Alumni Thankful to Irvington: Jessica Wong


Jessica Wong

Jessica Wong, who graduated in 2020, attends NYU.

My name is Jessica Wong, and I graduated in 2020. I currently go to NYU.

I think Irvington was a place that allowed me to explore my interests academically and also extracurriculars-wise. I was able to challenge myself in courses like AP Bio and AP Stats, while also joining chamber choir and taking part in Color Guard. Those are really cool opportunities. Also, looking back, I think Quest, Change and WIP are helpful, even if it doesn’t really seem like it. They help you narrow down the things you’re interested in long term with your goals. In interviews for internships and jobs, they ask what experience you have with research, databases and writing papers, and a lot comes from those projects. So it’s very helpful.

As for teachers I’m thankful to, definitely Ms. Koehler and Ms. Olson. Also, Mr. Ip. All of them were very willing to help me in classes – they helped me improve my studying methods and explained concepts that I was struggling with. They opened their classrooms during lunchtime too. So I could always go in during lunch and either talk to them or just chill by myself. And Ms. Koehler gave me coloring pages to color when I was stressed. There should still be a coloring book in there if you ever want to color. Also, Ms. Hallford. Absolutely love Ms. Hallford. I wrote thank you letters to everyone sophomore, junior and senior year, because those years they didn’t emphasize Teacher Appreciation as much.

In terms of de-stressing and using my creativity, I’m glad I took choir. In terms of academics, it’d be AP Bio. I knew already that I liked science, but I think the combination of liking science and having a really good teacher solidified the potential of me being successful in this field. That led me to pursue biomolecular science and biomedical engineering.

Senior year, I spent a lot of time with my friend Laura. Every day at lunch we would sit under our tree in one of the intersections of the hallway. I think through having lunch together and talking and getting to know each other, she became one of my best friends. I’m very grateful for the consistency of our lunches there, and also our conversations.

Irvington taught me to work hard and ask people for help. If you need help, there are plenty of people who are willing to be there for you. And to be present in the moment, because it’s over before you know it. 

I’m thankful that we’re able to have classes in person, especially after a year online. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to try new experiences, because New York particularly has a lot of culture, food, museums and art. I’m also grateful that while I’m experiencing new things here, I still have solid support and a solid community.

For Thanksgiving, a four day weekend is not enough for me to fly back to California, so I will either stay in New York – the dorms have Thanksgiving food – or go back with my suitemate who lives in Jersey.