December 21, 2023
This blog series aims to offer a glimpse into the student life of our Student Ambassadors. The BASIS Independent Silicon Valley Student Ambassadors play an important role by representing BISV throughout the academic year in many ways. From cherished memories, to conquering challenges, from time management to immersing themselves in clubs and activities.
Bobcat Bytes – Bryan MaMeet Bryan M., Grade 8, class of 2028. Prior to attending BISV, Bryan attended a private school. During the last academic year, he actively supported the Student Ambassador Program by hosting a Shadow Student on two separate occasions. Bryan is also an active member of multiple clubs including Science Olympiad, Philosophers Club, Quiz Bowl, and National Junior Classical League.
Outside of school, Bryan finds pleasure in delving into books recounting the tales of Greek Gods and mythological creatures. Interestingly, Bryan can name more Greek Gods than he can comic book superheroes!
What have been some of your most memorable moments or experiences at BISV and why?
One of my best memories at BISV was the World Scholar’s Cup, which is an international academic program with more than 15,000 students participating from over 65 countries. There are four main team events: The Scholar’s Challenge, Collaborative Writing, Team Debate, and The Scholar’s Bowl. The team with the highest total scores of the four events is the overall team champion. In the time leading up to the event, our practice scores had been modest, but something ignited within me on that day. I was possessed with an intense desire to prove to myself that we could come out of the event victorious. My mind focused in on the competition. When it was all over, I was clutching the prize in my hands and high-fiving my teammates. It was a great day and made more special because I was able to share it with my friends.
What are some challenges you faced when first starting at BISV and how did you overcome them?
Transitioning into BISV was like stepping into a new world of academic rigor. BISV’s curriculum was more advanced than at my previous school, and adapting was a challenge. However, I decided to welcome this change and be flexible in my approach. It was with this attitude, I quickly developed new academic routines and surprisingly, it wasn’t overwhelming like I thought it would be. In fact, it became a rewarding journey of growth and learning.
This year we have over 90 clubs at BISV! What are the benefits of participating in our extracurriculars?
Clubs at BISV offer a treasure trove of benefits. For me, they provide as an opportunity to try something new and dive into my established interests. One of the many benefits is the amazing range of clubs available and how there are very few barriers to exploring virtually any interest one might have. BISV’s clubs also cater to the students. In many cases, students are involved in the setting up and running of the clubs, so they naturally reflect student interest. They are a place where students and advisors can work together and through club involvement, I’ve developed new skills, connected with my peers, and experienced collaborative learning at its finest.
How do you manage your time and balance academic, extracurricular activities, and free-time?
Discipline and efficiency are key. Approaching my responsibilities with focus and discipline allows me to not only finish my schoolwork on time, but it also opens up time for other fun things. Another great ally for anyBobcat Bytes – Bryan M. 2 student is an organized schedule. Each morning, I create a structured plan and schedule out my activities for that day, including leaving time for non-school related activities. Leisure time becomes a reward and it all comes down to effective scheduling and disciplined follow-through.
What are some ideas you had about BISV that you found out to be true or false once you joined the school?
In my mind, BISV was an “all work and no play” type of school. I imagined mountains of homework, constant testing, and fierce competition, with no time for personal enjoyment. While I do possess a competitive side, I enjoy having a good time like any other student my age. In my mind, I feared this school would be a vacuum for fun, but I was wrong. After two years here, I’ve realized that this is certainly not the case. My teachers always encourage me, never place undue pressure upon me, and the volume of homework–while not insignificant–is manageable. Sure, BISV is still a challenging school with a demanding academic curriculum, but I can handle it and still have fun at the same time. Myth busted!
What are some strategies you use for staying organized and keeping track of assignments and deadlines?
When it comes to staying on top of my assignments and deadlines, my organizational strategies are my trustworthy companions, even if my desk might not always reflect that right away. Organization is something I’m always looking to improve upon, so I often find myself probing the recesses of my imagination for new and easier ways to stay on track. For remembering deadlines, I utilize Schoology, an online platform where teachers post assignments and other essential information. This digital hub not only keeps me updated on upcoming tasks, but it also minimizes the risk of missing assignments. However, some teachers opt for more traditional communication methods. For these classes, I rely on the use of my Communication Journal–CJ for short. BISV hands out CJs at the beginning of the year, which serve as a checklist for homework, projects, test dates, and other reminders. Another useful tool is my calendar. It acts as a checklist and helps transform what can seem like an overwhelming list of tasks into a manageable flow.
Finally, what advice would you give for incoming students to make the most of their year?
I would advise any incoming student to not be afraid to explore their interests. There is a wide variety of clubs and school electives. If there is something you are interested in, chances are there is a way to explore it at BISV. During your time here, you’ll take various science, math and English courses. Therefore, I’d recommend that new students consider joining a unique club or exploring an unconventional elective if it piques their interest. My last piece of advice is to stay up-to-date with your academic workload. The pace here can sometimes feel fast, so building strong organizational and time management skills would be very beneficial. Ultimately, I believe that if new students come to BISV with an empty book, each student finds their own unique way to write their story within it.