Xingyang Ren, Accumulating Energy

24, 2022

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Like many young men, Xingyang Ren loves to play games.

Whenever he was gaming, regardless of success or failure, it would bring him instant excitement. This passion for gaming took over him, however, pulling attention from other parts of life, and almost pushed him from the top ten in his grade, and to another life trajectory in his third year of high school.

Westlake President Yigong Shi said in a live broadcast for our undergraduate admissions that it is normal for young people to feel a little confused from time to time. The key is to find a way forward.

Xingyang Ren recalls how there were three moments that brought him back on his current life path, to his “ideal settings in time,” as he puts it.

In the summer of 2022, two months after the “assault accumulation", Ren was admitted into the first undergraduate class of Westlake University with excellent results.


The first month of 2022 has the first college entrance examination in Zhejiang Province.

Ren is studying at Huzhou Middle School. In the first and second years of high school, Ren was almost in the top ten of his grade. His parents were busy with their work and did not need to worry about his homework at all.

Only Ren knew that something was wrong.

"The time spent playing games started to get longer, and then I couldn't even get homework done in time. I didn't hand in one course, two courses... My scores were suffering too,” Ren recalls.

He knew time was running out, he knew he should catch up, and of course he knew how to learn, but he just wasn't motivated.

One day in late March, the head teacher, Li Chen, wanted to speak with him. "You can try these schools,” Chen said, handing a list to Ren.

Ren begun looking through the options, one of the schools was Westlake University.

This was the first time Ren had heard of such a university. He was filled with a curiosity, then excitement, an excitement he rarely felt outside of gaming.


The next time he would hear about Westlake University was on March 31st.

That day, students taking exams in physics and chemistry were informed that Yigong Shi, President of Westlake University, would come to the school to give a lecture on enrolments. What an opportunity, thought Ren.

The lecture was expected to take one or two hours, and Ren went with his homework. While he was doing his homework, a teacher reminded him that since he was there, he should listen more attentively.

This may be the first time he has ever been "criticized" by a teacher for doing his homework. Ren didn’t stay to listen to Shi, he returned to the classroom to do the work. When he arrived alone, he sat in the back row and cried.

“I'm still a little ashamed. The teacher was right to make me listen,” Ren said

At the time he felt shame and anger. In the two months since he failed the first exam, the powerlessness, anxiety, and depression that had been stagnant his heart were all vented out with tears.


It was only from that day that he seemed to have found a relatively clear direction. He went to the internet to search for the admission requirements of Westlake University, watched the replay of Shi's online lecture, and submitted an application for the examination.

One day, Mr. Liu, who teaches chemistry, called him to his office. In Ren’s eyes, Mr. Liu is about the same age as his parents. He treats his students like his own children. He is very dedicated to his students, though a little nagging.

Mr. Liu told him: If your chemistry scores do not improve, don't even think about getting into a good university.

After that, every Saturday night, Mr. Liu gave Ren one-on-one lessons: "It was mainly to fill the gaps in my knowledge, and took an hour or two to teach. This went on for four weeks. I am very grateful to Mr. Liu," Ren said.

On the day of the college entrance examination, teachers, classmates, and family members all sent congratulatory messages to Ren. The results of physics and chemistry were close to full marks. Even Ren himself was a little surprised by the performance, and very satisfied.

This all brought this 18-year-old student closer to his goals as he entered Westlake University. He now has a clearer understanding of himself than he did six months ago. He is happy about the bright trajectory he has in front of him now at Westlake University.