AIS was a fascinating place. The myriad countries, cultures and socio-economic backgrounds made for an enriching and surreal experience. The jungle rules of high school still applied at AIS, just like any other school, however the competition for popularity was tempered by a tolerance for diversity. That is how I was able to make meaningful friends there.
I was different. My long white-blond hair and strange sport of speedskating were different. Yet, it didn’t stop me from finding my place. Besides some teachers, no one knew I was a nationally ranked athlete and I told almost no one. In the high school bubble of football and basketball, it would have meant nothing anyways. At AIS I was able to reinvent myself and simply be me, and for that I am grateful. Sometimes the best preparation for success is a space where you can develop un-judged and unrecognised.
Beorn Nijenhuis, Athlete