Striving for Excellence

Ryu, now in Year 12, was exceptionally successful in his IGCSE exams this June: 12 A* and 1 A. Below he talks about how he achieved this and his thoughts about life after finishing the Sixth Form at Harrow Bangkok.

What’s the secret of your success?

It may sound clichéd, but there are no secrets. I really wanted to do well, so I paid attention in classes, asked questions, and strived to meet homework deadlines. I believe this is the recipe for achieving good results. It was not done in a day, or a week, or a month, but throughout the 2 years of my IGCSE course. You must be disciplined.

As hardworking students, we all have expectations from our parents, teachers, and ourselves to meet. There will be times that you feel overwhelmed by all of this. It's okay to feel disheartened. But it's also up to you whether you will give up there or bounce back up to achieve your goal. Diligence is key.

Strive for excellence, not perfection. Don't be afraid to fail. Take your failures as precious lessons and tell yourself ‘I will do better next time’. Say it out loud like you really mean it, and really work for it with determination. I've had my fair share of B's and C's, and I can tell you that the feeling of finally getting an A after all the sweat and tears is absolutely priceless.

Top student Ryu awarded gold academic scholarship at Harrow Bangkok

Top IGSCE student at Harrow Bangkok

Finally, don't forget to take a break from time to time. Playing sports, chatting with friends, or just rewarding yourself with an episode of your favourite show can really help you de-stress from all the workload. I know it might sound impossible from all the discipline, diligence, and determination to get good grades, but in the end, results aren’t everything. I believe it is the skills and the mindset you gain throughout the process of working towards those results that matter most.

What are your thoughts for the future when you graduate from the Sixth Form? 

I don't have it all figured out yet, but studying abroad has always been my dream. I can't give a definitive answer of what exactly I want to do in the future, but it would probably revolve around medical sciences. I am thinking of studying biomedical sciences, biomedicine, or biochemistry for my undergraduate course, or possibly go into medicine. It will depend on which specific subject I'm more passionate about, which I hope to discover as I progress through my A Levels.

Ryu is also an accomplished chess player who has competed successfully both in Thailand and abroad.

In the last two years Ryu has represented Thailand in the World Youth Chess Olympiad, an annual event organised by the World Chess Federation. Ryu was both the top-ranked player and captain of the team. He will captain the team for the third consecutive year in October.

Ryu playing at World Youth Chess Olympiad

Playing chess has helped Ryu learn to think strategically, problem solve and keep calm under pressure. There is also one very important practical skill that Ryu has learnt, which is time management. In competition, the person sitting across the chess board isn't your only opponent, the clock is also against you. To be a good chess player, one must also make use of his time wisely. This has undoubtedly helped Ryu in planning his studies and timing in his exams.