Class of 2022, University of California, Santa Barbara
1.The start of the story between SCIE and me.
This story began and ended with COVID-19. I still remember that everyone lived in terror and uncertainty in the spring of 2020. The appearance of online classes brought me a chance to study at will: I do not have any plans or goals for the first and following years of high school. I tried lots of general curriculum that I had never heard of before in middle school. My parents were worried about my state of lying all the time, so they decided to register for the entrance exam of SCIE in pursuit of its reputation. Because of a new goal, I had to study hard. My result proved that we should have the courage to try! I, who had never held out hope, was accepted.
I was struck at the beginning of SCIE. The A-level study requires accumulation of IGCSE for two years. Mathematics is the subject that has the most negligible impact on me. Still, the situation for me to study the other three subjects is like “kindergarten children accidentally break into the junior high school class,” especially Chemistry. I just listened to the teacher without any understanding. My teacher Paul Murray explained all knowledge in a fast-paced way. As Chemistry has various terms, I couldn’t even grasp the key points in class and take any notes. I can only barely complete assignments and quizzes with the chemistry knowledge in G9. Fortunately, in SCIE, a magical place for study, as long as you want to learn, there is nothing you can’t get. When I emailed the teacher about my trouble, Paul Murray sent me a lot of IGCSE PowerPoint he used and told me which chapters I needed to focus on. Besides, classmates of SCIE must be our forever pillars. Everyone in SCIE is willing to share their own learning experience and methods. No one will hide it. They taught me how to understand each key and hard point and shared their expertise and summary after finishing the past paper. Sometimes, their experience as a student is even better than the teacher’s explanation. Thanks to my friends, my chemistry climbed from B in EOS to A* in the real A-level exam.
3. Step on the road of Mathematics
As mentioned above, Mathematics is like the rising sun in chaos for me at A1. It was my spiritual pillar when I entered SCIE. It gave me self-confidence and inspired me to explore further in this field. Therefore, I chose my major which is related to mathematics. Now, I would like to thank Michael Jin in A1, Ting Kang and Mark Ostrowicz in A2, who gave me unlimited support and kept me on the road of mathematics. Michael always had a good temper. No matter how stupid the question we asked, he always answered with a smile, and he gave us enough freedom in class. Ting Kang is like our mother in mathematics. She supported us firmly and encouraged us without hesitation, so that I always had an inexplicable self-confidence when I solved a problem, thinking, “I can do it.” Although Mark Ostrowicz was a new teacher last year, his teaching experience is not “new” at all. He was an “old urchin.” I still remember that during the Oxbridge interview week, many students needed to concentrate on preparing for their interviews, so few of them could attend the class. Mark recorded his problem-solving ideas and attached them next to each question and knowledge point, so that every student could hear them. He was also not a very strict teacher. When we had trouble or questioned his ideas, he would also be very patient in listening to our doubts and opinions. I am grateful to all my math teachers for their support and help, giving me the courage to explore more profound and challenging math problems.
4. My application
I might be the student who only applies to the U.S. university. In the beginning, I heard lots of doubts from my friends. After all, as a student in the top A-level school in China, I have no reason to step on an unwelcome road. However, after the whole application season, I realized: Don’t regret your decision. Choose bravely and firmly.
I understand that the Education mode of British University is not suitable for me. I could not immerse myself in the Mathematics World for three years. I need to probe to breathe secretly in other disciplines to discover my potential. Therefore, I made my rebellious but overthinking decision. What the application season brings us is an excavation and reflection on ourselves, an opportunity for us to think about what we want, and a chance to choose our destiny. During my application season, I faced setbacks and blows several times, but what kept me going again and again was that I kept telling myself: Believe in myself and believe in every choice I make.