The Class of 2019 Light the Way – Vol 3

The Class of 2019
Light the Way

VOLUME THREE

The Class of 2019 have come to define the college's glories and made history for themselves. In Volume 3, we sought inspiration from Eunoians who have shown purpose, heart and courage in their journey to the A-Levels. Bruce, Yan Peng, Deborah, David and Michael share with us their challenges and how they overcame them and words of encouragement for their juniors.

PHOTOS BY ASHER TAN, ANSELM LONG AND DING YONG KHAI

Shen Bowen Bruce

ALUMNUS OF CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL

Shen Bowen Bruce (18-A4) was the Head of Training and the Head of the Video module for EJC Media. Dedicated and passionate about his craft, he was one of the main members behind college publicity videos and capturing the college's vibrant student life on video. Bruce was no less dedicated in his studies, steadfastly pushing himself in a difficult period leading up to the A-Level Examination.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR RESULTS AND WHAT HELPED YOU ACHIEVE THEM?

I frankly do not feel my results represent what I can achieve at my full potential, but given the circumstances and everything that happened the last 2 years, I am at peace with it. I was still able to improve by 20 rank points from Prelims to A-Levels, and that was a result of me finally being able to pick myself up from everything that life had thrown at me, standing back up and carrying on.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR JOURNEY IN EUNOIA AND WHAT MADE IT MEANINGFUL?

I would describe it as messy, gruelling, painful, but worthwhile and absolutely beautiful. Some may say that JC is all about friends, and they are right. The friendships that I have formed with my teachers, my batchmates and my juniors were what kept me going even when times were really rough. The sole belief that someone was there for me when I needed them was the fuel I needed to keep myself strong against all odds. The experiences and the times we have shared are some things I would always cherish in my life.

AS A PIONEERING EUNOIAN, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOUR JUNIORS?

Have faith. Never give in to the voices in your head that keep telling you to quit. At times, life may throw things at you, but whatever it is, always remember that you are exactly where you need to be. Stay in the present. Do not dwell on the past or fixate your eyes on the future. Live in the present, do things a step at a time, and we will all get there somehow, to a much more beautiful place, as a better version of ourselves.

Chua Yan Peng

ALUMNA OF FUHUA SECONDARY SCHOOL

Chua Yan Peng (18-I4) was an innately curious and driven learner, going out of her comfort zone to participate in the Poet-in-Resident Programme and the Middle East Summit in 2018, take up a backstage role for the college's inaugural Literature Festival and served as the Physics subject representative for her class. As Head of Publicity for the Service Learning Club, she organised and proactively contributed to many of the club's activities for the elderly and the Ulu Pandan community. She was inspired enough by one of the reading programmes to continue volunteering at a reading programme to spread the joy of learning and reading to children. In her academic studies, Yan Peng demonstrated the resilience that saw her move from the Normal to Express stream at her secondary school to perform extraordinarily in all subjects she offered at the A-Level Examination.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR RESULTS AND WHAT HELPED YOU ACHIEVE THEM?

I feel really surprised because I wasn't expecting the results that I got. I was hoping that my results would not be as bad as what I got for prelims and I was not confident in my abilities. The biggest reason as to why I achieved my results will have to be the constant support my teachers and friends gave me when I was feeling terrible about my demoralising past results.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR JOURNEY IN EUNOIA AND WHAT MADE IT MEANINGFUL?

My journey in Eunoia is one that was filled with ups and downs (in a good way). I struggled a lot academically, especially in GP and Literature since my English isn’t really strong, but my teachers, Mr Marc Kenji Lim, Mr Edson Ng, Mr Perrin, never gave up on me and encouraged me to work hard and do better. Furthermore, my friends were always there for me whenever I felt down and provided me with moral support, which kept me going on this tough journey. I am so thankful for the opportunities that the school gave me to help me grow holistically as a Eunoian.

AS A PIONEERING EUNOIAN, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOUR JUNIORS?

Practise consistently! Miracles do not happen. Do not beat yourself up over your results and fail to do anything to change them. When we are willing to seek help from our teachers and friends, we will know how and where to improve so as to make a change. Do not give up on yourself because nothing is impossible. There is always room for improvement!

