Concordia Shanghai May 12 2022

Class of '22 Road to College: Aiming to Shine a Light

The graduation season is upon us, and we are extremely excited for our Class of 2022 graduates who are preparing to set off to universities across the globe on the “Road to College.”

In this annual series, we hear from a few Concordia seniors who provide a glimpse of the unique experiences that helped define their high school lives and prepared them for the next leg of their journey.

Today we hear from Ryan Su, who, throughout his high school career, not only cultivated an interest in the study of biology but also explored his passion for music, sports, and service.

Concordia-Road-to-College-Ryan-S-May-12-2022-10-42-54-56-AMHow did you feel when you got the news of your acceptance?

It was a mixture of happiness and relief. To be honest, I don’t think it truly set in until a week after I found out about my acceptance. Obviously, I was extremely happy to go to my top choice school, however at that moment I was mainly relieved that I was done with the college admissions process.

Concordia-Road-to-College-Ryan-S-4-1Do you know already which school you will attend, and can you tell us what makes it a good fit for you?

I’ll be attending Duke University next semester. Duke was my top choice because I think it’s a place where I can pursue my passions, whether they’re academic or not. What really stood out to me was Duke’s different programs and organizations that contribute to a really vibrant student life. Whether it’s pursuing my passions as part of a student organization, or cheering on the Duke Blue Devils on gameday, I can’t wait to be immersed in the Duke community and meet people from all over the world.


Is there a particular program or field of study you want to pursue?

Currently, I’m planning on majoring in Biomedical Engineering (BME). Obviously, that could change down the line, but I’m pretty sure I’ll end up graduating with a degree related to biology. I think BME is an interesting field since it combines my two main academic interests in biology and engineering/physics.


In your opinion, what made your application stand out?

I think one reason that my application may have stood out to Duke was because I put an emphasis on making my application holistic and well-rounded. I try my best in academics, but I also have engaged in many other fields such as athletics, service, and music during my time in high school. In my application, I wanted to emphasize that I was a person who had a variety of interests and would take advantage of all the different opportunities Duke would provide me.

Concordia-Road-to-College-Ryan-S-2-1Which classes, programs, and/or faculty at Concordia helped support your interest in your planned field of study?

I think the class that really made me decide on choosing BME as a major was Independent Research. In that class, my partner and I independently researched and worked on a research project about a genetic disease. Although we never got to finish our project, I think my time in the class made me realize my passion in scientific research. I’d also say that my teachers for Freshman Biology and AP Biology really inspired me to further pursue the subject. Learning from them really helped me be engrossed in the wide and complex world of biology – a world I hope to shine more light on in the future.

Concordia-Road-to-College-Ryan-S-3-1Are there any other activities (clubs, teams, projects) that had a significant impact on you during your time at Concordia?

I really enjoyed my time as a student athlete at Concordia. I participated in varsity soccer and volleyball, and I think those activities really helped me grow as a person. If I could use one word to describe my time as an athlete at Concordia, it would be “fun”. High school can be stressful and mundane sometimes, but I think collaborating with my teammates in soccer and volleyball really helped high school be more enjoyable and fun.

I’m also a part of an organization called Xiaohusai, which is a student-run social enterprise started by a couple of Concordia students in 2016. My time with the organization has helped me a lot with my leadership and organization skills. I’m proud of what Xiaohusai and everyone who is involved in it has done. It’s amazing to think how a group of high schoolers can actually create real social impact to help real people.

Finally, one of the most memorable parts of high school for me was creating a band. Along with Mr. Barrientes, a few friends and I formed a band called the Buas. I enjoyed my time with the Buas, whether it was performing at prom or practicing after school. I think it's really important to pursue your passions and I'm glad I was able to play music with the Buas.


How do you anticipate your college life?

After my acceptance, one thing I’m focusing on now is enjoying my last semester of high school, because we're never going to have an experience like this again. So I think going day by day, college will come eventually, but I just want to enjoy my last semester as a senior right now.


Do you have any advice for Concordia freshmen just starting their high school years?

A really important thing is to know that high school is really a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Try to enjoy yourself. Try to explore your different passions, spend time with people that you want to spend time with, and just try to have a good time, because there is really not going to be another experience like high school ever again in our lives.

Stay tuned for more stories from the Class of 2022 as they continue their journey on the road to college.