The Student Site of Castilleja School


The Student Site of Castilleja School


The Student Site of Castilleja School


2023 Casti wrapped

Chloe Cheng
Think of 2023 Casti Wrapped as a celebration of the moments that defined our year. Keep scrolling to get an inside look into all things #CastiWrapped!

When Nov. 29 rolled around, phones across the world were swept with users’ “Spotify Wrapped.” The excitement of recapping our music from the year was so powerful that it even reached YouTube Music and Apple Music users, who received their own versions of the Wrapped (Recaps and Replays, respectively). Before leaping into 2024, follow in Spotify’s footsteps and check out Casti’s 2023 “Wrapped.”

To recap their 2023s, Castilleja students and faculty shared data from their Spotify Wrapped and other favorites from this past year.


Top Artists:

As TIME magazine’s ‘Person of the Year’ and with the success of her Eras Tour, it’s unsurprising that multiple Casti students shared that Taylor Swift topped their 2023 Spotify Wrapped. Overall, Taylor ranged from 1st to 3rd on students’ Top Artists. Besides Taylor Swift, other artists students named were Drake, 21 Savage, SZA and Lana Del Ray. Although some people felt that their Spotify Wrapped was an accurate summary of their music, there were a couple of individuals who were surprised at their Wrapped.

Art teacher Angelica Ortiz Anguiano ’11 pointed out that her Spotify Wrapped wasn’t very accurate because she had only made one playlist the entire year. As a result of this skewed data, Spotify reported that her top artists were Billie Eilish and Noah Cyrus.

Another Spotify surprise occurred when a student was shocked to discover that Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, was her top artist of the year. “There was more Kanye West there than I’d like to admit,” they said.

Charlotte Mishkin ’26 shared that she likes to listen to classical music, which helps with her violin playing. She mentioned that she listens to music “if there is a piece that I [she] happen[s] to be playing that is nice for studying.”


Word of the Year:

Towards the end of 2023, the word “rizz” was announced as the Oxford Dictionary’s ‘Word of the Year,’ but when students were prompted for their word of the year, nobody mentioned “rizz.”

Instead, there were a variety of responses ranging from “ate” to “gyatt.”

Cali Scolnick ’26 shared that the synonyms “perhaps” and “perchance” were her words of the year. “It’s a funny way to just use it informally,” Scolnick said. Channeling inside jokes and a bit of telepathy, Ortiz Anguiano and Castilleja Librarian Christina Appleberry shared the same word at the same time: “clown.”

Ortiz Anguiano commented, “It [clown] is kinda cute with rizz … It’s the opposite, but also not.” They also added that it goes best with a clown emoji. Lauren Lin ’24 shared that her word was “center” because she hoped to focus on centering herself over the course of 2023 and going into 2024.

Whether it be internalizing advice or integrating her community and culture, Lin said she finds the noun and verb is crucial for describing “what I am doing and why I’m doing it,” as well as “building narrative.”


Top Books:

From top genres to books read this past year, students had a lot to share about their “Reading Wrapped.” The number of books read ranged from 4-30, and several students described 2023 as an “all-time low” for their reading.

Well-known BookTok books like “The Dance of Thieves,” “Caraval” and “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRueproved to be popular at Casti. However, there were some students who found some popular books to be a little bit overrated.

Caroline Yuan ’26 recoiled in disgust when discussing Chloe Gong’s “These Violent Delights.” The book follows a storyline similar to that of Romeo & Juliet, but it is set in 1921 Shanghai, where Juliette Cai and Roma Montagov—rival gang heirs and former lovers—are forced to work together against a mysterious monster and encroaching foreign powers. The book follows their hunt, and Gong describes all of the blood and bugs in glittering detail.

Besides romance, some classics such as “Little Womenby Louisa May Alcott and “Emma” by Jane Austen were top picks. As a poet, Lin shared that poetry books are usually her top picks.

As a hot take, Lauren shared that “Milk and Honey” and/or “Homebody” by Rupi Kaur “felt really real, but also it was in some ways like a teenage response to an adult problem. It kept going on and on about emotional turmoil, which makes sense, and it did not have any clear or direct meaning.”

Lin did add that “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke was particularly inspiring for poets like herself and that “it’s so heartwarming to feel affirmed and to be told that my poetry means something.”


Tardies Recap:

When prompted for their number of tardies this year, quite a few Castilleja students shrank back with very dejected yet animated “oh…”s.

With 26 tardies (marked by Admin), Yuan said she believes that her 2023 tardy count is inaccurate. She said that the count is actually at 0. Yuan explained that most of her tardies come from “losing track of time.”

Similarly, Rianne Sok ’26 said she suspected she had around 20 tardies, but in actuality, she had none recorded on her report card!


Favorite Casti Lunches:

This may be surprising to most, but when asked about their favorite Casti lunches, several students shared that their hot take was that Noodle Bar is “a little overrated.”

To appease any broken hearts, most interviewees conceded that they may just need to try new toppings to enhance their noodles’ flavor. Many students said they felt that the pasta, barbecue and chili were adequately rated. Most students and faculty vouched for the return of the chili bar after it had been gone for so long.

While eating a potato from the potato bar, an anonymous interviewee shared that their favorite lunch was “definitely not this [potato].” In their opinion, “there are never enough potatoes, the potatoes are cooked kind of weirdly, the toppings are out … and it’s just so potato-y. No matter how much you add, all you can taste is potato.”


Favorite Casti Event:

2023 was a year full of Casti traditions and new events. Appleberry shared that her favorite Casti events were the Edible Book Festival, the Model Magic Library event and the Sticker Swap.

She agreed that the cute and colorful posters for all of the library events definitely added to the excitement. Castichella was also a fan-favorite, as well as the FDD. Lots of students found it fun and exciting to dress up and hang out with friends at both of the events. Some Castilleja athletes shared that although they had to rush back and forth from school to sports events to Castichella, the raffles, seesaws, food trucks and other activities made it worth it.


Study Tips:

Since fall semester finals have been completed, Castilleja students have nailed down some of their best study tips in time for the second semester.

Students said they start with homework that allows them to listen to music and “get into the groove.” Some agreed that this method was very helpful with time blocking.

These students said they felt that strategically allocating time for each piece of homework was crucial in their workflow. Some students believed that starting with the easiest homework and working your way to the hardest was the best method, while others felt pretty flexible about the order. Overall, faculty and students thought that taking breaks was very important. Students agree that taking a shower right when you get home is good for taking a break and checking something off of your nightly to-do list. For long-term assignments, Aliya Khan ’27 suggested working “continuously” and completing tasks day-by-day rather than the week of the due date.


How many Casti Students know their locker number:

Be sure to check out Counterpoint’s polls for more statistics! And with that, we can all sign off on 2023: one of Casti’s most eventful years yet!

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About the Contributor
Chloe Cheng
Chloe Cheng, Digital Artist
Chloe Cheng ‘27 is a digital artist for Counterpoint. After working on her NHD podcast and learning from Ailsa Chang, she wants to learn more about what being a journalist is like. She enjoys various art hobbies from drawing to wheel throwing, is a XC runner and loves reading books (especially memoirs and romance).

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