Nathan Ching

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Who am I? I am a graduate from the Class of 2019 and has grown a deep passion in public speaking and international law, I am currently on my way to studying International Relations Specialist at the University of Toronto. The opportunity to study in one of the best Universities in the world in a beautiful city was given to me thanks to my time at DBS studying History Psychology and Chemistry higher levels (alongside the Chinese English maths standard levels). I am one of the founders for Interschool Model United Nations Hong Kong, with the goal of introducing international law and global politics to local under-resourced students in Hong Kong. I am also a film enthusiast, having shot a few short films during my inspired time at DBS.

The three years I’ve spent in DBS IB are not only a breakthrough of my years as a secondary student but also three years of dear memories and melancholic bliss. While being an IB student is tough, having being chased around for your internal assessments, oral commentary practices and practice essays, where the IB program really shines is its flexibility in allowing students to learn and to strive. The CAS program, part of the core subjects of IB, has given me the motivation and freedom, as well as the given time restriction, to push my limits and pursue projects I never would have thought to have pursued. Being inspired by IB stress and the overall increase in student depression in Hong Kong, I set out to produce a short film that explores this. Setting this as my CAS project as well, it has given me constant motivation and at the same time reflective space to learn more about the topic as well as fully explore my passion for filmmaking. You can see below that part of the film was shot at DBS IB, and if you listen closely, you will hear my history teacher Ms Julice Yeung lending her voice as a Historian in a radio podcast as well!
But of course, the ‘melancholic bliss’ I refer to is how while it is tough and at times disheartening, IB has ultimately given me more than I could have ever imagined. An infamous part of IB has always been how it emphasises on ‘Critical Thinking’, and in full honesty, IB has trained to be a thinker and an enquirer, asking the questions one may not even think of asking, and analysing everything I see before me. It has also helped me in realising my leadership qualities, such as being able to coordinate a big team for TEDx, troubleshooting and preventing mishaps during filming sessions, and always being able to improvise during public speaking! As you can see, while it was tough, it was extremely rewarding, and I would have made the same choice of putting myself through rigorous work (and dare I say fun?).

Asking me for advice is probably a horrible idea, so it’s probably better to give you my three afterthoughts on IB. 1, Always be yourself – IB is a time when students can truly find their passion; while Law and medicine are the sure-win golden tickets to a ‘bright future’, you cannot sustain 3 years of IB with just the dream of having a profession, so do what you want to do and explore your options – never settle for anything that is not you! 2, Always be strong – you are not alone if you make mistakes, and you are not alone when you crush under the pressure of IB. As the saying goes, diamonds are made under pressure, and with precious friends and supportive teachers, your failures at the moment are a testament to your rise. 3, Always enjoy yourself – while it’s hard to enjoy yourself when writing a 4000 word essay, I have found myself lucky enough to have good teachers and strong guidance from them throughout my years, and trust me, you will soon realise that while you may not like the academic aspect of the work in hand, there are so many things to appreciate throughout your journey in IB, so don’t forget to have fun while you’re suffering!
For the academically anxious parents, IB has also fully equipped me with the skills in life; for university, after writing tons of essays and disciplining myself to manage my time; for society, having had a fruitful CAS calendar and interpersonal-communication-based skills; for life, as a leader and as a speaker to craft and voice out my own opinions. This is perhaps my favourite part of being an IB student, which is the opportunity to develop my skills into being an advocate for myself, or at least, an advocate for my own ideas.
Life is a long journey, and while IB is only a part of the journey, the lessons it gives, the times it makes us cry (but also let us stand up stronger), and the ride it takes us on is one that no IB student can ever forget.