The Class of 2020 Take Flight – Vol 2

The Class of 2020
Take Flight

VOLUME TWO

Eunoia Junior College's Class of 2020 have done themselves and the college proud. In this second volume, Ellard, Lauren, James and Ming Ying spoke to us about their journeys as student-leaders, looked back at their multi-layered academic pursuits and gave their juniors some wisdom for their juniors on the road to success.

PHOTOS BY ANNABELLE TAY, SEAN KOH AND YONG EE

Ellard Tan

ALUMNUS OF ANGLO-CHINESE SCHOOL (INDEPENDENT)

Ellard Tan (19-U3) was a thinker, scholar, leader and volunteer during his time in the college. He pursued his passion in Mathematics, taking part in competitions such as the Singapore Mathematical Olympiad in 2019 and reading H3 Mathematics, and Knowledge & Inquiry. As a Student Councillor, he played a key part in organising JC2 Graduation Night for his seniors and supported his own and junior cohorts as Welfare Assistant IC. Taking on a second CCA in Choir, Ellard overcame a lack of musical experience to represent the college at the Singapore Youth Festival Arts Presentation in 2019, achieving a Certificate of Distinction with the choir. Just as passionate about social issues, he volunteered at Meet-the-People Sessions at Ulu Pandan, volunteered at a food donation drive with Food from the Heart and started a Values in Action project to benefit children from less privileged households. 

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

Overall, I’m satisfied. Studying consistently is the most important thing. It’s important to not fall behind in school. Also, I think a curiosity for learning helped make studying more bearable since I kept the bigger picture of gaining more knowledge in mind.

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

They were probably the best two years of my life. The people I met in KI, Council, Choir, Class, the little interactions I had really defined my journey. Simply appreciating these small moments really added to my time in EJ. But alongside these small moments were the unforgettable events (Orientation, Euphoria, SYF). It was in these events that I made some incredible moments as I lost myself in the atmosphere.

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

For JC1s: Don’t worry too much about trying to fit in with the more “popz” (popular) people. Just be yourself and talk to people and the right company will come to you. Also, study consistently. Don’t freak out too much, because the gap between JC and Sec 4 is mad.

For JC2s: Study hard, but also find out a method that works for you. But don’t let studying consume you. Time management is important, so make a schedule. Remember to still make time for friends.

Both: Treasure your time with your friends. JC is fast. Appreciate the little moments. Play hard and study hard.

Lauren Sim

ALUMNA OF CHIJ ST NICHOLAS GIRLS' SCHOOL

Lauren Sim (19-O5) exemplified the spirit of excellence, setting high expectations of herself, participating in many Bicultural Studies Programme activities such as the Business China Youth Showdown, and twice placing on the Dean's List (Academic) as well as the Dean's List (Character & Service). As the Skills and Campcraft Head of the Outdoor Adventure Club (ODAC) and a member of the Student Ambassadors, Lauren was a role model for others and developed her CCA mates and fellow ambassadors. As the Class Chairperson in both years, she was the custodian of class spirit and showed great initiative to organise activities that would cater to her classmates' strengths. Lauren showed a unique ability to motivate those around her, organising the annual Spartan Race together with her peers in ODAC, starting the @ej.beautifulminds mental health initiative as part of the GLIDE talent development programme and mentoring young children at the Inspire Mentorship Programme (Kebun Baru). 

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

I’m very happy and elated about my results. One major group of people that helped me to achieve these results is my friends, because 2020 was a challenging year with COVID-19 and the Circuit Breaker period. These caused a toll on my mental health, so my friends supported me and our study sessions were great in keeping my momentum. My friends held on to me, and helped me to persevere even in the toughest times. Another group of people was the teachers. My teachers were supportive and reminded me that I was not defined by my grades and they affirmed my efforts.

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

I would describe it as eventful, and a journey of growth. It’s eventful because it’s very colourful, and there are many different kinds of experiences which made school life interesting and vibrant. A group of people who really helped me throughout the 2 years was ODAC because I enjoyed their company and always felt really safe with them, so I am really thankful for them. It’s a journey of growth because I met a lot of people who were different from me, and each of them taught me a valuable lesson. The most valuable lesson I picked up was that I am more than my grades.

