22 Jul, 2019
10 : 00
After spending an activity filled three and a half years at Yew Chung International School of Beijing, Chloe Sandifer-Stech dedicated the last academic semester engrossing herself in the Beijing life with the friends she made as they were all preparing to disperse across the world for their undergraduate studies. Below is a conversation we had about her high school experience, highlights and some of the lessons she learned before she headed to study at Furman University where she will pursue a degree in Earth and Environmental Science.
How are you feeling about graduating from Secondary School?Leaving high school is bittersweet. It’s very relieving that I’m finished with IBDP, but I’ll miss all of my teachers, friends, and experiences I’ve had at YCIS Beijing. These last four years at YCIS Beijing have been absolutely transformative - I involved myself in many activities I did not anticipate doing. From performing Legally Blonde to joining the basketball team to play with the school orchestra, I’ll hold these memories close when looking back on secondary school.
Looking back at your time at YCIS Beijing, how would you like to describe this education experience? What do you think is special about YCIS Beijing?The last four years at YCIS Beijing have been incredibly challenging but also equally rewarding. IGCSE and the IBDP programme are much more challenging curriculums than what is offered at most public schools in the United States, so when I first came to YCIS Beijing it took a while to adjust to the academic rigor. However, at YCIS Beijing I have had such incredible teachers who have nurtured and helped me along throughout. The small class sizes allow for students to develop close relationships with teachers and make it easier to receive extra help.
What have been some of your best memories during your time at YCIS Beijing or something that you are most proud of during your time here?One of the most significant moments for me was when I auditioned and landed the lead role of Elle in our School’s production of Legally Blonde in 2017. It was the first time I had ever participated in a musical. Learning such a large quantity of lines and songs was challenging, but the feeling of performing at school by far made it all worth it. I’ve also enjoyed being on the basketball and soccer team at my school. Attending annual ACAMIS tournaments were especially fun, we always really bond as a team even if we don’t place well in the end.
High School years is quite tough for most students. Was it challenging to you too? How did you manage to enjoy your High School life?I found the IBDP programme extremely difficult. Trying to juggle the arduous amounts of coursework, content, as well as college application materials sometimes seemed impossible- and had negative effects on my mental and emotional health. Despite this, extracurricular activities offered at YCIS helped to balance out academic stress and make it more enjoyable. Although IBDP requires students to be involved in extracurricular activities, I always had lots of fun in them. I was a part of the basketball team, soccer team, and orchestra the past two years. I also lead the Period Project and Roots and Shoots at YCIS for some time as well.
Many students say time management is the key to success in High School. Do you agree and what else matters most?Agree 100%! Complete assignments in a timely manner is imperative to make sure you stay on top of your work. If you don’t finish work on time it quickly adds up! (from personal experience). It is so important to figure out a schedule that works for you- I work best using lists where I can cross out things I have completed so I have a visual depiction of what I still need to get done. Being able to see it on paper makes tasks seem less overwhelming as well.Establishing a healthy work-life balance is also very important to give yourself a break from the pressures of school. Sometimes taking a break is the best thing for yourself. Your mental, physical, and emotional health should be prioritized always.
What advice do you have for the fellow students at school?Hindsight is an interesting thing- during IBDP I was always very sleep-deprived and stressed. Now that it’s over I am able to recognize the blessings I had around me. Don’t forget to thank your teachers for everything they do. IBDP is tough and I’ve had some of the best teachers help me through assignments that would have been impossible for me if I had tried to do them on my own. They are here to help you.
The best of wishes to Chloe who also received a $20 000 scholarship per annum for all four years of her degree from top institution, Furman University. We hope the next four years are filled with continued learning, confidence and adventure.
The interview with Chloe was conducted by a journalist form Little Star magazine.The full interview will be published in the summer issue of the magazine.