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Pegasus Voice: “Break the Cocoon to be A Butterfly”, Alice’s Admission Journey to USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA)
Release Time：2022-06-03 15:08
Pegasus Voice No.28
Admitted to USC - SCA, UC Berkeley and NYU
Global Silver Award Winner of the American International High School Student Media Contest
She is a true filming talent from Pegasus School, once winning the global silver award in the documentary category of the American International High School Student Media Competition, which is known as the “High School Pulitzer Prize”. With her camera, Qingdao’s food culture and the ordinary but beautiful life were shown in front of the whole world, which was highly praised by well-known filmmakers.
Alice won the global silver award by “Taste of Home”
As one of the PCS “dream chasers”, Alice broke through various struggles with her indomitable will and finally accomplished her filming dream. In the 2022 application season, she was successfully admitted to the USC School of Cinematic Arts, which has a global admission rate of less than 3% and ranks No. 1 in the national film school for so many years!
Known as the “closest school to Hollywood” and home of numerous well-known filmmakers, the USC - SCA is the pilgrimage place for every student who wants to take the road of film. It should be noted that the application difficulty is even higher than that of Harvard University with an admission rate of 4.5%, which proves how excellent Alice is to get the offer!
USC offer to Alice
In addition, she was also enrolled by UC Berkeley and NYU in the filming majors, indicating her shinning future!
However, who would have thought that such a girl who was chased by top universities even “knew nothing” about the filming when she joined PCS? How did she find the “love” of life inspired by PCS and accomplish the dream step by step? What stories is she going to share with us?
Now it’s the second time for Alice to accept the “Pegasus Voice” interview, with some highlights
you won’t miss!
01 Full preparation is the premise of winning three heavyweight offers
Hi everyone! I'm Alice, I've been in PCS since grade 9, and now it’s my third year here. This is the second time I’ve been interviewed by “Pegasus Voice”, which is a huge honor as well as pleasure to meet you all again! And I was admitted to the USC - SCA, the UC Berkeley and NYU recently.
Looking back on my application process, I actually started the preparation a long time ago. I. grade 9, I started to prepare TOEFL and got ideal TOEFL and SAT scores in grade 11. Based on this premise, I had sufficient Time to plan my extracurricular activities to be more sustainable and continuous.
02 Under the inspiration of the teacher, deciding the road of "movie"
The teacher, Julio’s subtle influence and inspiration
At the beginning, in fact, the understanding about filming was only about a musical movie called “La La Land”. In the second semester of my grade 9, I joined the school’s “movie club” out of curiosity , where our art teacher Julio often led us to make some storyboards and it is during that time that I fell in love with filming.
Julio once took us to Shanghai to participate in the offline art exhibition held by the art academy with many senior classmates. At that time, many college admissions officers came to preach and introduce the majors they provide and made me realize various art forms, determining the direction of filming. I am really grateful to Julio, he has inspired and helped me a lot. Under this subtle influence, I started systematic study of filming knowledge. Actually I wanted to go in the media direction at first since the filming major is indeed very difficult. If it is not based on true love, I think it is difficult for me to persevere. Meanwhile,thanks to PCS for letting me find my life direction in high school.
“It’s totally normal hearing many criticisms when we engage in this field, and it doesn’t matter”
There were various challenges in the filming road . The most important part of the art application is to prepare the portfolio. My portfolio at that time was changed many times; sometimes the storyboard was drawn well, but when I was looking for a producer, I often had to change it again due to budget problems. It took really a lot to prepare the complete portfolio.
In addition, I made a lot of work when I was preparing each part of the portfolio. I needed to deal with different people and communicate with them patiently. I often encountered things that were not understood, including those posted on my video account with some abuse and accusations in the comment area, and I have to face the feelings of being scolded.
When I was interviewed for college applications, I told the admissions officer: “I think it's normal to be scolded in this field, it's not a big deal, and this process has made me grow a lot.”
03 I like the free artistic atmosphere of PCS
This is also why I chose here
I remember that when I was preparing for the 9th grade in 2018, I accompanied my sister to PCS for an interview. When I came here, I was quickly attracted by the atmosphere here. The most intuitive feeling was that the art teacher drew such amazing pictures. I felt that the art works created by the students here are also completely different from the content taught in the traditional school. I like this kind of environment that gives me full freedom of creation, which has turned out that my choice has deeply affected my life.
