New school poses challenges, old hobbies remain the same


Betty Chen, a junior from Diamond Bar High School, is attending HJSI this week. She recently moved from Corona del Mar High School to where she is now.

Moving to a new school can be scary, confusing and maybe a little bit overwhelming. Betty Chen has experienced first hand what this can feel like.

Last year was Chen’s first year at Diamond Bar High School. She previously attended Corona del Mar High School. The schools, both located in southern California, are about an hour away from each other. The switch in schools stemmed from her mom’s desire for Chen to be in a school with less Asians. The high school she attends now is mainly Caucasian, Chen said.

According to Chen, getting acclimated to a new school is hard because she had to make all new friends with people she didn’t know. Also, the rigorous competitive environment made the situation more challenging.

“It’s quite competitive in the school,” Chen said. “They’re all trying to get better grades and compete in sports, but I’m not doing sports. Making new friends at the school is the hardest part for me.”

As places change, her hobbies stay consistent. Chen said she continues to find enjoyment in baking and cooking all different types of goods, including cookies in particular. Some of her favorite cookies to bake include: chocolate chip cookies, cranberry cookies, and special ones for independence day. Her passion for cooking and baking trace back to her family’s experiences and love for the activity.  

“My dad isn’t a baking person but he went to Japan when he was young and worked in a restaurant,” Chen said. “Then he learned a lot about cooking. He doesn’t cook on work days because he goes to work, but he always cooks on weekends for us. Every weekend he makes something new that we haven’t tried before. I’ll always watch my dad and help him to prepare for the cooking of that night. My grandparents just cook Chinese food. They don’t cook one specific thing, they cook all kinds of stuff.”

Even though being placed into a new environment can be difficult, according to Chen, she is able to find pleasure in the new things that surround her.

“The best part about moving is that we’re really close to the ocean,” Chen said. “There’s a lot of people and a lot of visitors at the beach. But we didn’t go to the ocean a lot because we live close and every time we go to school we can actually see the ocean. It’s kind of cool.”