing arts shows. I will really miss the feeling when the whole school would come together to dance and have fun!

Do you have any advice for the undergraduates?

Talk to as many people as possible! Don’t be afraid to let your voice be heard! Step out and be a leader!


Se Jun Kim

Se Jun Kim
Se Jun Kim

Hometown: New York, NY

What college are you attending?

The University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York

What are you looking forward to the most there?

University at Buffalo is a very big school so transitioning from Hyde is going to be a challenge at first. However, I am excited to be a part of a diverse community with lots of new academic opportunities. I am pursuing a pre-med track which I am very excited about and hopefully will set me up for medical school. I am also looking forward to continue playing sports at Buffalo. At Hyde, I learned how much I love sports and it’s important for me to continue to follow that passion on an intramural or club level. I will also have a great opportunity to meet a diverse group of people and hopefully create new friendships along the way.

How do you feel Hyde has prepared you for the next phase of your education?

Hyde has given me many opportunities to challenge myself outside my comfort zone. I remember when I first came to Hyde, I had to sing in front of the whole school as a new student. At first, I could not understand why this activity, along with many others at Hyde, was so important. I came to realize that being able to do things that I don’t want to do is an important skill to have in the world. Through this, I started to have more fun but also to discover new passions in my life. Taking risks at Hyde has helped me become a more confident person. I am not afraid to voice my opinions anymore and now speaking in front of groups comes easily to me. Hyde has also taught me to work hard for what I want. I know there will be more struggles ahead in the future, but I will continue to be positive and work towards my goals.

What is one thing that you have learned here that you will take with you?

Honesty is something that I have struggled with in my past. Hyde helped me learn the importance of being truthful and how it can play a role in my relationships with peers, family, and myself. I will strive to live a life of integrity and honesty.

What will you miss the most about Hyde?

During my three years at Hyde, I built many friendships with other students. And the faculty at Hyde really care about you and that is hard to find anywhere else. I will miss those relationships as we will all go in different directions in our lives.

Do you have any advice for the undergraduates?

Although Hyde is not the most fun process, at the end of it all you may come to realize that you miss it. Hyde is a very special place, so try to take advantage of it, because it will be over before you know it.


Ready to dip your toe in the water and give Hyde School a try? Come to Summer Leadership Challenge this July!

Yes! Tell me more about Summer Leadership Challenge