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

I would say that the most important thing is to take care of yourself in these 2 years because it is taxing if you just focus on your grades, workload, and commitments. It is always important to remember that you come first, and grades really don't define you. The most important thing to remember is that your best is always enough.

James Ong

ALUMNUS OF CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL

James Ong (19-A5) was an enthusiastic go-getter who applied himself conscientiously and passionately. He managed his commitments between two CCAs – a member of the EJC Floorball team, he continued to serve in the St. John Ambulance Brigade in his secondary school as an Alumni Officer. As the Class Chairperson for his civics group, he watched over his peers' welfare and devised thoughtful ways of implementing safe management measures in the classroom. Curious and passionate about world affairs, he expanded his horizons in the Bicultural Studies Programme and the (Pharmaceutical Drugs and Society module in Programme ALTITUDE. He reached further heights in the Eunoia Global Orientation Programme expedition to Vietnam, showing the resilience needed to scale Mount Fansipan and the adaptability to redesign games and lessons for the Vietnamese children after learning they spoke almost no English. A responsible and exemplary student, James delivers his best to help those around him.

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

I feel good about my results! There were a few subjects that I struggled with in my two years in EJ but thanks to the support of my teachers, friends and seniors I was able to work on my weaknesses and expand on my strengths to do my best in each subject.

I think I achieved these results thanks to time management. Time management is more than studying every waking hour. Rather, things like having good sleep and time with family are just as important to a fulfilling JC journey.

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

I would describe my two years in Eunoia as eye-opening. I think the two-year journey here was meaningful because of how the flexibility and freedom the students have in choosing what they want to pursue in JC. From subject combination to Talent Development Programmes to leadership opportunities to immersion programmes, everyone has true freedom to choose their journey. This freedom has allowed me to pursue things I would never have considered to explore, such as BSP and GLIDE. These programmes added lots of value to my time in EJ.

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

I would like my juniors to know that only you are in control of the two years you spend here. This means that you should never allow others to make choices for you. Lots of people will give you advice but remember that their advice was what worked for them and not necessarily you. It’s time to take control and shape these two years into what you want it to be. All the best!

Peh Ming Ying

ALUMNA OF CHIJ ST NICHOLAS GIRLS' SCHOOL

Peh Ming Ying (19-I2) was an analytical thinker who elevated the quality of discussion and thought in her class. She represented the college in the International Mathematics Modelling Challenge and Singapore International Biology Olympiad in 2019, receiving the Merit Award in the former. Keenly interested in global and local developments, she took part in the Space & Society module in Programme ALTITUDE to learn from experts about Singapore's space industry, placing second in the Data Science Hackathon organised by the college and developed a greater appreciation of regional security challenges in the MINDEF Experience Programme. Her heart for the community was evident in the EJ Pay-It-Forward thrift shop initiative, where she planned the collection of pre-owned school material to be sold at an affordable price to her fellow Eunoians.

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

I feel that my results were a bit unexpected. Subjects that I didn’t expect much for exceeded my expectations but other subjects did let me down. Nonetheless, I think all the consultations I had with my teachers really benefited me. The teachers were very encouraging despite some very last-minute consultations. On top of that, a combination of studying with friends in school and by myself at home was really helpful too. But aside from all the studying, I think it helped to take breaks, especially after exams. A-levels is like a marathon; it is crucial to pace yourself and not burn out.

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

I think my two years in Eunoia were really vibrant and dynamic. I met many like-minded friends who were by my side for everything. I also had the opportunity to go on higher education trips to the US, which was very enriching for my higher education choices. In addition, I was privileged to join the Talent Development Programme, Programme ALTITUDE, for the past 2 years, as I learnt a lot outside the curriculum. The teachers would share their insights and invite speakers for us, giving us exclusive insights into Data Science & Space. I am really grateful to all these people, as well as my CCA peers who were with me as we planned CCA things together.

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

One advice I would like to share is to be resourceful. Many seniors have a wealth of resources and advice to tide you through your 2 years in EJ. It was really helpful talking to seniors about their studying plan and tips, especially when the Circuit Breaker period hit and our motivation to study was at an all-time low. In addition, I found it useful to share notes amongst my peers and discuss content with them. It helped flag any flaws or loopholes I had in terms of my understanding. This was easier than attempting a paper or rereading notes.