Deborah Lee

ALUMNA OF CHIJ ST NICHOLAS GIRLS' SCHOOL

Deborah Lee (18-A2) was a nominee for The Straits Times Young Athlete of the Year Award for 2019. The goalkeeper of the college's championship-winning Hockey (Girls) team, she achieved a clean sheet throughout the National School Games 'A' Division season. In addition, she received the National Schools Colours Award for sports excellence and was selected for the 2019 U19 Hockey National Junior League Girls Division 1 team. Her many feats are all the more remarkable because of an injury she sustained before the National School Games. During this period of time, she contributed much as the quarter mistress of the Hockey team, an Orientation Group Leader (OGL) and assisted in the organisation of the college's Road Run. Despite her heavy co-curricular involvement, Deborah managed her academic work well and was placed on the Dean's List for academic excellence.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR RESULTS AND WHAT HELPED YOU ACHIEVE THEM?

I feel satisfied. Of course, there are many people and factors involved. But most importantly, it’s the support from friends, family and teachers. The teachers have really put in a lot of effort in giving us additional materials and even putting aside time to help us clarify our concepts. Without their sacrifice and dedication, all of this would not be possible.

I always thought that isolating myself will be the most effective study method, but I realised that it is important to interact and study with your friends as they provided me with the driving force and encouragement.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR JOURNEY IN EUNOIA AND WHAT MADE IT MEANINGFUL?

A tough but fulfilling journey. Everyone who was a part of it like friends (both new and old), teachers, teammates. They have provided me with so much support and advice that shaped me into the person that I am today. Although there were many trials and challenges during these two years it was these people who made the journey less painful as we bonded through the challenges and forged unforgettable memories (be it studying for exams or training for upcoming competitions). I really treasure all of them.

AS A PIONEERING EUNOIAN, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOUR JUNIORS?

Always know that you are not alone in these 2 years. You might be taking papers alone, but behind the scenes, on your preparation journey, there are many others who are here for you.

Press on. If you do not see the light at the end of the tunnel, it is not the end. Believe in yourself and go all the way, things will turn out for your own good.

Enjoy every moment of your JC life!

David Ng

ALUMNUS OF CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL

Michael Ng

ALUMNUS OF CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL

David Ng (18-I5) and Michael Ng (18-O3) are brothers who displayed grit and dedication in all they sought to achieve during their two years in Eunoia. Both were placed on the Dean's List (Academic) in 2018 and 2019 and took up H3 Chemistry despite the heavy demands of their co-curricular participation. As captains of the student-initiated Golf CCA, they achieved a highly commendable 4th place in the 2019 competition. Both were key members of the boys' Floorball team, with David scoring the winning goal to clinch the 'A' Division championship. Through their successes, they were anchored by a belief in service and community: they initiated and coordinated a peer tutoring programme for their batchmates and served as Orientation Group Leaders; Michael was also a project leader for a community programme on reading and healthy living for children aged 5 to 7 years.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR RESULTS AND WHAT HELPED YOU ACHIEVE THEM?

David: When I got my results, I felt relieved and happy, but also felt a little regret about H3 Chem, which I could’ve done better for. However, upon further reflection, I understand that rather than being overly critical and frustrated at the things that didn't go my way, I should be grateful for all I have done well. I realised that I have a lot to be happy about, and began to treasure my results for what they are. During our preparation for A-Levels, my brother and I tried to maintain a healthy work-life balance, to avoid the dreaded "burnout" associated with non-stop studying. Playing all kinds of sports regularly and meeting up with old friends helped us escape from the stress and burden of the looming examinations. I also firmly believe in the importance of working smart, as opposed to studying indiscriminately. To me, it’s more important to possess strong foundations than to drill past year questions. Each question is mostly unique, and having a good grasp of each subject's core concepts helps immensely in tackling all types of questions. More than anything, as much as these are my results as an individual, they were a direct consequence of the boundless support from my family, the inspirational guidance of my teachers, and the presence of my friends and schoolmates, in the good times and the bad, throughout the A-Level period. Without their presence, I would never be where I am now.

