Fix Insider's Guide to High School Perspective

Want Great School Memories? Get Involved.

Kien Le /
Reporters of
Hanoi Amsterdam High School’s website with their promotional banner at the
school’s Club Fair. From left to right: Duong Le, Anh Nguyen, Quynh Mai, Linh
Vu and Nhat Nguyen.


Chi Le
Vietnam – I am fortunate enough to study at Hanoi Amsterdam High School for the
Gifted in Hanoi, Vietnam. The school is famous for its academic rigor as well
as the dynamism of students when it comes to extracurricular activities.
is obvious that there are other high schools whose achievements, to an extent,
may be more impressive compared to mine. But what makes my school special is
that students tend to participate in extracurricular activities with no less
commitment than they have for their incredible academic performances.
an introvert, this fact had constantly worried me since the day I was admitted
to the school. The thought of joining school clubs never tinkles my fancy. I
just never wanted to be ordered around by senior students or stay at school when
I could have comfortably been watching TV at home.
no surprise, I finished my first year at high school with no clubs at all.
second year of high school – in Vietnam, we have only three years of high
school – began just a few days ago, and everybody was asking me whether I would
join the school’s “Club Fair.”
those who are a bit puzzled by it, the “Club Fair” is when my school’s clubs
give freshmen an overview of their activities and recruit new members. To be
honest, I felt considerably proud of myself as I answered, “Yes.”
should I not have, for I skipped last year’s fair, and I was eventually willing
to find a club to join?
experiencing the first minutes of the fair gave me more than just a sense of
pride and superiority to the new students. It was clear that most of my friends
had a club to devote their time to while I had none. I wandered from booth to
booth, occasionally greeting my classmates while they were busy talking with
curious freshmen.
was faced with the truth that my friends all belonged to something – they had
been committing themselves to at least one club.
was disappointed in myself that I was not a representative of any club and even
regretful, thinking of all the experiences I’d missed.
freshmen with their eyes full of excitement for the experience they are bound
to gain as club members made me realize more what I myself could never regain.
is of great pity that I cannot simply rewind the clock and go back to this time
a year ago. All I can do is to open up to new opportunities whenever they come,
from this moment on.
would certainly not say being one year older makes me wiser with decisions in
life. Yet it goes without saying that time has taught me some valuable lessons about
seizing opportunities.
you have had enough patience to read to this point, then do not miss what is
next to be said:
clubs and taking part in extracurricular activities is a way of forming your
inner self.
believe you have heard this at least once in a while. The degree of passion
with which you contribute to your club may give you a clue about your future
job, or more simply, which field of work you might find interesting.
with other club members not only expands your social network but also brings
you valuable experience and genuine friends.
importantly, high school is short. I did not know so when I was experiencing my
freshman year. Only by growing a little bit older and looking back on the past
did such a fact occur to me.
memorable activity of your club is a mark of your high school time, so that 10
years later, when you recall these years, you can smile with pride and happiness.