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The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

Beyond the Rolling Hills and Majestic Oak: Alumni speak

Madeleine Pham
DWELL ON THE DEN: After graduating, Northwood alumni wade through life drawing experiences from their high school years.

Northwood’s uniqueness lies in the range of talents represented in our student body, where you can find musicians, activists and athletes all driven by self-motivation. Yet, how does Northwood guide these talents for life beyond high school? Explore the diverse life journeys of alumni as they delve into the impacts of Northwood’s culture years after their graduation. 

Ze Xi Isaac Lee (Class of 2023) is currently serving his mandatory Singaporian military service.

“I think one of the biggest ways Northwood could enhance its support for students’ post-high school lives is to give its students more ‘non-academic’ skills. One way it’s already doing this is the culinary class it provides for sophomores and up. For a whole week I lived off of the very chicken soup recipe I learned in that class. Many of those basic cooking skills I learned in that class helped me make many of the budget meals that I lived off of with my meager paycheck.” 

Anjana Narasimhan (Class of 2022) is pursuing pre-med at the University of California, Riverside. 

“As a student at Northwood, it may feel toxic and painful, but you won’t realize it’s actually helping you until you get out of it. Growing up surrounded by highly competitive people who constantly test you every second, you learn how to adapt to failure. Now in college, armed with those experiences, I know what rejection feels like. I know what it is like to be in a competitive environment. Adapting to a competitive environment becomes a valuable skill that makes college much easier. The experiences you accumulate shape you into an ambitious person.”

Sarah Bauer (Class of 2021) is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics at the University of California Los Angeles.  

“Northwood’s writing education is truly exceptional. In college, there are no definitive guidelines for properly formatting an essay, and many of my college peers have encountered challenges in organizing their thoughts in writing. Even though Northwood students may vocally express their grievances about anchor essays and HEL timed writings (believe me, I was once among them), the essay structure instilled at Northwood proves effective for crafting any college paper. To this day, I continue to craft my thesis statements using the template I acquired during my ninth-grade English class. Practicing these skills now will undoubtedly yield appreciation from your college self in the future!”

Elder Drake Pierce (Class of 2022) is on a two-year proselytizing mission in Southern Mexico for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“I wouldn’t be able to attribute much of my success to what I learned inside the classroom, but I would certainly attribute a great amount of my success to what I learned outside of it. Northwood has much to offer in terms of the richness and diversity of its students, culture, learning environments and teachers. I am very grateful for the opportunities Northwood has given me to interact with and learn from people who have a wide range of backgrounds, values and beliefs.”

Océane Hall (Class of 2023) is in between two majors, graphic design and advertising, at Irvine Valley College. 

“I think Northwood is a really good school. It’s quite well-rounded and offers the support students need, whether from counselors or the school dogs. But I would encourage more awareness about community college. Despite Northwood’s competitiveness, ensuring students are aware of all their next-step options is important.”

Annette Chung (Class of 2018), now an English teacher at New Horizon Islamic Middle School, graduated from New York University with a focus on childhood and special education.

“Northwood had that balance between academics, extracurriculars and living a personal life. Honestly, we can’t blame a school for making that kind of competitive environment because Northwood presented everything. It’s not like they were only academic focused. They had all the opportunities for ASB and NTV, all the clubs, different outside of school like events and volunteer opportunities. They have everything there, but it’s on the student to reach out and find those resources after they’re presented with them.”

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About the Contributors
Courtney Lee, Staff Writer
Courtney Lee is a sophomore staff writer still figuring out if she's a winter cool or a spring cool. If you spot someone struggling with a locker in 501, it's probably her. In her free time, she loves playing the bass clarinet, reading new and emerging authors and amassing a collection of the fanciest mechanical pencils in town.
Madeleine Pham, Graphic Editor
Madeleine Pham is the Graphics Editor of the Howler. She is a big green tea enthusiast and is an adamant chocolate hater (it’s the aftertaste and texture). If you ever find her, make sure to give her a book recommendation that she can add to her “To Be Read” spreadsheet. Fun Fact: She draws most of her graphics with her fingers.

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