The Class of 2020 Take Flight – Vol 3

The Class of 2020
Take Flight

VOLUME THREE

The Class of 2020 demonstrated how when hearts unite and minds ignite, our dreams can take flight. They made the most of college life amidst an unusual two years for people all over the world. In this third volume, our student-athletes Hannah, Verrell, and Jolene share words of inspiration with their juniors and insights about their paths to success, both in and out of the classroom. 

PHOTOS BY SEAN KOH AND YONG EE

Hannah Chiang

ALUMNA OF SINGAPORE CHINESE GIRLS' SCHOOL

Hannah Chiang (19-E3) excelled in both academics and sports and lived out the spirit of goodwill to all in her efforts to contribute to her community. A talented and passionate synchronised swimmer, her ability to push her limits earned her a place on the national team at the age of 14. A SEA Games Gold Medal winner and a regular competitor and international synchronised swimming competitions in 2019, she was also the recipient of the Peter Lim Sports Scholarship (U-18 High Performance) in 2019 and 2020. Hannah’s high level of performance was especially commendable given that she was diagnosed with Hoffa’s Syndrome and worked hard to overcome the challenges it posed to her training. Amidst the rigours of elite sport training and the A-level curriculum, Hannah sought to serve others, participating in the Eunoia GO Programme to Chiangmai, Thailand, where she taught English and Art to children. In addition, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hannah volunteered to be part of a food delivery coordination team that brought food to migrant workers in dormitories.

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

I was surprised, in all honesty, given my grades over the last two years, the number of commitments I had outside school, and the amount of effort I needed to push myself in subjects I was especially weak in. It was really the constant and sincere encouragement for me throughout the journey that became my daily source of energy to push myself to achieve such massive improvements in my results. Seeing my final results and hearing my teachers’ and peers’ praises for me made all the gruelling hours worthwhile.

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

My two years can’t be described as extremely eventful, especially with the changes to school programmes in 2020. Still, the relationships with friends, schoolmates, and teachers are what I treasure most now that I have graduated. Being in synchronised swimming, an external CCA, I had no CCA mates nor typical training sessions like most other students. Nonetheless, I felt that I fit in well, be it in class, other groups of friends, Eunoia GO trips, and more. I had my own unique stories to tell, and many people’s stories to listen to, and these really made me feel the unity in diversity in Eunoia.

WHAT WERE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU FACED? HOW DID YOU MANAGE TO OVERCOME THEM?

I came into EJC as a quiet, somewhat unsociable person with the mindset of doing well in synchronised swimming, getting good results, and quickly letting two “difficult years” fly by. A lack of time for my numerous commitments was always the cause of my academic struggles. Ironically, that was precisely what made me closer to schoolmates and teachers who made each step of my two-year journey meaningful and memorable, from simple conversations to deep life-advice sessions and sharings that made me enjoy the “struggles” of JC life. These created memorable moments that are hard for me to forget or regret.

Verrell Tan

ALUMNUS OF CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL

Verrell Tan (19-U3) excelled both in the classroom and on the volleyball court. A recipient of the MOE Pre-University Scholarship and a diligent, self-motivated student, he consistently earned a place on the Dean’s List (Academic). Verrell was also a highly-respected Captain of EJC Volleyball, making the time to get to know each of the players on his team well and growing into an excellent motivator on and off the court. An outstanding player himself, he was selected to represent Singapore at the 11th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) School Games in 2019. Amidst this all, Verrell also served as an Orientation Group Leader at the EJC Orientation Programme and a Sports and House Representative for his class, making valuable contributions to strengthening the Eunoia culture. He extended goodwill to those beyond the college community as well, volunteering his time to share his love for Volleyball with primary school students and, during the Covid-19 pandemic, engaging students from less privileged backgrounds in educational and creative activities. 

 

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

Overall, I am satisfied with my results. I am thankful for the support from my teachers and friends in EJC that allowed me to attain these results which I am happy with. Being able to effectively manage my time between studying and training for volleyball really helped me a lot in maintaining a balance in my student life.

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

My two years in Eunoia have been filled with memorable moments I shared with the people here, whether it was having fun with my friends, or studying together. To me, it is the people here — teachers, schoolmates, friends — that helped to shape my journey in EJC into a meaningful one, because they were the ones who made the environment in Eunoia feel vibrant and enjoyable.

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

In every JC student’s life, time management is key. Learn to effectively manage your time so that you can make the most out of your JC life as this is a great opportunity for you to broaden your horizon and pursue your passion. However, with all that said, try not to stress yourself out too much and enjoy these two years of JC life!

Jolene Hsu

ALUMNA OF CHIJ ST NICHOLAS GIRLS' SCHOOL

Jolene Hsu (19-I3) was an outstanding student, Volleyball player, and leader who had a heart for service. A curious student who loved learning, she seized opportunities offered by the college to extend her learning beyond the A-Level syllabus. As Captain of the Volleyball Team, Jolene made a concerted effort to strengthen bonds amongst her teammates, and was an encouraging and motivating leader. Her charisma and ability to bring diverse individuals together also made her an outstanding Class Chairperson. Her natural goodwill to others was also on display during her participation in the Eunoia GO trip to Cambodia where she taught English to children there. Prior to the trip, she spearheaded a donation drive in the college to collect and sort materials to meet the needs of the villagers they would later meet. Jolene truly shone as an all-rounder who was a role model to her peers.

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

I feel like it was quite unexpected and I was pleasantly surprised because JC life was quite tough for me and I was also quite an average student. Thus, I would say that this is a testament to how, if you study hard and if you study smart, your hard work will pay off. I owe my results to my friends and classmates, as I was fortunate to be in a class with very capable people that I could lean on, especially when the academic workload was very high. My teachers were also very caring and understanding, especially towards those who were struggling in class. They offered consultations whenever we were confused with a particular concept, and made sure that we were on top of our work. My family also helped me to achieve these results, as they sacrificed a lot of time, especially when they brought me dinner and picked me up from school after long, tiring, study sessions in the library.

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

I feel that my 2 years in Eunoia were focused on personal growth and understanding the importance of holistic development. As I was the captain of Volleyball and also a Class Chairperson, I felt a lot of pressure to excel academically, as well as in these leadership roles in order to serve as a good role model for my team members and class. I am grateful for the really good support system I had in Eunoia; my friends and social circle supported me through trying times and helped me to grow as a leader while also maintaining my mental health.

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

I’d advise my juniors to live in the moment and not allow stress to overwhelm you. Consistent hard work hard helps with this, minimising any last-minute panic. Maintain a good support system, and be there for your friends whenever they need you. It is important to have confidence in yourself and not let other factors in your life undermine your ability, because you are the one who knows yourself best! Lastly, to all my fellow overthinkers out there, as Winnie the Pooh once said: you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think! Take heart, and I wish you all the best in your endeavors.