Editor's Note: This is a young girl from Shanxi province who has strong learning ability, actively participates in class activities, and has a wide range of interests. She loves photography, food, fitness, drums, painting, etc. As she said in the interview, "I want my life to be colorful, challenging and surprising." During the years of studying alone in Shanghai, Olivia not only successfully adapted to international education, but also explored her true self in it.
Introduction to Grinnell College: Founded in 1846, it is located in Ihoney and is ranked 11th in the United States in 2019. Academic facilities cover an area of 120 acres, including the Noyce Science Research Center and Bucks Baum Art Center dedicated to architectural tourism; the Canard Environmental Research Area, which covers an area of 365 acres, is 14 miles from the college and is used for research and teaching. The college has a strong cultural transformation. There are about 1,500 students in the school, located in Grinnell, one of the "most beautiful towns in America", with a beautiful, elegant and safe environment. The teacher-student ratio of the school is 8:1, students and teachers have many opportunities for communication, and students receive more attention. The school is ranked among the top 15 law schools, business schools, and medical schools in the United States by the Wall Street Times.
Since I was young, my academic performance at school has been maintained at a level that I personally think is excellent, and the maintenance of high grades is mainly due to my concentration in class. Being focused in class allows me to fully understand the knowledge and solve my problems in time, so that the completion of homework after class is efficient. Secondly, the concentration in class is not only dependent on my own efforts, but also the way the teacher teaches. It is fortunate that the classes in my school are very interactive and interesting; at least I enjoy the class a lot. But it is undeniable that for some subjects that I subjectively consider to be boring, my grade counts on the effort after class. All in all, in terms of academic performance, my suggestion is to actively participate in class.
I, who can't stay idle, hope my life is colorful, full of challenges and surprises. Therefore, when I first arrived in Shanghai for my 10th grade, I found a music studio and an oil painting studio to learn drumming and oil painting. Less than two years of learning drums and oil painting made my weekend fulfilling. With my enthusiasm and the support of people around me, I have completed one after another piece of melody or painting. Moreover, I love to watch dramas and visit art exhibitions from time to time. Every activity improves my personal aesthetic skill and perspectives on new things. Of course, as a person who is willing to travel 30km to try a dish, I have unlimited enthusiasm for all kinds of food and new restaurants, new dishes, and novel cooking methods. With the encouragement my teachers, I cultivated my hobbies and developed my weekend lifestyle, which made my study and life in Shanghai more profound and more special. Life has never been defined. As long as we start with ourselves, we can reap the true life style and value of our own life.
Preparation of application materials -- Re-examine myself
The four months or so of preparing to apply for university was the time I grew most in my high school life. First of all, in the process of preparing for extracurricular activities and the standardized tests, I suffered all the setbacks. At the beginning, I was always disappointed with the results I got. I thought that such results failed all my efforts and concentration in the process. I began to doubt myself, and was full of anger at the unsatisfactory results. But my application consultant always encouraged me , "You have good grades; don’t put too much pressure on yourself; this is just a small fragment of your high school life." Anyway, with her support, I didn't look back -because it had passed, and I had worked hard in the process, then i should just let it go and focus on completing the present task. After the application was over, I thought about my struggles in those days. It’s no big deal anymore, since I worked hard, persisted, and gained from the experience. In this case, all the results are the best arrangements. Secondly, preparing the paperwork also made me re-examine myself. When I first started brainstorming on the subject of the essay, I was lost-I felt that I had no shining points, and nothing special that would make me stand out, but in the words of Chris, "Many students may have participated in an Indian leadership program, or can play drums, or like to experience new culture through food, but if we put these three together, then you are the only one." After listening to Chris, I suddenly I realized that I didn't need to have any unique characteristics and experiences, because I am already a unique individual. All I need to do is to sincerely introduce myself through a story in the document. Applying for a university is a painful process, but when I learn to focus on myself and focus on the present, I have already reaped the most valuable thing in my high school. I don't know if these mental journeys will leave a strong mark in my life, but I can tell myself clearly now that "pain" is worthwhile and can be rewarded.
In short, being focused in class, an enriching after-school life, self-recognition, and living in the present are the fruits of my three-year self-improvement in high school. The upcoming college life is also one of the gains of my high school, but it is not the end of one of my life stage. The transition from high school to college is more like going from a familiar environment that belongs to me to an unknown that will belong to me as well. In this new environment, everything will change but the protagonist is still me. I came to know who I am. This is my wonderful high school experience.