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Dear new students of 2017, distinguished teachers and student parents:

Good afternoon!

We are very glad today to have a new batch of vibrant students born after the year of 2000 to join the GHCIS family. At this time every year, we are full of curiosity and expectations toward our students. We are looking forward to hearing the teachers praise you, saying that you are all good students, soon after school begins. We sincerely expect you to take GHCIS to a whole new level. 

Every year when our admission work concludes, we actually do not have full confidence in the admitted students. No matter how well you have performed in the entry tests, your obtained results are nowhere near able to produce a precise prediction of your future. Due to objective reasons, we do not have comprehensive information on you. Nor are we able to adopt a more holistic set of criteria in our admission. We all know that American universities evaluate applications holistically while the Chinese university admission system values the Gaokao score only in determining acceptance and has thus received wide and severe criticism. For every university, the academic performance of a student undoubtedly matters but it is by no means the only yardstick against which to determine whether he or she will become an outstanding talent. What means more than your academic results are your three essential views, namely, your ways of thinking and doing (illustrating your views on life, values and the world). If your three essential views are decent enough, you will be able to live a happy life and accomplish something regardless of your test results. If not, you will encounter numerous obstacles in the future even if you have done extremely well in your studies at present. Moreover, based on our experience, many UK universities which use test results as the main factor in admission have started to assess candidates through interviews. 

Sometimes we tend to think that one’s three essential views are an abstract concept to understand which is actually exemplified in one’s daily life. For example, if you think that studying in an international high school equals loose student management and a life of freedom like a bird out of the cage ready for the forest, you will probably be faced with either repeating the same year or school expulsion one year later. From now on, you need to learn to manage yourselves and take responsibility for your own actions and mistakes. Starting from your first day of school here, do not lag behind. Our experience tells us that not every student who has fallen behind are able to catch up in the end. 

If you think that you just cannot exert any self-discipline at all and that you love travelling, chatting on the phone, checking Wechat moments and playing video games, I want to say that we share all these in common because there are few students who truly love studying and few staff members who genuinely love working. I believe, every time when a holiday is over, there are always some teachers and students feeling dispirited. Who does not want to live a comfortable life without having to study or work? However, no one has the privilege. No pain, no gain. Your hard work today will lead to you living a happier life and being more entitled to fun in the future. If you do not work hard now, you will have to pay for it doubly during the course of your life. More important, our modern society needs teenagers to have self-discipline more than in any other era because there are simply too many temptations. Without self-discipline, your life will be doom. 

We applaud the fact that you are a generation of vision, thought, good judgement and responsibility because you make your own decisions and focus on what you like doing. In some areas, you have proven yourselves to be more capable than your parents and more knowledgeable than your teachers. However, I would like to tell you that no one can just only do what they like doing for a lifetime because everyone born into this world has their own duties to fulfill and things that they have to experience and deal with. For instance, as no one is perfect, a couple that started their relationship because of love have to tolerate the imperfections in each other so as to enjoy a long-lasting married life. Take teachers as an example. Choosing teaching as a profession means having a lot of holidays every year but little chance of making a fortune out of it. Now that you have decided to study in GHCIS, you will have to try your best in every compulsory subject including English. Please remember that life only provides us with a set menu where no course can be skipped. 

For those who think that everything has to be absolutely fair and cannot suffer any bad effects in any situation, I want to tell you that getting the short end of a stick is actually a blessing and that there has never been absolute fairness in this world. The ability of keeping calm in a disadvantageous position is a piece of wisdom in Chinese culture. It is human instinct to think for oneself but a virtue if one thinks for others . In this society, selfless Lei-Feng-like people are not disadvantageous because it is such a rare and precious quality to think for and help others achieve success while taking all the suffering. What you will have lost temporarily are some benefits but what you will have won is the heart of people and more opportunities for growth. Many people, adults included, still do not understand this and continue pursuing short-term benefits by avoiding all possible disadvantages. It usually turns out that those who always shun being disadvantageous will find themselves in a disadvantageous situation throughout their lives. On the other hand, one who always puts others’ needs before oneself and willingly shares will become an accomplished and trustworthy person. 

How you think, choose and spend time every day are all determined by your three essential views. While you are learning by reading books, you should also be learning by reading society. It is one of our primary tasks to help you establish your three essential views properly. During the course of your studying here, we will be sharing with you wisdom on life bit by bit. 

Life is a journey full of crossroads at each of which your three essential views act as a GPS, telling you which direction to take. If your three essential views are not decent, you will be very likely to go astray and even end up in a labyrinth where you will not be able to appreciate the beauty of life and experience the many wonderful types of love that it offers. In fact, the life of a person is one of continual self-improvement on how to behave in the world and of establishing his or her three essential views. Considering your age and experience, our only hope for you is that you will have become self-disciplined people who have dreams to pursue and the abilities of thinking and living independently and will have been your best 18-year-old selves upon graduation. 

Thank you!

Dr. Dongdong Lei

19th August, 2017