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Congratulations to FDIS HS Graduate Leo Hsu

June, 2017
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Leo Hsu, High School graduate of Fudan International School, will be going to the University of Hong Kong as part of a competitive business and law double degree programme.

fdis-hs-graduate-leo-hus-2Honestly, I don’t feel like I’m ready to graduate. For every student, graduation is seen as transition from the constraints of High School life to the freedom of the adult world. I myself sought graduation ever since I entered High School, but now that I’m graduating, I don’t think I’m ready just yet to move on. The thought that I won’t be seeing some of these students for possibly years on is something that really bothers me.

I am also extremely excited for the years ahead, and I am willing to embrace the opportunities of the future with open arms. Sure, adult life holds many more responsibilities, but then it also holds a countless number of opportunities to meet new people, try new things, and see new places.

This summer, I will be seeking internship opportunities and other academic openings, but honestly, I am looking forward to just embracing, after years of study, a summer free of burden. I plan to go back home to Vancouver and spend time exploring and just hanging out with old friends. I’ll certainly continue to study my hobby - politics - in my own time this summer, however.

I’ve been studying at FDIS for a total of six years. As cliché as this may sound, I view my experience at FDIS as journey of self-discovery and change. What I think is special about FDIS is that to a certain degree, it is free of the various social constraints that (I apologize for any assumptions) plague other High Schools. I arrived at FDIS feeling culturally shocked and somewhat constrained to the notion of stereotypes that plagued my school in Canada. I learned that in the FDIS, students weren’t divided based on popularity; everyone was a friend with each other. What really makes FDIS special is that because of the lack of commonplace High School social constraints, there is a lot of mobility; one can become who they choose to be here.

My favorite memory at FDIS would definitely be a film project my friends and I made for English class in grade 10. We had to research the Igbo people of Nigeria for the novel Things Fall Apart and created a film describing their culture. My friends and I had an amazing time filming the whole project. Although we had to spend a lot of time researching and filming, the whole project was enjoyable and amusing; we laughed all the time.

I have the amazing teachers at FDIS to thank for making classes this fun. We definitely did NOT read Shakespeare, make annotations, and write essays. We made films and participated in thought-stimulating workshops.

I took IB in High School; my subjects were History HL, Economics HL, English A, Literature HL, Mandarin B SL, Mathematics SL, and Biology SL. Well, I can’t say that I liked doing IB, but I can say that the way in which it challenges students and develop crucial skills is brilliant. Classes like History HL really brought my level of academic writing to a whole different level. IB didn’t simply ask me to remember; it asked me to evaluate and make my own conclusions.

I was able to enjoy High School life simply because I had my friends by my side. Despite having loads of extracurricular activities as well as a never-ending number of deadlines, what really brought a smile to my face was simply spending time playing sports, hangout out, or just chatting with my friends, even if it was during the five-minute breaks between classes. Balance that with alone time, where you can think critically and reflect, and you have my perfect formula for enjoying High School.

In my opinion, success may be defined as having gradual progress in academics, athletics or art, all the while having an enjoyable time. Some people have loads of fun partying every week in High School, albeit with low grades. Others have superb academic credentials but are constantly under stress. In that context, I do agree that time management is really the key to success. You must be able to balance leisure and responsibility in a way so that you can both enjoy your life, as well as make progress.

I’ve been studying in the international school system for around six years. In terms of education, I believe such programs like the IBDP do a superb job in preparing students for the future. The IBDP develops the critical thinking skills of students explicitly, while subtlety training their time-management. My critique of international school education is its culture. Many times, the students who attend international schools for a long time find themselves aloof from the local culture that surrounds them, and activities such as the IBDP’s Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) simply aren’t effective in solving these issues. In a world that is constantly experiencing rapid globalization, understanding other cultures is imperative.

Advice for fellow students: A tip I would like to give to fellow students at school is to simply relax and look at the bigger picture. Twenty years from now, nobody will care whether you got a 20 or a 36 on the ACT. Instead, people will care about what you did in those twenty years and what type of character you developed. Do not stress excessively on your grades or even on your extracurricular activities. Combining passion with a strong work ethic will eventually get you to your desired place.


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