Michael: As results release day drew near, nothing could stop the worst-case scenarios and what-ifs that flooded my mind. When I got back my results, all that anxiety was replaced by a sense of relief and joy. I had done well and met the expectations I set for myself. Despite missing out on a distinction for H3 Chemistry, I knew that I had already given it my all and had nothing to complain about. I feel glad and content with my results. Even more importantly, I felt immensely grateful for the many people that helped me along the way: dedicated and sincere teachers, a supportive and understanding family, and loyal friends with whom I could destress. Strange as it may sound, having a good work-life balance — stopping work and taking time off to rest - was one of my strategies in preparing for the A-Levels. Resting and enjoying life helped me take my mind off the daunting challenge ahead. Maintaining this balance gave me the clarity of mind to work efficiently and not burn out. Another crucial step in achieving my desired results was having a strong understanding of the fundamentals of each subject. Having a deeper understanding works wonders when in the final phases of preparation.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR JOURNEY IN EUNOIA AND WHAT MADE IT MEANINGFUL?

Michael: My two years in Eunoia were filled with highs and lows — a collage of memories that collectively shaped an exciting journey. As a personal mission, I strived to be the best version of myself and make the most of my journey in Eunoia. Even though the two years passed by in the blink of an eye, I will never forget the amazing moments that I had. Along the journey, having a brother who I could pursue our extra-curricular passions with was crucial. My friends also had a huge role to play in helping me to continue strong. I found meaning in the simple things around me, and the moments of fun that happen inside and outside of the school curriculum. I value the meaning of friendship and camaraderie, from my peers, juniors, family and teachers. Without any of them along my journey, I would never have had as rich and meaningful an experience.

David: My two years in Eunoia were the most fulfilling years of my life. Although they were fleeting and short-lived, they provided so many intense and incredible experiences, all of which I hold dear to my heart. In my mind, perhaps the people who stand out the most are my fellow floorballers. When I decided in JC1 to pick up a new sport, surrounded by unfamiliar faces, I searched for a team. What I found was a family. Through thick and thin, we stayed together, and when the odds were stacked against us, we only banded together even more. I’m proud to have been a part of such an amazing team and family. Being an OGL and CGL at Orientation 2019 brought so much joy to my JC life as well! Being a part of something greater than myself was so meaningful to me. In the months of preparation and the actual experience itself, I realised how much I loved bringing joy to others. To OG12 and 19-I1, it was a privilege to be a part of your J1 life, and thank you all for bringing so much meaning to my 2019. Last but not least, I’m thankful for my class, 18-I5, for being an integral part of my journey. We faced all the struggles of JC together and came out on top, and I feel so heartened to see our growth over the last 2 years. Special thanks to all my tutors, and all those who’ve guided me along the way in this special journey!

AS A PIONEERING EUNOIAN, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOUR JUNIORS?

David: Hey juniors! These 2 years are going to pass by in the blink of an eye, so treasure every single moment you have! With this in mind, here are some things I’ve learnt and would like to share with y’all. One of them is to always remember to work hard, and play hard as well! Don’t forget to live, and don’t forsake friendships just to chase a sheet of paper with letters on it. Although the A-Levels are the final destination, JC is about so much more than just that. To the JC1s: Dare to dream, and dare to soar. Dare to take on the challenge, and you will come out on top. Venture beyond your comfort zone, and you’ll have an unforgettable JC experience! Hope y’all enjoy your time in EJ and forge long-lasting friendships! To the JC2s, this year is going to be a wild ride. Support each other through the tough times, and share in the joys of fellowship and friendship! Remember that no matter where you are, or how you’re doing, the marathon won’t be won early in the race. Pace yourselves, and never ever tell yourself that it’s too late, or that you can’t do it. Because you can. Have faith and believe, it’ll all be over before you know it!

Michael: I strongly believe that the most important thing is to trust the process and keep working hard. Every action, study session and practice goes a long way in helping someone achieve their desired grades. At the same time, you must remember to not burn out, and have a healthy work-life balance. No matter what, it’s important to keep the faith as you brave the storms. Enjoy the highs, but endure the lows, and always remember that it’s progress – not perfection, that matters most. Have courage and pursue your passions, because the two years will pass by in a flash. No matter how others around you are faring, you are ultimately your own master.