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Congratulations to BSB HS Graduate Jenny Hwang

June, 2017
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Jenny Hwang, High School graduate of The British School of Beijing, Shunyi Campus, plans to go to London School of Economics to study Economics and Economic History.

bsb-hs-graduate-jennyAt the moment, I still cannot believe that I have already graduated – the reality has not hit me yet! But to think about graduation in general, I am genuinely terrified. For the past twelve years, all I had to do was to follow the instructions from my teachers and my schools. And then I am suddenly placed in a path where I must continue alone. With my future being unclear, I am worried how my life will turn out. But I also cannot deny the fact that I am a bit excited for university life! It is really the graduation from university and entering the real world that I am terrified of.

I have been studying at BSB for five years as I came to BSB at the start of Year 9. Looking back at the years at BSB, I would say I was greatly honored to be a part of the school community. Although BSB isn’t the largest school or the most academically talented school in Beijing, to me it really was the ‘Best School in Beijing’. I think that the most special thing about our school is the tightly knit community. This is true because everyone pretty much knows each other, to the extent where the school principal knows each and every individual! With such an atmosphere, I felt that I was cared for and loved.

There are so many good memories of BSB definitely. But if I have to pick only one, I would choose the lunch breaks with my five close friends in Year 10. Year 10 was my favorite year because really, there was nothing big to worry about. So with this benefit of care-freeness, I spent most of the times with my ‘squad’. Lunch breaks were indeed the best time of the day because it was the time when after fulfilling our hunger, we could chat with each other for a long time and laugh under the bright afternoon sunshine. Although it seems pretty mundane, spending time with my best friends is indeed the best memory I have. Although most of them had left BSB and are studying in different parts of the world (UK, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and the US) we still keep in touch with each other and I know that our friendship would not have been possible without BSB.

To pick the memory I am most proud of, I would definitely choose the World Scholar’s Cup event that was held in our school. Basically, World Scholar’s Cup is an academic competition consisting of debate, essay, quiz and exam on the selected topics/subjects that change annually. Three years ago, our school hosted the Beijing round of the competition where most of the international schools from Beijing and Tianjin came to participate. Everyone in our school worked so hard for the competition, especially my team. To be honest, our school is not the strongest school in this type of competition, so my team was not expected to receive high results. However, when the results were released, we found out that we won the 5th place as a team and I was also able to win the championship in the individual debate as well as third place in individual total. My team, walking with multiple medals on our necks and holding several trophies in our hands, was indeed the proudest moment at BSB.

I took IB in High School. I chose History, Economics and Math at Higher Level and Chinese B, Biology and English A: Language & Literature at Standard Level. Frankly, I did not like the program for it was too intense. The workload and pressure were so great that it was considered a miracle for me to have five hours of sleep a day. Sometimes I wondered whether the founders of IB could manage to pass the program. But I do believe that IB is a better option for students than AP or A-level if they want to apply to universities from many different countries. If that were not the case, then I would really recommend students doing AP or A-level.

I did definitely enjoy my Freshman and Sophomore years because IGCSE wasn’t a difficult program. Of course, I stayed at home and revised during exam time but other than that, I spent most of the time hanging out with my friends. But it’s definitely not true for my Junior and Senior years. Social life and IB scores, unfortunately, do not complement well with each other. To obtain one, you have to sacrifice the other. So I did have a quite limited social life. But I did manage to enjoy some of my High School life by attending social events like prom, actively participating in extracurricular activities like MUN or by being a part of the student council.

I have been studying in international school for nine and half years. International school definitely has its pros and cons. If you dream of a more international background and look forward to studying/working anywhere in the world, then yes it does prepare you better for the future you dream of. But again, other types of schools have their own merits as well.

Advice for fellow students: Although I would love to say ‘use your time wisely’, I am in no position to offer such advice for I am a HUGE procrastinator. All I can say is don’t stress out too much. Although many people emphasize how your IB examinations are so important to your life, after all it is just a set of exams and they do not determine who you are or what your true academic ability is. Even if you fail your exams, it does not mean that your life is a failure. Having come this far, you have already proven that you have been empowered to take the next big step. Also for some helpful tips, read your syllabus carefully. They are your core revision material. Everything you must know is on there so always refer back to the document. Another tip is to always save your documents somewhere else, whether it is online or your hard drive. For me, my computer almost blew up just before the IB exams so I could have lost all of my revision materials. I remember I regretted so much not saving the files somewhere else. Luckily my files weren’t lost, but it is always a good idea to have a backup plan.

Last but not least, remember that after one or two more years, it is done. You can do this.

 

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