Through all the academic courses and projects that I did on this Form, I grew up a lot. Form 7 opened up my view and made me confront my future for the first time in my life.
Before I came to Delphian, I was already worrying about my future. I was worried about getting a real job, getting paid and giving myself a decent life. It wasn't really pleasant to think about my future back then.
Through the first few courses that I did on Form 7, I found out that it was because I didn't even have a goal. On the Looking to the Future courses, I created a personal life plan, starting with my goals. It took me a while to write my first plan. Later, my goal changed a few times. Obviously, I had to realign my plan. Though I still haven't decided on what I want to do in the future, I have the tools to help me achieve my future goals.
I gained a lot from the first few academic courses that I did on this Form, but where I learned the most was doing projects. My dad provided me the opportunities to work in the fields that I was interested in.
For my career apprenticeship project, I was able to work at an interior design company. It was probably one of the greatest experiences that I have had in my life. During those two weeks of work, I gained experience working in the real world. I learned how important it is to act professionally in everything that you do. I received a decent paycheck on my last day of work. From that, I realized how hard it is to earn money.
Finishing Form 7 is probably the best accomplishment of my life so far. I'm glad that I made the decision to stay at Delphian and graduate. It's been a long journey, but worth it.
I wrote this recently for a college essay, and I wanted to share it with you.
“She is willing to take other people’s advice and improve herself, but she is a spoiled child,” said my music teacher to everyone in the school band. My cheeks and ears turned scarlet. The room was silent, and everyone seemed to be staring at me. It was the most embarrassing moment I’ve ever had in my life, but it was also a great learning experience for me.
My teacher's comment struck me hard and woke me up from the world that I’d been living in for years. Because of this single sentence, I started to realize that was how I’d been presenting myself. It was horrible. There ought to be some changes, I told myself at that moment. It sounded easy, but I didn’t know what I should change. I found the answer after I came to study in the United States.
One day, my parents and I made the decision. As soon as I finished middle school, I would go study at a boarding school in the United States. That was the turning point of my life. When I first came to the United States, I didn’t think there would be a lot of changes in my life. I thought I was just here to get a better education. I also thought that I could do everything without my parents being there. I was totally wrong.
I remember the first time that I had to do my laundry. I knew I needed laundry soap and a washer to wash my clothes, but I didn’t know how to use the washer! I was a really shy girl who could only speak a little bit of English. I was confused and didn’t have the courage to ask other people for help. So I just stood there, trying to figure out how to use the washer. I was probably there, figuring out how to operate that machine, for three minutes before a girl came up to me and offered me help.
After this incident, I found the answer. I was spoiled from head to toe. That was the first time I realized I basically couldn’t do anything without my parents. Doing laundry was one of the simplest things, and I wasn’t even capable of doing it by myself. I told myself that I needed to grow up, be independent and be responsible for my own life.
From that point on, I started to look at myself with different eyes. I knew that there were a lot of things that I had to learn just to survive. By observing other people and gaining more knowledge at school, I started to know how to do more and more things. Also, I improved myself by observing what qualities I liked in a person. Then I tried to learn the good qualities and avoid the bad ones.
That single statement from my music teacher was the most embarrassing moment of my life, but it also taught me a life lesson. Without my music teacher pointing this out, I wouldn’t have been able to spot my shortcomings and improve myself.
As part of your Form 7 (11th grade) academic program there are two required projects that all students do. These are the Apprenticeship Project and Career Interest Project. Through these projects, you get to explore different careers that you're interested in and prepare for your higher education.
When I went home for break to Taiwan this past summer, I spent two weeks doing my Apprenticeship Project. I am interested in interior design, and my dad helped me set up an apprenticeship with a friend of his who works in the industry. His company is a large interior design company, and they're running a lot of different projects. Some projects were small, such as designing an apartment; others were very big, such as designing the offices for huge companies. My apprenticeship job at the firm was to be a designer's assistant, and I did various things to help out.
