Transferring to another high school in 11th grade is probably the most critical change I have ever made to my education career. To make this decision, thousand-like factors need to be considered, and every move on this chess plate will be a massive change in every aspect of my future. This has to be done very carefully, and there's a lot I want to share with you during all of those considerations and decisions.
In July 2018, I've been to MIT, attending a summer program for one month. During my presence, the professor at MIT has invited me to visit a high school, Phillips Academy, which I haven't even heard before. After the visit at Phillips Academy, I have decided to enroll in a high school program in the USA, which, as a 17 years old child, a tough decision to make. Before the visit, I even don't notice that in the next year I will go to the USA to continue with my high school career. Those precious moments were memorable fragments of me as a person and also critical turning points as a student.
After returning to China and the delivery of my thoughts, my mom and dad, both indicate that they will support me. It's at this moment that, probably the first critical change I've made in my education career, has started to act as a year-long plan.
Choice of Schools
Choice of schools is one of the most mind-consuming and the lack of information part in the whole application process. Niche is the one I used the most, given by their thorough and accurate information provided on a platform which is easy to be used with. Google Maps has helped me on the other way of looking at the street views and comparing the distance between essential public accessories as well as the transportation convenience.
Because high school application is not submitted through a unified system, unlike college, you have to submit through several different systems, and sometimes even the self-built systems by the schools. In this progress, I found that it is tough to keep yourself updated to the status of your application due to the differential operating methods of those systems. I then highly recommended that you use an external tracker of all the schools you’ve applied to. I’ve been using Excel as my tracker due to its powerful filter and formula features so that I can easily see the overall statistics and filter out schools by specific statuses.
Everyone has their unique and unusual point where they can be proud of - either can you. But to express yourself as the one you indeed are is not as easy as it seems. It will go through a lot of thinking, includes viewing yourself as a third-party. Here's some step you might want to follow:
- Try to use dedicated six hours to dig through your memory - remember what did you do in your childhood that relates or contributes to your interest at today. Then follow along with it and try to catch the very moment that changes you to the person you are at today. I recalled that at the time my mom taught me how to use the
Ctrl-Cto copy and
Ctrl-Vto paste I have been planted a seed in my whole life, who will seek through technology.
- Read it over and over again - just like proofreading an article, but this time, yourself.
- Get evidence - persuade yourself using images, publications, or even audio recordings. After you persuaded yourself you would be able to convince others using the evidence you've got in your mind.
I must say that in a high school application progress, the agency might be necessary due to various reasons, so to have control over critical things is very important.
- You MUST proofread every material before they submit them - some of the agencies might provide partial or corrupted student profiles due to unknown reasons. They might forget to fill in a blank or even forget to add a critical attachment that you have already told them to submit. It does happens, so make very sure what they are providing to the school.
- You MUST have complete control of your human rights - this is no joke. Some agencies might ask you to even agree to several medical authorizations to them which if you are careful enough to read the contract, it might be dangerous for you.
- You MUST read the contract thoroughly and consider every possible occurrence of events before you sign any official documents - this could be very harmful to you if you didn't.
- At last, be aware that whenever the time is for those agencies they are going to be the one who will probably NOT - you are their clients, and the relationship between you and the agency stays what's commercially defined. You are not their babies, neither they are your parents, and everything will be done according to the contract if you go against it. The agency will not care about you when there's any conflict between you and them.
Be very careful when dealing with them, and remember what I said until the contract between you and the agency has outdated or has been invalidated in a lawful manner.
All of those experiences were valuable for both the one applying for high school and even the one that's applying for college. I hope this can guide you through some of the blurry moments in the application progress.