Ada Chen (陈昱霏) was born and raised in Virginia, United States. She graduated from Langley High School, and was accepted into seven universities including schools from the US, Canada, and China. She currently studies in Tsinghua University, computer science major and has won the Chinese Government Scholarship.
I grew up in the United States and went to public schools. My parents raised me kind of carelessly compared to the other Asian parents around me. I wasn't raised to be an all A honor student in school; my parents were rather lenient on my grades. However, the only thing my parents were strict about throughout my childhood was Chinese. My father sat me down every night after dinner and we'd read a Chinese book for thirty minutes. I started out with a basic book on Chinese history from the Waring States Era up to the Three Kingdoms. Because of that, I grew fond of Chinese language, history, and culture, and was very proud of my roots. I chose Tsinghua University mainly because I wanted to learn more about Chinese culture, and get more in touch with my Chinese roots. I never had a living experience in China, so I really wanted to use college as a means for me to experience life in China. It just so happens that Tsinghua University is also one of the best universities in the field of computer science, which is what I plan to study, so for me it was two birds with one stone.
Studying at Tsinghua
Tsinghua truly lives up to the name of the number one university of China. It is strict in not only academics but physical education as well. Students are required to exercise on our free time, and we have mandatory physical education every semester. As an American, I think Tsinghua gave me a college life much different from my imagination. In high school, my idea of college was party and pulling all-nighters. However, people here in Tsinghua don't seem to like partying that much, or rather, we don't have time to party because we're busy all of our deadlines. The atmosphere here makes it really hard not to be a studious ideal student, but that also doesn't mean that we don't have time to have fun. The amount of clubs in this school is unimaginable. Every semester we have a club fair for member recruiting, and you'd be surprised by all the different kinds of clubs there are. Everyone here has a passion that they keep up with outside of studying, and I think it's really admirable to see people balance their hobbies and studies so well. I think coming to Tsinghua, I was not only able to develop myself academically, but also physically and spiritually. I truly believe I made the right choice in coming here.