My first week was spent mainly working on researching, because they were preparing for a presentation for a really big case. I was asked to search for pictures that could be used as designing inspirations, for information about plants that are able to live under certain conditions and to do other jobs to help them prepare for their presentation. Though these tasks sounded easy, they were really time consuming. I thought my jobs wouldn't take me long, but there were times that I actually spent my whole day sitting in front of my computer and searching for pictures. And for the pictures that I found, I had to get an approval from my boss. There were so many times that I had to delete what I found and look for new ones.
The first Friday working in the company was the most exciting day. I went there at around 9 in the morning ready to work. At around 9:30, one of the designers came up to me and said, "You're going to the construction site with us today."
That project was a small one. It was an apartment that belongs to one of the designers' friends. I stayed there with two other co-workers for about 4 hours making sure everything was in good condition so we would be able to finish the project. It was a really amazing experience for me. It was really cool to see what kind of perfection interior designers are pursuing.
My second week of work was really interesting. I was mainly working on organizing the office. The company has a place where they store all different kinds of materials, such as rocks, wooden boards, carpets and etc. for the designers to use in developing their designs. As you probably knew, artists' working environments are usually really messy. I was asked to organize everything that was left on the table. By doing this, I felt all different kinds of materials that the artists use in their designs. You might think that organizing materials was a boring job, but I actually learned a lot just by doing this.
My two-week apprenticeship was the greatest experience in my life. During those two weeks, I had to wake up at around 7 in the morning and leave the house by 8. Then I had to walk to the bus stop, take the bus to the subway station, take the subway, walk to a different bus stop, take another bus and walk to the company. It took me around an hour from my cousin's house to the company. I experienced the reality of life and having a job. Though I did Summer Internship at school for 7 weeks and learned a lot from it, this apprenticeship was at least a hundred times better.
I started Form 7 (11th grade) after returning from Winter Break. I've heard a lot of people said that Form 7 is really awesome. When I started it, I didn't really notice any difference. I went to course at 8:30 and did my work. Everything was just like Form 6 (9th and 10th grade) to me, I would say. But after moving further into my program and getting through some of the Form 7 courses, I actually started to feel the difference.
On Form 7, the first course that you do is called Education. This course teaches you how education started, the history behind it, and what education as an idea actually is. It is a pretty good course. When I was on this course, I got to teach little kids by applying the data that I learned. It was a really really good experience.
Also, at the end of the course, I had to teach myself a new skill. Since I love science and math, I chose to teach myself how to solve a Rubik's Cube. This idea sounded a little crazy even to myself. I thought that it would be really hard, and I would never be able to do it in 10 hours, which is the maximum amount of time you can spend on this practical assignment.
But I did it! I applied what I learned from the course, and guess what? I taught myself how to solve a Rubik's Cube in 3 hours! It was really really amazing.
Before I came to Delphian, I wasn't a responsible student. I wasn't willing to do my homework and I even slept during the classes that I didn't like. Though I never really studied, I never flunked a subject on final exams. In some ways, this made my situation even worse. Since I knew that I would still pass the tests without actually studying, I wasn't willing to study, especially science.
When I was in 9th grade in Taiwan, my parents found out about Delphian School. I'd been wanting to study abroad for a long time, and suddenly I had the chance. The reason why my parents picked Delphian was because Delphian would care about students' ethics. My mom refused to send me to any other school besides Delphian, so I came for the summer in 2008.
Delphian changed me a lot. I started to actually study and be more responsible for myself. Every time I went home for break, my parents always told me that I had changed. They said that I had grown up a lot.
Life at Delphian has been pretty good, but of course it's not perfect. There were a lot of times that I missed my parents, my family and my friends. Because Delphian really challenges you in every area of your life (from academics to responsibility to integrity and ethics), there were many times that I wanted to quit and go home, but I always ended up staying, and I'm so glad that I did!
Delphi is giving me not only a better education, but also it is helping me find out who I actually am as a person.