Travels, Studies, and a Break Full of Plans


Sydney Gazard

Sydney Gazard ’20 poses with a cheetah during her trip to Australia.

As Bronx Science students left school on December 22, 2017, anticipation and excitement hung in the air. The year’s first weeklong break had finally arrived. Students and faculty alike had the next ten days free to pursue any activities they desired.

For many students who are weighed down during the academic year by a myriad of A.P. and Honors courses, standardized tests, and extracurriculars, winter break served as an opportunity to catch up on their responsibilities. From studying for the SATs and ACTs to attending practices and games, many students were as busy as they were during the usual school day. For seniors in particular, this pressure is intensified. Over the break, many of the members of the Class of 2018 spent the ten days making last minute edits to their supplemental essays, finalizing their college applications, and stressing about their upcoming college decisions. “So many people already got accepted into the colleges of their choice,” Samuel Ng ’18, said. “I definitely feel pressured to get into my regular colleges, but I’m also more motivated.”

“It was a fun break to relax and experience new things from school!”

Some students chose to enjoy the time off rather than work, using the time to relax and to relieve stress from school. “My aunt and cousin live in Denmark, where I traveled to over the break. I spent most of my time in Copenhagen and visited the Tivoli Gardens, an amusement park,” Chritina Gao ’21 said. “It was the perfect opportunity for me to learn more about the culture there and to pick up some of the common words and phrases in the Danish language.”

Some students had already arranged plans long before winter break began. “I spent winter break in Australia visiting my extended family,” Sydney Gazard ’20, said. “The trip was very long and difficult to plan, but because my Australian cousins came here to New York to visit us two summers ago, it was now our turn to visit them. I had a lot of fun!”

For Ava Vercesi, ’19, who spent her winter break in Quebec City, it was time to try something new. “This was my first time in Canada, and my first time spending Christmas outside of New York! My family and I spent five days walking around, taking tours, and enjoying the cold, then drove down to Vermont and spent a few days at Stowe,” she said. “It was a fun break to relax and experience new things different from school!”

“My family and I first went to Lisbon and then to a small town in the countryside of Portugal,” said Chloe Frajmund ’19, who speaks Brazilian Portuguese. “It was my first time in Portugal, so I was very excited to hear and compare [Brazilian Portuguese] to the Portuguese from Portugal. I enjoyed the seafood there, too, especially the sardines!”

Montana Lee ’21 also enjoyed marine activities on her vacation “We went to visit some fishing villages and had fresh seafood!” she said. “We also visited Suzhou, known as ‘the Venice of the Orient’ because of its canals, and the Bund Waterfront in Shanghai, where my mom is from.”

Others at Bronx Science, however, enjoyed winter break home in New York. For Alex Burnett ’19, it was an opportunity to give back to his community.  “I volunteered at the New York Aquarium in Coney Island,” he said. “I typically only volunteer during the summer, but many of my college coworkers returned during break, so I volunteered with them.”

Shaira Ahmed ’20, thinks that a break from school is the best time to focus on herself religiously. “Among all my plans, the most important one was fasting,” she said. “It lets me appreciate all the privileges that I have, and reminds me to be mindful and respectful towards others. The school year has been busy so far, and I really needed to de-stress.”

Even amid pressure from their upcoming midyear exams in January, Bronx Science students were able to spend the break away from school. With more than a week to focus on their self-interests, students began the new year with reinvigorated motivation and determination to start 2018 off well. “Because of how hectic student life at Bronx Science is, we don’t really have the time to focus on what we want to do,” Caroline Chin ’20, said. “Winter break was the perfect opportunity to fulfill that and start the year off on the right foot.”

Sydney Gazard
Sydney Gazard ’20, third from the right, enjoys her break in Australia with her family and relatives.













Chloe Frajmund
Chloe Frajmund ’19 visits the Moor Castle in Sintra, Portugal.
















Chloe Frajmund
Chloe Frajmund ’19 enjoys Portugal’s scenery from afar.











Montana Lee
Montana Lee ’21 appreciates the natural scenery present in Suzhou, also known as “the Venice of the Orient.”













Montana Lee
Montana Lee ’21 relished in the Bund’s vivid lights late at night.