Christ Church Episcopal School experiences have prepared graduating seniors for whatever comes next and to make a positive difference in the world. Each week, we will put the spotlight on a graduating senior from the Class of 2021. We hope you enjoy getting to know these amazing CCES students!
Although she applied to six schools total, Lauren Ling knew all along where she wanted to be in the fall of 2021 -- on the campus of New York University. NYU was number one on her list for a number of reasons, including the fact that it offers a wide range of opportunities to students and serves a diverse community. She calls NYU not only her first choice, but her “best choice… because it will provide me with insight and knowledge while helping me become a person of value and influence.” Lauren also plans to study abroad and is specifically interested in NYU’s Shanghai campus.
Lauren was born in the United States, but her family lived in Shanghai for about ten years before moving back to South Carolina. She is incredibly thankful for the opportunity to spend her formative years there, sharing: “Thanks to this experience, I was able to develop good language skills and fully embrace the Chinese culture.” While they lived in Shanghai, Lauren attended an international school which helped ease the transition when they moved back to the US. Her family tries to travel back to China each year to visit her grandparents who still live there.
In addition to growing up outside of the US, Lauren and her family have also traveled extensively over the years. Her parents, especially her mom, love traveling and as a result, the family has been to almost 20 (!!!) different countries, including Iceland, Japan, France, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Denmark, Russia, Morocco, and Norway to name a few. Of the many places she’s visited, Lauren calls Iceland “one of the most interesting,” with views that she describes as “out of this world.” The Ling’s have also been on a few cruises with a group of family friends. Lauren says, “It was really fun waking up every morning finding yourself in a different country.”
Lauren has attended CCES for four years, starting as a freshman in the Upper School. She calls these past four years her most “educational” as she gained both knowledge in the classroom and learned more about herself. She calls the people in the CCES community “truly kind-hearted,” and even when she was feeling the stress of school work, she took comfort knowing “there is always someone who can help me make the situation better.”
During her time at CCES, Lauren has been involved with a wide range of extracurricular activities. Clubs are a staple in the Upper School, and Lauren has certainly taken part in a large number of them, including the Photography Club, Chinese Club, Environmental Club, Spanish Club, Sushi Club, and Korean Club. She has also been a member of the Dance Team at CCES, been on the Yearbook staff, and participated in Young Artists Series and the Cinderella musical. In addition to extracurricular activities, Lauren also has a long list of accomplishments during her four years. She has been the captain of the Dance Team and the president of the Photography Club. In addition to making honor roll in grades 9-11, some of her other awards include: National Spanish Exam Silver Medal Winner for Level 4, National Scholastic Contest for Art Regional Gold Key Winner (2018-19 and 2019-20), National Scholastic Contest for Art Regional Honorable Mention, and National Scholastic Contest for Art Regional Silver Key Winner for 2019-20.
Lauren’s interest in photography started with a class with Mr. Riley when she was freshman. She enjoyed sharing projects with him and receiving his feedback, and over time, it slowly became a hobby. “When you play the role of a photographer,” Lauren shares, “you find yourself becoming a better observer, looking at things from different angles, paying attention to little details, and just discovering all the beautiful things that are happening around you.” Her love of dance started much earlier – she did some ballet in China and then started learning Chinese Traditional Dance (through the Greenville Chinese Culture Association) when she moved back. She was drawn to dance for a number of reasons. It provides good exercise and helps develop teamwork skills, but most of all, she cherished the opportunities to be on stage and through her performances, share the beauty of Chinese culture with others.
“Mature, level-headed, responsible, and trustworthy, Lauren looks out for the underdog and is very sensitive to people’s emotions,” says Linda Schulz, Director of College Counseling. “She is an interesting young woman who will bring her positive spirit, creative talents, love of learning and her desire to explore new ideas and opportunities.”
Lauren will be bringing all those characteristics, talents, and interests to NYU this fall, where she will be pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Media, Culture, and Communications. She was originally thinking of brand management as a future career, but after gaining acceptance into NYU, switched her direction to Public Relations, specifically in social media or advertising. Lauren is also considering adding a minor in Business of Entertainment, Media, and Technology. Lauren has already been exposed to so much through her travels and various interests, and it will be fun to see what experiences she adds during the next four years!