Student Highlight: Adam Chen
Adam joined Brook Hill from Shanghai, China his freshman year. Now, as a senior, and due to the pandemic, he’s attending Brook Hill through our distance learning program. During his time at Brook Hill, Adam has served as a member in the Res-Life Council and Brook Hill’s Student Council. He plays football and tennis and is a talented artist. We got to connect with Adam to hear his story and how he’s handling the pandemic!
Adam, what has surprised you about boarding school?
First of all, Brook Hill’s boarding program is awesome! They way they designed the dorms to face each other as a circle makes it easy to visit my friends in other dorms. Additionally, Brook Hill has connected me with a local family that I can stay with over breaks and even on some weekends. Christie Adams, who I consider my great American mom, has helped me learn about Texas culture and the lifestyle in the USA.
How have you grown as a person since you stared at Brook Hill?
Joining Brook Hill my freshman year taught me so many things, but perhaps the most important way Brook Hill has helped me grow is in my faith. Almost every weekend, I would talk with one of our boarding parents, Mr. Murry and learn about the Bible and Christianity. As I continued to ask questions and learn more about God, I decided to put my faith in him and was baptized on my 18th birthday. What made it even more special is that Mr. Murry, my advisor and my friend, is the one who baptized me on that special day!
How have you persevered during the pandemic and learning from another country?
I’m not going to lie – it is tough. Really tough. The time difference has made it especially difficult, but Brook Hill’s teachers record classes for us so that we can watch when it is more convenient for us. It is also hard to learn without teachers being with you in person. There are so many distractions that affect you while you are trying to learn from home (like those snacks sitting next to me – I just keep eating my snacks while I’m watching my classes).
What have you learned about yourself during distance learning?
I have learned how to be more independent, especially when studying and reviewing my own work. When I was on campus, I loved spending time with my friends to study and review together, but since I am in Shanghai this year, I am having to learn how to work more independently.
Tell us a story about a teacher who has really helped you during this season.
Earlier this year I went to downtown Shanghai to study for my TOEFL. I had to stay in a hotel by myself since my house is far from the class where I study. Mr. Murry had called to check in on me and we had a really long conversation about the craziness of this year and how I can’t enjoy my senior year on campus at Brook Hill. He was so kind and understanding. Our conversation really helped me calm down my anxiety and frustration with the effects of the pandemic on my life.
What advice would you have for another student who is learning virtually?
Sometimes life sucks, and this kind of thing happens. But we are strong, so even when life sucks, as long as we remain positive, we can make life great and happy. Don’t waste yourself in front of the laptop and your room. Go workout; go on a trip in your country; go try something new. And this is the most important: Live Pure. Speak True. Right Wrong. Serve Others. Follow the King.
Adam – you are so right! The Guard Charge is such a great piece of advice and an encouraging way to live. Thank you for sharing your story and example with us. We hope to see you again soon – we miss having you on campus with us!