Joyce Lu and Emily Pan Oct 29 2021

Why We Should Pursue Our Passions in High School

High school students Joyce Lu ('22) and Emily Pan ('24) introduce us to two remarkable Concordia seniors with individual passions that are outright inspiring.

Every high schooler has that one classmate who seems to be destined for success. They embody an Ivy League’s dream characteristics by possessing a passion in addition to their outstanding GPAs as well as SAT/ACT scores. A passion is a prominent talent they excelled at since they were younger and now develop further to successfully bulldoze their way to the future. 

This begs the question:

What exactly is a passion? And how can I develop one myself?

To answer this inquiry, we’ve interviewed two prodigious members of Concordia International School’s Class of 22’: Elie Wang and Robert Sun. 

Elie gas been the captain of the Varsity Girls’ Volleyball team for 2 consecutive years; championing the team to faculty scrimmages, school rallies, and APAC (Asia Pacific Activities Conference) competitions. Furthermore, Ellie has played competitively against other Shanghai international schools as well as local Chinese public schools. 

Elie-WangElie in action during a Phoenix Friday volleyball match

“I’ve never thought of it [volleyball] as work, but more as a community and sport that has helped me develop time-management skills, leadership, and fortitude as a person.” Elie states, “Not only has it cultivated lifelong friendships and guided me towards my identity today, it has also provided an outlet for the stresses of high school.” 

Robert, similarly, has developed his aptitude for STEM (Science, Math, Engineering, and Technology) by researching computer science. He enjoys physics immensely and is a Robotics Club senior member. Additionally, Robert also pioneers his own club, Machine Learning, which uses artificial intelligence to identify and explore human experience. 

Robert-SunRobert engaged with Machine Learning algorithms 

“When explaining my passion for public announcements or to my peers, machine learning has taught me how to be confident and shine when comparing myself to others that are more balanced in talents.” Robert says, “I’ve been able to move out of that negative mindset and hope others like me will be able to as well.” 

For both, their passions spearhead their growth as individuals. In Elie’s case, she says “volleyball has made me a better team player and leader, built resilience – mental and physical – and determination. In a more indirect way, volleyball has also impacted my mental health because of the people and community I’ve gained.” 

Robert and Elie’s stories are imperative to understanding that passions are cultivated organically. Whether it’s starting off volleyball as a recreational activity with friends in the second grade or a summer internship at VMware, developing a passion is about sticking with something because you love it. Only then will you be able to grow as a result of that passion. By reflecting on what you think is the piece of yourself that shines and then giving it time to flourish, your passion will guarantee the way towards future success.