Personal moments were shared with the crowd at the Tsinghua International School Class of ‘11 graduation
Graduation season is almost at an end. We congratulate all high school graduates from Beijing’s international schools, and wish you all the best in your future endeavors! Check out our coverage of all of Beijing’s international high school graduations here. And stay tuned for the conclusion of the series beginning Monday.
Tsinghua International School — bid farewell to its six graduating seniors June 22. The six individuals dressed in black caps and gowns with purple scarves, the traditional school color.
The ceremony began with a speech from THIS’ executive principal, then an inspiring guest speech by long-term Beijing expat Sabina Brady, one of the founders of WAB and past country director for the Clinton Foundation in Beijing. Brady shared her words of wisdom with graduates, telling them to embrace the unexpected (“yi wai” (意外) as she put it in Chinese) because in ‘life there are no straight lines.’ Sabina also enlightened the graduates by attempting to define the meaning of success — she believes that success is not achieved through material wealth, but that success can come in all shapes and sizes, regardless of how much money you have.
Collectively the graduates have been offered places at 12 universities: Colulmbia University, UC Berkeley, University of Southern California, UCLA, University of Michigan, UC San Diego, Fordham University, Indiana University, Michigan State University, Drexel University, Arkansas State University and Trinity Western (Canada).
Check out some images from the graduation here.
In addition to the seniors, 5th and 8th graders at the school were honored at the ceremony for moving on to middle school and high school, respectively. Graduates shared personalized heartfelt picture presentations of all the memorable times they had shared together, including pictures from childhood. Schoolmates cheered on one another as their friends received awards for leadership and academics.
Excited parents, siblings and teachers cheered on as the graduates took the stage one by one. Rather than choosing one student to deliver a speech, THIS gave all six of its graduates a chance to offer a short personal statement. Here are the speeches:
Rui (Rick) Chen: I believe that if all people could capture the opportunity presented to them, they would be amazed with what they can achieve. Last May, I was assigned to do a rap “Love the Way You Lie” by Eminem. English is not my first language, so I listened to the song hundreds of times to imitate the way the singer rapped. I tried and failed thousands of times during the process. I never expected that I could rap, but I did it, and I believe everybody in this school can achieve success. Many of you are really talented geniuses; many of you are hardworking students. Cherish the good qualities you possess. Lastly, I want to say that while people come and go, leaving doesn’t mean losing; departure doesn’t mean forgetting. I really appreciate that you came into my life and were beside me all along the way. I love you all.
Daniel Huang: Playing the drums is mainly about keeping time, but when I play, I feel relief from the burdens of time. I start with my bass drum on a solid quarter note beat, until it becomes an integral part of me, like the beating of my heart. I then lift my two arms and initiate a dynamic dialogue between my toms, mindful of the pulse generated by my bass drum. Gradually, I build in volume and intensity until the climax, where I release all my remaining energy and pent-up emotion, ending with an invigorating crash! One thing I know: I love drumming. The energy, excitement, and empowerment of the drums all serve to drown out all the nuisances that I encounter on a daily basis. To me, drumming is like life itself: it’s fun, it’s satisfying, and it’s an indispensible form of self-expression, a catalyst for rejuvenation and transformation. It is an essential and undeniable part of my existence.
Yan Jin: I have many beliefs. I believe that one day soon, we shall achieve world peace, that racism and discrimination will end once and for all. I believe that answering all the scientific questions in the world is not always for the best and that men should start to bond more with Mother Nature. I value culture and books because they are what make us different and interesting. I believe in valuing friends and family more than money. I value their well-being and happiness well before my own. I will never forget the memories I made with my friends here at T.H.I.S. I want to tell the next graduation class – "See you later, suckers!" Ok, just joking. I want to tell them, study hard and be ready to fill out your college applications. Don’t worry, because after January you’re basically free! I also want to say thank you. Thank you for all the time we spent together at T.H.I.S., thank you for allowing me to meet you all. And, thank you for becoming my second family. I’ll miss you all.
Cory Guo-Chuen Lee: T.H.I.S. is my first international school. Before that, I was in a Chinese school; I knew that what I learned there was only useful for tests and exams. Now being a graduating student, I value the time I’ve spent here. I still remember the first time I came to T.H.I.S. That first year I nearly failed all my classes. And now as I go to college, everything will be new once again, and I will soon have to adapt once more. Schools have a tradition of graduates leaving some suggestions to the younger classes. I would say this: “I applied my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. For in much wisdom is much folly, and those who increase knowledge also increase sorrow. The only thing to stop this is to give oneself more entertainment, and to relax.” That is my opinion, and that is who I am.
Wing Yan Lun (Renee) Lun: I believe that people should learn from their past mistakes. Live your life to the fullest and remember all your experiences because no matter how bad or good it was, they all play an important role in your lives, especially in helping us mature. I believe people must learn to be independent, and once a person gets enough experience, they will become successful. Personally speaking, I think that the most important thing in life is that you can’t lose your friends. During hard times, one has their friends’ comfort and support to help them get through it. And when my life ends, I will tell God that even though my life was short, it was memorable. Thank you for allowing me to be born into a world where I had loving friends and family. If not for them, I would probably be a lost and wandering soul. I had great times at T.H.I.S. and I am happy to be able to meet every one of you, because you all are my brothers and sisters. Thank you.
Kyoung Hyun (Kevin) Na: I came to T.H.I.S and learned what leadership is. When I got in student council I was the 11th grade representative. My responsibility was to the 11th graders and helping the faculty advisors build up our school community. To be honest, many times I was really upset with the school class president because his ideas were greatly different from how I envisioned the school to be. Once I reached 12th grade, I joined the volleyball team, basketball team and soccer team, and became a captain for all three teams. I yelled a lot, got angry a lot, and didn’t know how to be a good team leader – someone who encourages his teammates, even when there seems to be no hope. Throughout the year, I was able to grasp the idea and what it took to be a good leader. Mr. Webb taught me this; he was like a father to me, mentoring me and teaching me about how to lead a team. Even though he always called me a loser, I knew he meant it with love. I think this school has changed me for the better; I wish you all luck at T.H.I.S., it will be a memorable part of your life.