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Checking in with CMS Class of 2018 ~ Ilana Cohen

We reached out to the CMS Class of 2018 as they prepared for their graduation from high school. CMS alumna Ilana Cohen had the following reflections and advice:

What is your favorite memory from your time at CMS?

It is so difficult to pick a specific favorite memory from my time at CMS, but I will say that one thing that I loved was when we all took a field trip to The Art Institute of Chicago. Before this trip, I feel that I didn't appreciate looking at traditional visual art--to me, it was just too bland and confusing. But, similar to how CMS allowed me to deeply appreciate literature for the first time, I came out of that trip eager to experience more art, learn more about the artists, and to embrace the ambiguity of all forms of art, all traits that I carry with me today. Other than a formative, educational, and inspiring experience, this trip was tons of fun with my classmates (and the whole school) and was a fantastic time to bond, smile, laugh, and enjoy simply being with each other.

What advice can you give to this year's graduating 8th grade class as they prepare for high school?

One piece of advice that I would give would be to not take life too seriously, and that one moment or period of time won't define the rest of your life; it's easy to get caught up in stress and fall down a spiral of anxiety, but I feel like just trying to remember that life always moves on for the better has been a big lesson that I've learned over the years. Have fun; not only while pursuing a traditionally "fun" activity, but while just going through your daily life. It has helped me find lots of happiness and connection with others, and it has allowed me to find and be my authentic self.

What are your plans post graduation?

My plans post graduation are to start my freshman year of college this fall 2022. I'll be attending Stanford University in California, with current plans to pursue engineering (aerospace or mechanical), but I'm also looking forward to exploring (and potentially changing my plans while doing so!) other STEM areas, the humanities, and the arts.

We wish Ilana the best of luck next year! Are you part of the CMS Class of 2018? We would love to hear from you! Send an email to Sara Holleman at and we will feature your responses in a future CMS blog!

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