The Class of 2019 Light The Way – Vol 5

The Class of 2019
Light the Way

VOLUME FIVE

The Class of 2019 have come to define the college's glories and made history for themselves. For this fifth volume, we met Kenneth, Faith, Sarah-Ann and Isabel to learn how they overcame anxiety and adversity, how they grew as thinkers and leaders, and what words of advice they have to inspire their juniors to excel as well they did in their two years in Eunoia.

PHOTOS BY ASHER TAN, ANSELM LONG AND DING YONG KHAI

Kenneth Hoh

ALUMNUS OF CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL

Kenneth Hoh (18-O5) is a student of outstanding academic ability with a natural charisma. Demonstrating excellence in a wide range of areas in college life, he remained steadfast and humble in demeanour. His impeccable character made him a natural leader in diverse contexts. Kenneth’s talent in music saw him being a recipient of the MOE Music Elective Scholarship, as well as attaining a Licentiate Diploma in Piano Performance with Distinction from Trinity College London in 2018. His composition, An Odyssey into Self, was selected for performance at an MOE Composition Workshop for junior college music students. He was also a part of the Bicultural Studies Programme, and showed profound understanding of both Western and Chinese cultures. His other accolades include: attending the Junior College Law Programme offered by the Singapore Academy of Law; being a Peer Tutor under the college’s Growing Leaders with Initiative, Dedication & Empathy (GLIDE) Programme; as well as leading Eunoia Debate Society to clinch various awards despite being a young club. Kenneth was a recipient of the SAF Young Leader Award, in recognition of Kenneth’s excellent academic and co-curricular achievements.

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

Today is a momentous occasion for all us, as it marks the end and outcome of our 2 year academic journey in EJC. While I am certainly nervous about what is to come, I know that this is not the end of my own process of growth, learning and self-development. Regardless of my results, the resilience and grit I honed over my 2 years in Eunoia makes the journey worth celebrating. The grades we receive today do not dictate our goals; they merely determine the path we will take towards realizing our dreams. I am confident that this clarity and conviction of purpose will allow us to move forward, regardless of our A-level results. 

 

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

My journey to the A-level was filled with ups and downs --- occasions of celebration and relief as well as moments of self doubt and tribulations. Above it all, however, it was a journey where I learnt a lot about myself and matured tremendously, not in spite of, but because of the challenging nature of the exams. Overarching this was the support I received from my family and friends, which I am truly grateful for. The positive learning environment and strong family culture in Eunoia was deeply helpful in the lead up to the final exams. 

WHAT ADVICE OR ENCOURAGEMENT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOUR JUNIORS?

Managing and balancing my various commitments in college, like Debate, CG chair activities and the Music Elective Programme (MEP) taught me a lot about the importance of time management, discipline and resilience. The many late nights spent working with teammates for the next debate, practicing my piano pieces tirelessly to perfection, and revising for upcoming tests were difficult. However my passion for the various programmes and the clarity of purpose I possessed drove me to push through and try my best. Each challenge was not merely an obstacle - instead, I took each one as an opportunity to learn, improve, reflect and grow. 

Faith Wong

ALUMNA OF SINGAPORE CHINESE GIRLS' SCHOOL

Faith Wong (18-U1) demonstrates an impressive desire for knowledge acquisition, constantly exercising proactiveness in seeking out opportunities for intellectual growth. As testament to her academic achievements, borne of tenacity and intellectual independence, she was awarded the prestigious Humanities Scholarship in 2018 and was placed on the Dean’s list in 2018. Her penchant for exploring uncharted territories in search of opportunities for personal growth was also revealed when she took the leap of faith to enter as a participant for the UOB Painting of the Year competition. As President of EJ Drama Club, Faith worked tirelessly with a countenance of joy and spirit of servant leadership, helming the batch production titled Surveillance in 2018.

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

I don’t think I quite registered my results just yet. It all still feels very surreal. I definitely owe a lot to my teachers who provided constant support over the last 2 years, both with regards to my academics and mental health. As much as I hated it, all the homework and assignments really were crucial in building a strong and lasting foundation of skills and knowledge in my subjects which really paid off in the A-Level examinations. For my weakest subject, Economics, which I had never gotten an A grade in, until the A-Level (haha), I owe everything to Mr David Hoe, who saw me almost daily in the period leading up to A-Level for consultations during which we deconstructed the long-held misconceptions of mine, which had always kept me from achieving the grades I wanted to achieve. 

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

In retrospect, I’m very grateful to Eunoia for giving me many opportunities to grow in terms of leadership, and in terms of developing myself. In the white-hot, highly-pressured ‘furnace’ that is JC life, I’ve been extremely lucky to have forged close bonds with my peers and teachers who have pushed me out of my comfort zone, supported me, and allowed me to grow exponentially. For example, my role as Drama president was my first ever major leadership role and I went into it extremely unsure, but through it, I learnt a lot about leadership and collaboration, and especially the need to be vulnerable and courageous and to embrace discomfort, in developing a strong sense of trust among members, which is crucial in my CCA in making good art and in crafting an unforgettable experience for those in Drama.

WHAT ADVICE OR ENCOURAGEMENT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOUR JUNIORS?

