Lost and Found: Class of 2024 Endora Y Shares her Journey from DCB to UCLA

Dulwich College Beijing

This article is part of a series featuring some of our outgoing Year 13 students, offering insights and valuable advice to younger students on their own journeys to university.

Entering a world where both culture and language starkly contrasted yours can be daunting. This was especially true for Endora Y from our Class of 2024, yet her experience opened up new possibilities that would bring out a more daring, risk-taking version of herself.

On her first day at Dulwich College Beijing, Endora described herself as "new, shy, had broken English, and… late." 

Temple of Heaven Graduation Photoshoot Temple of Heaven Graduation Photoshoot

"I couldn't find my Humanities classroom. So not only was I new and late, but I was also lost and wandering around helplessly."

"But when I finally got to the classroom, my teacher at the time, Mr Lowish, didn't scold me; instead, he reassured me that it was okay. That was the beginning of a warm and welcoming experience, laying the foundation for me to become who I am today."

Meet our Class of 2024 Endora Y, a spirited individual with a passion for leadership and the performing arts. Her journey from Dulwich College Beijing (DCB) to UCLA, the most applied-to four-year university[1] in the US, is a testament to her transformation, determination and personal growth.

In this piece, we invited our former Head Girl to share her journey and insights with our community, especially dedicated to our younger students venturing on their own university journeys as well.

Class of 2024 Graduation Day photoshoot at the Temple of Heaven Class of 2024 Graduation Day photoshoot at the Temple of Heaven

Life at DCB

Endora's school journey was enriched by her involvement in various leadership roles, culminating in her dream role as Head Girl in Year 12. Her leadership experiences within the House system and through service organisations provided valuable opportunities for community engagement and personal growth.

Since joining DCB in Year 7, Endora has made the most of her stay at Dulwich College Beijing by actively taking on various leadership roles. She was a House leader in Year 9, then a House Deputy Captain in Year 10, a House Captain in Year 11 and then Head Girl - the top Prefect role - in Year 12.  

Endora with the 2023 Head Prefect Team and House Prefects Endora with the 2023 Head Prefect Team and House Prefects

"The House system is one of my most cherished experiences," she explained. “I love it when everyone is together celebrating."

Endora has also been heavily involved in Performing Arts, particularly theatre, reflecting her vibrant personality and love for creative expression. "I can't recite every single line of Hamilton, but I like being in a production," she playfully remarked.

Endora Y in this year's FAME the Musical Endora Y in this year's FAME the Musical

She co-led the Myanmar School Project, a service-based ECA that aims to help raise awareness and funds for children in need in Myanmar, especially children in need of school supplies. “We organised fundraisers and unique events to donate stationaries to an elementary school in Myanmar, which was very special to me. Outside of charity, my motivation for service is more of a self-driven responsibility.

Reflecting on becoming Head Girl, Endora shared about the first time she saw the board of past leaders. "I remember seeing that board for the first time in Year 7 and looking up to it - both literally and figuratively - amazed by the names on the wall. I've come a long way from that shy girl in Year 7, and I know it’s incredibly meaningful even though I may not feel it in the moment." 


University Decision

Location was one of her reasons for choosing UCLA. "I wanted to go to a university in Southern California, specifically the LA area," she shared. She also spoke to a good friend of hers who works at UCLA. "She told me: ‘I don't want to be biased, but you should come,’ and then listed why UCLA is a great fit for me."

Initially considering mostly only liberal arts colleges, she realised that UCLA offered a more ideal setting to embark on a new chapter of self-discovery and academic exploration, even though it might feel completely different to DCB. " UCLA seems like a foreign concept since DCB almost feels like a liberal arts school, which is why I wanted to further a liberal arts education in college. In a way, I wanted to stay in my comfort zone, but now that I think about it, I think I will quickly adapt to the vibrant community at UCLA."

Endora credits her well-rounded mindset to her experiences at DCB. "Here I discovered so many of my passions, like theatre and dance and music, which I still want to do in college even if I'm pursuing another major. DCB has helped me with the way I talk to people and how I'm going to approach the diversity in America."

Endora on keyboard in the school Jazz Band Endora on keyboard in the school Jazz Band

Advice to Younger Students

Endora began planning her university applications in Year 11, meticulously preparing essays and meeting requirements by the summer of Year 12. Despite the challenges and uncertainties, Endora valued the freedom given by her parents to make independent decisions, allowing her to navigate the university application process confidently and on her own terms.


Start your university research early

Prepare early, advised Endora, "because the schools you might think you want at the start of your university journey may not be the ones you end up deciding on. So, you need time to think about that and to change your minds."

"My biggest piece of advice is that, before finalising your university list, look at the 10 universities or 11 that you're applying to and just ask yourself if you really see yourself there. Focus on finding your best fit during the application process. Don't just listen to everyone around you; make sure that you actually see yourself in all of those spots that you took, because you have to cherish every single one of them."


On SATs (Scholastic Assessment Test)

For students planning to take SAT exams, Endora recommended starting early to avoid stressing about it later on. She achieved her desired ACT scores in Year 13, but was not only stressed about it, but later found out she didn't even need it for her UCLA application.


Be honest

She also suggested remaining authentic in college applications, emphasising the importance of self-reflection and listening to one's heart when making pivotal decisions about their academic future.

"Be real with yourself. The university journey is the perfect opportunity to reflect on all you have done during the past four years. Don't think about having the most perfect story; don't try to construct a new persona out of thin air."

"In my case, I used it to reflect on my past four years in dance. I connected it with a memory that I really cherished with my dad, including the obstacles I faced and how I grew up from it. It was one of the most genuine reflections I’ve ever had. I didn't completely enjoy it because it's hard to enjoy something while completely opening yourself up, but it was an honest and genuine reflection of who I really am." 


Endora competing in dance outside of school Endora competing in dance outside of school

Expressing Gratitude

Endora extended her heartfelt thanks to her friends: Ethan and Sophia, Megan, Sunny, Suah, Elise, Anna, Anthony, Ryan and more; her teachers, and parents for their unwavering support throughout her educational journey. She cherishes the unique experiences and friendships forged at DCB, acknowledging the profound impact of her school community on her personal and academic development.

Endora with her theatre classmates at their IBDP performance Endora with her theatre classmates at their IBDP performance

As Endora embarks on her new adventure at UCLA, she will miss the vibrant personalities and supportive environment of her DCB peers and teachers. "We have so many unique personalities in our Class of 2024 that I will never meet anywhere else, and also our teachers, too." The Class of 2024 holds a special place in her heart, embodying diversity, camaraderie, and memorable experiences that have shaped her into the person she is today.

Endora performing at Leaver’s Assembly Endora performing at Leaver’s Assembly

Endora's journey from DCB to UCLA exemplifies resilience, determination, and a commitment to personal growth, emphasizing the importance of embracing challenges, pursuing passions, and forging meaningful connections along the way.

Endora with her friends at Temple of Heaven Endora with her friends at Temple of Heaven
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