I still remember my first day at KIS International School, with great detail. I was going to start the fourth grade, and I couldn’t have been more nervous about the whole thing. By the time my mom had dropped me off to my class, I desperately wanted to go home. But I knew I had to be a “grown-up” about the whole thing. So I picked up the nearest book I could find, settled down into a chair, and began reading.
When I was younger, reading was my source of happiness, an activity I could do by myself, without any expectations of others. I liked my own company and shied away from group projects, teamwork, and social events. During recess and lunchtime, most kids my age would be on the field or at the swings- I’d be sitting on a bench reading, and reading, and reading. But KIS and the IB pushed me out of my shell, and out of the comfort zone I had enveloped myself in.
I started to make friends and made valiant attempts to accept people regardless of their interests, hobbies, likes and dislikes. I became a lot more open-minded and caring about other people’s feelings. I didn’t stop reading, but I engaged myself in other activities too, became more balanced. I employed the attitude of a thinker, thinking carefully about everything before speaking up.
And then I entered the MYP, where life is completely different. I learned to be reflective of all my actions and to weigh the impact that I as an individual have had on the community around me. I became a risk-taker, taking part in the end-of-school concert and performances. I realized that I am a natural communicator, and can handle a stage and a huge audience with ease. I became an inquirer when I began to understand that the world is an unfair, imperfect place and questioned what I could do to make it better.
Then came the IB Diploma Program- 2 years that seriously made me question why I had joined KIS in the first place. With hours and hours of coursework, I became more principled. I became increasingly more knowledgeable about the world around me, which helped me to choose what I wanted to do with my life.
(I don’t know if you’ve realized this yet but) I encountered each of the ten IB profile words at some stage of my KIS school life. These words gave me depth and maturity and helped me to grow into a well-rounded individual with big dreams and passions. And for this, I thank you KIS. I thank you for giving me an environment where I was accepted. Thank you for giving me teachers that helped me realize my potential, and for giving me friendships that will last a lifetime. Thank you, KIS.
This article was published in two Bangkok-based magazines.