Epsom Girls Grammar School 2020 Dux (joint recipient), Chen Huan Liu was awarded 5 Scholarships in Biology (Outstanding), Calculus, English, History and Statistics. Chen was also recognised as a 2020 Outstanding Scholar Award Winner by The New Zealand Qualifications Authority. This is a prestigious award with only 57 students across the country recognised. This year, she plans to start studying towards a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies degree at the Australian National University as a recipient of the National University Scholarship. We caught up with Chen for an interview:
I went hiking a few times with my family and friends. One of my summer highlights would be completing the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, which was challenging but extremely fun and fulfilling. Hanging out with friends has also been a key part of my holidays, with ice-skating and picnicking being our go-to activities. Of course, my summer would not be complete without books or YouTube, which I think are very similar given their ability to entertain me for hours on end.
Currently, I am reading "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott. I have also recently finished "The Invitation" by Belinda Alexandra and "The Red Queen" by Philippa Gregory. There are many parallels between these books as they all focus on young women finding themselves and gaining greater independence.
In ten years time, I hope to have completed all the actuarial exams and become a qualified actuary. Financial stability and economic independence are also two things I hope to have achieved by then. As a hopeless romantic, the prospect of getting married and having children around that time is also quite appealing.
My advice would be to set yourself realistic goals and always try your best. Effective time-management is also very important, and this usually involves understanding your own limits and having a degree of self-control. In regards to assignments and internals, try to finish them as early as possible because you never know what is going to happen in the future that could lead to unnecessary stress.
Joining maths club in year nine was a very memorable experience for me. I still remember solving the extremely difficult two-piece tetrahedron puzzle, which took about 5 lunchtimes. Not only did solving the puzzle help me to think outside the box, but it also taught me patience and perseverance. Joining various extracurricular groups at EGGS, such as UNICEF, Symphonia, and cricket, has made me realise that learning can take place effectively outside the classroom just as much as inside.
Some of my favorite forms of relaxation include reading a book, watching YouTube or going out for a walk. Eating snacks while chatting with my family is also a very warm and pleasant way to relax.