It’s obvious to see the growth of English proficiency in PCS
In PCS, as long as we study hard, we don’t need to worry too much about grades. Regarding standardized scores, if we can listen carefully, take notes in class, and complete homework on time, we can get ideal grades because the PCS teachers conduct the teaching step by step from the beginning. The teachers are very responsible, and the school is also an “English Only” environment, where I can really clearly feel my English with rapid improvement. In the previous school, I was only ranked around No.20 in a 40-student class, so even if your grades are not good at the beginning like me, you can still enter a good college after PCS teachers’ instruction.
Alice’s offer from UC Berkeley
04 In the four years at PCS
Thanks to your help
For my classmates, I will never forget the experience of playing competitions with Catherine, Frank and Steven. They always cheered me up when I was down. Everyone worked hard, had active ideas, and was willing to help each other. We worked together, participated in competitions, and won medals together. This feeling was indescribably warm and I felt so lucky that I had them as my classmates and team mates. I was also lucky that I met some really good friends like Emily. Although there were also some bad things throughout my high school career, it was still a very good memory.
Among the teachers, I think the two English teachers have the greatest influence on me, one is Escalante, and the other is our current teacher Matthew. Escalante is the kind of teacher with a very active mind. He gave me a lot of confidence at the time. I remember he once said to me very seriously: “You will definitely be very different in the future.”When he returned to the United States, I cried for a long time and I will always remember the encouragement he gave me.
Teacher Matthew is also very good. He teaches very seriously, and is “extraordinarily” serious and responsible for each student. He is the kind of real and pure educator who teaches with sincerity. He often takes us to discuss some social issues with various perspectives I have never thought of, he gave me a lot of inspiration.
Of course, there are still many teachers I need to say thanks. The PCS teachers are the kind of responsible teachers rarely seen in other places. My grades were not outstanding before, but at PCS, the teachers always found my characteristics, and even encouraged me to carry forward the characteristic of daring to “speak” in the classroom. By the way, I would like to thank the teachers for the recommendation letters they wrote for me, which was well written and have added a lot of chances to my application.
Alice and her classmates
05 Filled with love
Lucky born in this family
I remember when I first entered PCS, in order to improve my TOEFL level quickly, my father guided me to read a lot of original English books at that time. Although he didn’t know how to learn TOEFL, he knew how to learn a language well, that is every time I finish reading a book, I will be rewarded with certain pocket money, but the premise is that he will check my memorization of words every day and I must memorize more than 100 words in a week with accuracy rate no less than 90%. In short, no matter what kind of words, even if it’s an academic or a person’s name, he asked me to write down and remember them. In this way, he kept monitoring my English language learning. He also read a lot of books at that time and keeps reading now. As for my mother, she is our strong “spiritual pillar” and spares no effort to support and encourage us all the way.
When I started learning to make movies, I often read my scripts to my parents. After knowing my direction, my dad also started to watch movies like crazy, basically a movie every night, and he often discussed with me about the plots. Sometimes he would send some news into the WeChat family group to ask my opinions. My dad is a very active person. He often encourages me to look at problems with critical thinking such as human being’s behaviors, where arts come from, and obviously my father knows that.
06 PCS makes me much braver
And help me know what is persistence
When it comes to my biggest change in PCS, I think I am braver and more powerful than before. Although I was also very outgoing in junior high school, I didn’t want or dare to be a leader and stand up to speak. But in PCS, the school will especially encourage us to speak in front of many people and encourage us to lead and carry out some things in person. I think I have been greatly trained in leadership.
I have learned a lot of musical instruments and sports before, but none of them was lasting long. However, now I successfully insist on painting and shooting movies. This is also a habit evolved from love PCS brought to me, and this is “persistence”.
Alice’s offer from NYU
07 Advice to my juniors
Like we always say, the standardized examinations must be prepared early! I should be the Nth senior who suggest it. It will be very painful to drag it to the end, and there is no shortcut to prepare early, but only when others are playing, you lock yourself in the room to practice. There are too many benefits if prepare it early, for example, we can prepare for activities with more peace of mind after the examinations.
When doing activities, I suggest that we must choose a direction that we really like. Don’t frequently change the activities, which is meaningless. We have been making movies all the time, and the competitions we have participated in are also related to movies. What we need to show the university is our true love and persistence, rather than competing for the sake of participating in competitions.
I believe that each of us has a unique shining point, and we are not “one-size-fits-all”, but we need to discover our interests, plan and design activities in advance. College admissions officers are not stupid, they can tell at a glance whether our writing is carefully written and whether it is true. Therefore, we must also find the school we really like and express our love without reservation!