Vani Gupta: The Superlative Senior
In this week’s edition of Student Blogs, we introduce Year 13 student Vani Gupta. Originally from India, Vani has been with Yew Chung International School of Beijing for seven years where she’s developed into one of the student body’s most charitably active and academically high-achieving members.
Fresh off the news of her scholarship offer to the University of British Columbia, Vani shares details of her favorite school memories, her plans after graduation, and her advice for younger students during their time at YCIS Beijing.
Please Introduce yourself.
My name is Vani Gupta. I’m from India, but I’ve lived in China for almost ten years. I’ve been at YCIS Beijing since I was in Year 6, and I’m currently a Year 13 student.
Do you still remember your first day? What were your first impressions of the school?
I do remember, actually. I was extremely shy, and I didn’t talk to people very much, so coming to a new school was very terrifying. The first thing I remember was that I walked into a classroom and sat down, and the student next to me immediately asked me, “What’s your name?”. Then she started a conversation with me.
My first impression was that everyone was so friendly and welcoming. I hadn’t expected that, as such a shy person, I would be able to integrate into the community as easily as I did.
In what ways has YCIS Beijing influenced your personality over the years?
I’ve always been an academic person. I’ve always been really invested in my studies, but YCIS Beijing helped me come out of my shell. It encouraged me to open up and be more extroverted. It helped me with my confidence as well because everyone is so supportive. In that way it really changed my personality, because of all the support you get from your teachers and your friends.
Do you have a favourite memory of your time here?
I don’t have a specific favourite memory, but I do have lots of little ones, and most of them involve my friends and I laughing together for absolutely no reason. It’s the little things for me that make my day.
I remember one example, a friend and I stayed after school to do some work for Roots & Shoots. Though there were some problems we had to solve that day, and the situation normally could have been stressful, we had a great time working together (at one point laughing continuously for 10 minutes), and it ended up being one of my best memories here at school.
It’s the many little memories I’ve collected along the way that have made YCIS Beijing great for me.
What are your plans after graduation?
I plan on going to the University of British Columbia (UBC), and I want to study behavioral neuroscience. I’m hoping that, at the very least, I’ll do a master’s degree, and possibly do a PhD.
Why did you choose UBC, and how do you feel it will help you to achieve your future career goals?
I chose UBC in part because it has a very good international community. We’ve had students from YCIS Beijing go there, and I’ve heard a lot of great things about it. It also has an amazing research programme, which I think will help me if I decide to pursue a career in neuroscience research.
How have your teachers helped prepare you for university?
One of the many examples was my English teacher during IGCSE. He made me very tough, in a good way, compared to how I was as a shy young student.
When I go to university, I’m going to be completely alone, halfway around the world, without family or friends. And in times such as those, it’s important to be strong. My teachers have helped me to become more independent, and I believe that it’s small things – such as encouraging me to speak up, for example – that will help me most in university.
What advice do you have for younger students as they continue their studies at YCIS Beijing?
I think that the best piece of advice I can give to younger students is to make the most of your time, because it’s not going to come back. In dealing with procrastination, for example, even when you think you don’t have a lot of time, take advantage of the little bit of time that you do have. Work hard, and use that time however you feel is best – whether that’s studying, reading, spending time with your friends, etc – make a decision on how you want to use that time, and don’t regret it later on.