Sarah Shen – Class of 2019, International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

  • Finalist for South China Morning Post (SCMP) Student-of-the-Year Award Sportsperson
  • Silver medalist for ISSFHK Fencing Championships Saber U20 Girls
  • SISHK House Leader, Marshall House

University Offer: The University California, San Diego, USA (Psychology, with Athletic Scholarship for fencing)

High school to most people will be like riding a rollercoaster. Sometimes you triumph and achieve the results you want, but a lot of times you also need to deal with the inevitable obstacles that come in your way. The journey of International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is a true testament of how much one can overcome these challenges. My decision to take on this IB ride at SISHK was definitely one of the most important and best decisions I have made.

One thing I appreciate most here is the tight-knit community the school cultivates where teachers, students, and peers have a strong bond with each other. Especially in the IB program, there is a mentee-mentor system where each student is paired with a teacher to guide them through schoolwork, CAS projects, and general well-being. Their assistance has played a vital role in making my IB journey smoother and easier.

I would say that my greatest achievement in the IB programme would be leading Marshall House, one of the four houses in school, to victory while coping with my schoolwork. Through this unforgettable experience, I have learnt that communication is key when you become a leader in order to unite everyone and that success is always a collaborative effort instead of one-man job.

Of course, I had challenges in which I struggled with my time management because I had too much on my plate, and occasionally our natural tendency to procrastinate. To overcome this, I made a schedule for myself to follow as well as breaking up big projects into smaller tasks. By the end of my journey, I realised that this was one of the most crucial strategies in keeping me on track.

To all SISHK newcomers, I can assure you that studying here will be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. There are many leadership opportunities in school and do not be afraid to take them up. One can always try and fail, but should never fail to try.