Recent leaver and Senior Grecian (head pupil), Jin, talks about his time at Christ’s Hospital.
Since joining in Second Form (Year 7), I’ve looked up to those in the Senior Grecian (Head Pupil) and the Second Monitor roles and it was my aim to attain that same status. I set out long-term goals to achieve that, splitting the School into three sectors: academics, music and sport. I thought that if I could excel in all three and take on leadership roles within them, I’d have a chance of becoming a house captain, which would put me in the frame of being selected as Senior Grecian. The plan worked!
My mother is from South Korea and my father is from the Philippines. Like many Oriental children, I was pushed more towards academics and music than sport. But at CH, there were opportunities to play a variety of sports and it became a major part of my life. I’ve played for the 1st team in football and cricket. Being 5’5” I’m at a slight disadvantage on the basketball court, but I love that too and put everything into it.
The biggest surprise in terms of my sporting interests has been rugby. I had never played it before and remember asking myself, ‘how am I going to survive?’ But Mr. Turner helped me understand tactics and gameplay and I developed to the extent that I became captain. When my friend was selected for the Harlequins training camp, I remember thinking how great it would be if I could reach that level too. Just a few weeks later, it happened! I went on to represent Sussex U18s. Rugby at CH has given me many great memories.
Music was always something I was encouraged to do as a child. I play violin, but am more passionate about piano. I joined the Chamber and Symphony Orchestras at CH, as well as string ensembles and quartets, which helped me improve as a musician. Prior to CH, I’d
focused on classical, but here I expanded my repertoire. Two friends play the trombone and saxophone, respectively, and we came together to play jazz and blues in our spare time. It was fun experimenting in a more dynamic genre.
Singing is another passion of mine. I joined the choir in Third Form (Year 8) and continued to enjoy it as head of the tenor section. I used to look up at seniors in Chapel and wonder how they reached certain notes, but now I’m that person! I sing with Scola Cantorum, a chamber choir for selected pupils, where the repertoire is tough but very rewarding. I was awarded the Doherty Scholarship last year and that allowed me to benefit from free singing lessons, culminating in my grade 8 singing exam, performing everything from folk to opera.
During lockdown, I was bored so learned to play drums and guitar. We bought an electronic drum kit at home and learned how to play through YouTube videos! I can’t play either to a particularly high standard, but if someone gave me a song, I could just about strum along! It proves how productive lockdown was for some and I know of instances where it set people on a different trajectory.
Leading and managing the Monitor team as Senior Grecian has been an honour. Alex (Second Monitor) has been brilliant, helping me distribute roles and manage events. The role isn’t secondary at all, as we have taken on equal responsibility and represented the School at high-profile and prestigious events and functions together. I was worried I would miss out on some of those traditional highlights, as we’ve had two years where they haven’t taken place because of COVID. Fortunately, most have now returned.
At the Lord Mayor’s Banquet, the Lord Mayor introduced us to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. He knew about CH and said, ‘That’s in Horsham, isn’t it?’ I thought that was quite impressive. I think our uniform generates a lot of interest and when we attended the Heads of College Conference at Wellington College, everyone was looking at us. In most cases it’s an icebreaker, as people want to know about the uniform’s history, which gives us an advantage when networking.
I spent a long time working on my Speech Day oration, seeking help from the team at the museum. I have been there several times to research in the archives, as I wanted to highlight how the School can transform a student’s life and motivate them to make a positive impact on the world. The mission of CH is to bring together students from different
backgrounds and give them equal opportunities, and I wanted to portray that in my speech. For example, right at the beginning of the 20th century, a girls’ cricket team was formed at the Hertford site, which was practically unheard of at the time. It’s that kind of pioneering spirit I tried to highlight in my speech.
I would like to study economics and management at university, but first I’m taking a gap year. As well as studying further maths at A level, I hope to find an internship at a finance or accountancy firm, although my intention is to eventually switch into entrepreneurship.