It feels weird how another academic year just ended so swiftly. JC 1 wasn’t my most smooth sailing year – it was tough but also nice becoming an average student again – but I’ve had some amazing experiences, and I learnt a lot along the way.
There were times where I questioned my decision to DSA to Hwach at the start of the year, but I can confidently say I’m glad to be where I am now. I didn’t start off in Hwach as well as I did in BP – it took me much longer to find a group of friends I was really comfortable with. I adopted a quiet and shy personality in my orientation group, and I didn’t particularly enjoy orientation. It was better when we switched to orientation with our classes but there was still some awkwardness holding me back. The first day I met my classmates, there were already cliques as most of the guys already knew each other from high school. I was lucky to make my first close friend in the scholars orientation, and we found ourselves having the same sentiments about the school. Looking back, I’ve came a long way. I’m absolutely comfortable with most of my classmates – Megan, Vicky, Benjy, Snailz – and sometimes I look forward to school because of them. 15S6E reminds me of 2A8 at times – not the best class, but a class of fun-filled people, with a few football kakis and a couple of really smart people. Really grateful for these people.
I busied myself with activities throughout the year, from Dramafeste at the start of the year, to tchoukball trials and trainings, and then APYLS which turned out to be my highlight of the year. I will be embarking on an overseas community-involvement programme (OCIP) to Vietnam in a couple of weeks, and am certainly looking forward to it. There were battles whether to join science research or a sports CCA or faccomm, but I don’t regret the decisions I made. I certainly didn’t expect myself to become tchoukball captain (it’s a pretty cool sport – go check it out!) and then came the responsibility to lead the team. It’s hard and tiring constantly having to try to bond the team and balancing between pushing my team but not making them too tired or unhappy. There were (are) admin matters to settle, but thankfully the guys’ captain helped out. Even though it may be tiring to deal with the guys at times, I’m glad for the joy and laughter they bring and am learning to enjoy my teammates more.
Asia Pacific Young Leaders Summit (APYLS) was an amazing experience. I complained and grumbled a lot during the preparation for the summit, but I’m glad I was pushed beyond my boundaries. I had no choice but to learn video editing and animation and I’m proud with what I’ve achieved. It took me almost one month to finish the launch animation for the opening ceremony, but it was all worth it. I was tasked to manage the official email account for about 3-4 weeks when Ming Xuan was away for OCIP and I was astounded when I realized it took up quite a lot of my time. (Hats off to MX for handling the account so well and for being such a caring facil during the summit.) I was a little taken-aback initially as I had to correspond with deans/vice-principals of the other schools. It used to seem intimidating to me to send a formal email but I’m finally comfortable with doing so. The summit itself was amazing. Even though there were mistakes made, we managed to meet the high expectations (I think). I’m honoured to have the opportunity to work with my fellow facils (who were mostly high achievers), made friends with people all over the world, and I really learnt so much during the summit. I was especially heartened by the effort put in by the Japanese and Chinese delegates for the student dialogues and the sacrifice of some of my fellow facils. Despite my severe lack of sleep, I was motivated to put in my very best. I’m really proud of what the media team achieved – shout out to Edmund and Wei Shin for being such wonderful teammates.
Due to the well-rounded facils, AP also made me realize that it wasn’t impossible to do well academically in JC. Before entering JC, I only heard about how tough it is to pass and promote. I hoped someone told me it was possible scoring As and Bs and perhaps I would have worked harder, instead of being contented with the Cs or Ds I had. (Juniors, if you’re reading this, there are loads of people scoring As and Bs in JC1 okay.) I did surprisingly well for the Block Tests in June, but was a little disappointed with my Promos results. Despite my slightly disappointing results, I wouldn’t say I regret what I’ve done this year. Yes, I could have worked harder (though I worked harder for promos than BTs), but I learnt that I’m someone who doesn’t believe that academics is everything – I’m always searching for other things to learn, things beyond what is taught in the classroom. I’m confident that when I look back at my JC1 life next time, I’ll think it was a really fulfilling one.
JC2 will be a more hectic year, with preparation for A divisions and A levels, but I’m going to choose to look forward to it. I hope I’ll continue to enjoy learning, continue to push myself forward and along the way, continue to learn more about myself.