JC life is so intense that often you can get lost in your academics and extracurricular commitments, but from my experience, this isn’t exactly sustainable and can take quite a toll on your mental health. So, I think it is extremely important to almost uncompromisingly protect time outside of school doing things you love, to provide balance in life and keep yourself happy and healthy in the long run. Spend time with your family, read books outside of the curriculum, work on self-improvement, or go exploring! Even during the exam period. The only time I kind of broke this rule was in the week leading to the A-Level examinations.

Sarah-Ann Tan

ALUMNA OF CHIJ ST NICHOLAS GIRLS' SCHOOL

Sarah-Ann Tan (18-U1)'s passion for the Humanities saw her being awarded the Humanities Scholarship in 2018. Her zest for the Humanities has undoubtedly contributed to the vibrancy of the wider College community. She played a pertinent and pioneering role in ensuring the success of the College’s inaugural Literature Festival where together with her class, and also shared her love for Economics to the rest of the College through presenting her research paper on Behavioural Economics to the College. With a heart to serve the student leadership community Sarah-Ann attended the SMU Leadership Symposium 2018 as EJC’s representative, and took part in the planning and executing of our college’s inaugural Leadership Academy Camp where was instrumental in planning for the dialogue with prominent leaders such as Member of Parliament Ms Denise Phua. 

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

I owe so much to the teachers who have taught and inspired me. These are the teachers who worked beyond school hours just to help us with our essay outlines and clarify our doubts, who sacrificed their lunch breaks just to have consults we desperately needed, and who believed in each and every one of us even when we didn’t. I was also surrounded with the most supportive friends who provided incessant encouragement and further ignited my passion for the subjects I study. 

 

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

My two years in Eunoia have been extremely fulfilling. Besides pursuing a subject combination I really loved, I had the privilege of serving my CCA, ODAC, as its secretary and my CG as its Economics Representative. These opportunities enabled me to serve, lead and hopefully inspire various groups of people!

WHAT ADVICE OR ENCOURAGEMENT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOUR JUNIORS?

Never lose sight of the purpose you have determined for yourself. Your passions and aspirations in life and the meaning that matters to you. The academic rigour in JC can and will be very demanding and amidst all the hectic-ness, it is easy to lose sight of what matters to you. But I hope you will always be intentional in using and applying what you have learnt. Seek to draw connections between theory (what you learn in class) and reality, and use your knowledge in furthering your passions and purpose.

 

Isabel Nadine Tan

ALUMNA OF SINGAPORE CHINESE GIRLS' SCHOOL

Isabel Nadine Tan (18-U1) was awarded the Humanities Scholarship in 2018 and was placed on the Dean’s list in 2018. Isabel sought continuously to expand her intellectual horizons in her study of the humanities by reading Economics at the H3 level, where she then co-organised EJC’s inaugural Introduction to Game Theory workshop for JC1 students. Her impressive breadth of knowledge on current affairs was displayed during the highly selective Pre-University Seminar, as well as the College’s Growing Leaders with Initiative, Dedication & Empathy (GLIDE) Programme. Naturally equipped with a strong set of leadership skills, Isabel was elected as the captain of EJC Tennis, leading the school team to clinch a Top 4 position in the National School Games 2019. She also took on other leadership roles, such as an Orientation Group Leader, and a House Committee member. Her involvement in planning for House Interaction Time, House Parties and Orientation was instrumental in shaping Uzuri House culture. 

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

It was a really pleasant surprise to receive my results and I feel so grateful and blessed for what I got. It was really important that I took responsibility for my studies in JC, especially with the newfound freedom that I had. What helped me most was to book consultations with my subject tutors whenever I had free time, be it to consolidate my learning or clarify doubts I had in tutorials or lectures. It was also important that I knew my limitations, be they emotional, mental or physical, and adhered by them. Studying at home gave me the space to unwind and rest but I also had to be mindful of my time management and be disciplined in my revision and practices. Something my civics tutor also reminded me of during this stressful period was to take time off for things that meant a lot to me, such as spending time with my family and having quiet time by myself. There was always still anxiety and fear before each paper but it really helped to know that I had done what I could without overloading myself.

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

I would say that these two years were thoroughly unexpected. Even though I was initially skeptical coming into a new junior college, it was this newness that gave me many chances to contribute to the school in one way or another, and to appreciate the contributions of fellow Eunoians. All the people I’ve met in these two years have touched my life, even in small ways, and it was these friendships that kept me going in a time of stress and transition. From a simple “hello” in passing to spending breaks to unwind together to enduring hours of back to back classes and training, the support of my peers made JC life far more enjoyable and was truly the driving force behind my journey. Another motivation was my teachers’ endless support and passion, who put up with my asking for consults constantly and believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.

WHAT ADVICE AND ENCOURAGEMENT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOUR JUNIORS?

Something I had to learn was that it’s never too late to pick yourself up and try again. At the start of J2, I found myself under a lot of stress as I began training for the national school games, was part of Eunite, started my H3 course and embarked on the final stretch before A Levels. It was emotionally and physically exhausting and after a particularly draining day, I told myself that I was going to give up, feeling like I was wearing myself down for nothing. Yet, it was through speaking to my family and tutors in school that I decided to press on and keep doing my best. JC life isn’t going to be easy but it was truly the most rewarding two years, as I was challenged in many ways to grow intellectually and as a person. Don’t shy away from the discomfort that JC brings but also remember not to let school life consume you. One day, you’re going to make it through and be proud of how far you’ve come, just like the seniors before you!