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Congratulations to BCIS HS Graduate Daisy Zheng

June, 2017
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Daisy Zheng, High School graduate of Beijing City International School (BCIS), is going to UCLA to study Philosophy and Film.

bcis-hs-graduate-daisy-zhengI’m feeling quite surreal as time went by so quickly. I have been looking forward to this day for a long time (especially when I was studying for SATs and IB exams…) and now it’s here. I also feel excited to enjoy the summer with my friends and to start a new chapter in life. The possibilities in life are endless.

The first thing on my to-do list for this summer is to get a driver’s license. Apart from this, I will be traveling with friends to Thailand and places inside China. I also agreed to a friend’s challenge to read 20 books over the summer.

I’ve been studying at BCIS for six years. Looking back, I’m surprised at how much I have changed during my time here. I used to be very quiet and I was at most average in academics. I think what’s special about BCIS is that it provides students with many activities and there are not many students in each grade, so you have the opportunity to try anything you want. For instance, I pushed myself to try Model United Nations (MUN) in Grade 9 and it made me become much more outgoing and confident. I was also able to start my own filmmaking club and make films with my friends. We overcame many challenges and felt a great sense of accomplishment at the works we produced.

I took both IB Middle Years Program (MYP) and Diploma Program (DP) in school. For Higher Level subjects I chose English Literature, Visual Arts, and Psychology; for Standard Level I chose Chinese Language and Literature, Biology, and Math Studies.

Although I sometimes complained about the strenuous amount of work IB demands, I’m really thankful for the skills and knowledge IB has provided me with during this struggle. For example, the literary theories from Literature course have helped me with my own creative works. I also especially liked the core curriculum that includes Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay as they allowed me to explore the basics of Philosophy and my interest in film noir respectively.

Since IB requires Community and Service, I participated in extracurricular activities that I truly found interesting. This includes filmmaking, drama production, volleyball, and many more. By doing so I had time to have fun while completing a part of school curriculum at the same time. I also gave myself time to relax at night by watching a movie or reading a book.

I think time management is definitely important. Without time management, I wouldn’t be able to handle so much work and extracurriculars at the same time. However, I think the key for success comes from my MYP math teacher’s motto “work smart, not hard,” which especially applies for studying. You need to find study methods that are time efficient and work well for you. For me, I prefer to watch YouTube videos instead of reading over textbooks.

I have been studying in international schools for seven and half years at Beanstalk International Bilingual School (BIBS) and later in BCIS (Beijing City International School). International school is definitely a better fit for me because critical thinking and creative thinking are my strengths. I’m sure that my opportunity to develop these skills has prepared me for university and my future career. In the past, I struggled a lot in local school because I wasn’t good at math and learning was based on memorizing content. However, I wouldn’t say that local schools are not good for preparing students for the future as it is more about finding the right fit for you.

Advice for fellow students: Set goals and work hard for yourself. When students don’t work for themselves in High School, they become fish trying to climb trees. Don’t get stuck up on something you dislike and are not good at. Excel at what you are passionate about. Also, I read somewhere that procrastination comes from stress, not the lack of motivation. Recognizing the reason for my procrastination has helped me to procrastinate less, as I began to focus on reducing my stress.


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