Class of 2021 Soaring
– Vol 3

Class of 2021
Soaring

VOLUME THREE

Eunoians who live out the ethos of Beautiful Thinking, Goodwill to All each day are the people who make this college a community and this building a home. In Volume Three, we feature Nadia, Jia Sen, Felynn, Eleanor and Yanisa who used their talents in the sciences and sports to fulfil their passion for serving others.

PHOTOS BY AARUSHI SALUNKHE, TIFFANY LIM, ZOU YAN FANG, NIKITA PARMAR

Nadia Sun

ALUMNA OF SINGAPORE CHINESE GIRLS' SCHOOL

Nadia Sun (20-U4) was a leader truly exemplified Goodwill to All. She was always willing to help, and always strived to be a positive influence to others. Nadia led a group of students who were strong in Physics to create resources for the rest of the cohort, and also took on the role of a mentor to support her peers who were not doing so well in the subject. As Vice-Captain of Tennis, Nadia was a role model to her peers by demonstrating resilience and sportsmanship, always supporting her peers, even when she suffered an injury halfway through the season and could not play any matches. Nadia was also part of EJ Earthlings and made significant contributions to environmental literacy and advocacy efforts through her work that included a mangrove clean-up and Inculcate - a learning journey of Bishan-Amk Park designed for the JC1s.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR RESULTS AND WHY? WHAT ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR?

Whilst I still am in the midst of processing my results, I can say that I am proud of myself for surviving such a strenuous examination. It might take me a while to fully realise the implications of my results and the possibilities they have opened; at the present moment I would say that I feel satisfied.

What has been running through my mind since receiving my results is all the help and encouragement I have received. I am extremely thankful to everyone who has been there in my A-level journey: my teachers pouring all their effort into helping us grow, the school staff who upkeep such a wonderful learning (and living) environment for us, my mother who tolerated all my stress-induced outbursts, and the yong tau foo auntie who made me my favourite bowl of noodles everyday.

WHAT WAS A SPECIFIC CHALLENGE OR 'LOW POINT' YOU FACED IN 2020-2021? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME IT?

A low point for me was definitely when I overloaded pressure on myself and did not give myself due credit for the things I did. