BRS’s Graduating Cohort: Navigating Their Way Amid Pandemic Challenges

Since the covid-19 epidemic first broke out at the end of 2019, the start of the national fight against the epidemic in 2020, and then at this moment of the year, and if we then look back at these times that have been accompanied by the ebb and flow of the epidemic, the three years have almost passed by in a flash.

Three years into the epidemic are also the same three years that the BRS Class of 2022 students have spent in their senior school period. Let’s take a trip down memory lane, and have a look at what they have experienced during their three years in high school: stopping regular in-class learning twice and moving to online classes; having many major exams cancelled, including IGCSE, AP, TOEFL, IELTS and SAT; missing out on many off-campus activities and plans, such as their favourite overseas university tours and exciting international summer camps. However, to our surprise, the Class of 2022, instead of feeling disappointed, showed far more optimism, calmness and composure in the face of all these unpredictable changes than we could have imagined.

A flash back to September 2019, when there was no covid-19, Zhang Zian, En Hao, Lei Xiang, Bai Zhou, Liu Xiang and Yi Ran entered BRS as 10th graders and have been BRS students ever since.

At that time, the first challenge that Zian had met at BRS was the full-time English teaching class environment. However, Zian, who likes a good challenge, made up his mind from that moment that he would try his best as long as he chose to study abroad. En Hao had no idea that he would choose business for his future career direction at that time, but knew that he should learn English well and lay a solid foundation for his future studies.

Lei Xiang at that time had just transferred to BRS from a public school, and tried hard to adapt to a new curriculum and the full-time English teaching class at BRS. Liu Xiang, who likes to play football, and as the captain of BRS’s Football Team led his team members to compete in a tournament held between international schools in Beijing. Yi Ran was at that time a young girl who was just interested in things relating to fashion, not expecting that one day she would become a person who stepped out of her comfort zone and would become a positive contributor to a broader scope of the world.

Fast forward to the winter vacation of 2020, Wuhan was locked down due to the outbreak of Covid-19 and BRS soon after responded by moving quickly to online teaching, which was a test to the school and teachers, yet was no small challenge to our students who had gotten used to regular in-class teaching. However, with the ebb and flow of the epidemic that followed for the next two years, our students demonstrated tremendous resilience, adapting to the new normal quickly, focusing on the positives when facing the cancellation of several major exams, international competitions and activities, and continuously striving for excellence during their time at BRS.

They have grown up to be aspirational youths who thrive in the presence of a challenge. Zian participated in many local and global competitions: qualifying for the global final in the ISSDC (International Space Settlement Design Competition) and was awarded for the excellent performance in the CTB (China Think Big) Challenge National Final; and was awarded the Medal of Honor of the BRS Youth Diplomats Program, just to name a few.

En Hao developed his business mindset through participating in various competitions: winning two silver medals in the BPA (Business Professionals of America) Competition, a silver medal in promotional branding design at the ASDAN Business Simulation National Competition, and was a finalist in the MEC (Model Entrepreneur Competition). In addition, En Hao, who strives during challenges and is open-minded, says the epidemic gave him an opportunity to envision and step foot down a new path in life. As a result, he opened a Café shop, and his operation on the Douyin platform which is also very successful, currently houses roughly 100,000 followers.

All our students have grown up to be responsible youths who have demonstrated their strength. During Wuhan’s lockdown in early 2020, Yi Ran, together with her classmates, was the first to rise and immediately organized outreach activities, which became memorable and one of the most meaningful things she has done at BRS. Also in the same year, Yi Ran’s classmates Jinshui Gaoxiang and Cui Fenghao and members of the Heartwarming Volunteer Club raised 10,000 yuan of charity funds in only 3 days. They delivered the purchased supplies to the Wuhan Fourth Hospital.

During Liu Xiang’s high school years at BRS, he primarily focused on a volunteering program in Cambodia, where he went and served in a local primary school in his junior high. Zian established a welfare system in his Grade 11 class, leading his classmates to raise funds and reached out to elderly nursing institutions, children’s welfare houses and under-developed areas. En Hao has been working at the Guo Shoujing Museum as a public service interpreter since his junior year. He has been very committed to this activity, and each time he writes a script by himself and also goes to rehearse the interpretation a day in advance. On the other hand, during the winter break of enter year, Lei Xiang was given the opportunity to intern at a legal aid center, responsible for organizing and recording documentation claims. This experience gave her a more intuitive and profound knowledge of various social issues such as domestic violence, scams, and troubled youth.

They have grown up to be passionate youths who devote great enthusiasm and dedication to what they love. Bai Zhou exhibited his artwork series-themed Chernobyl in the AP2D art exhibition held on campus in April this year. There, he expressed and conveyed his perceptions about life, death, and time using creative art forms. One month earlier this year, Yi Ran served as a member of the planning team for BRS’s coming-of-age ceremony and did an excellent job in artistic design for the event.

Three years have passed, and their values have positively impacted the communities around them and now they’re ready for the next exciting step. Zhang Zian, En Hao, and Lei Xiang will matriculate into New York University this Fall of 2022. Yi Ran, Bai Zhou and Liu Xiang have been accepted into the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, University of the Arts London, and University of Washington, Seattle, respectively. There they will continue to explore their academic and personal interests, with their Alma Mater looking forward to hearing from their future accomplishments. The Class of 2022 has left a legacy of excellency, hard work and valuable character that we are very proud of as a school.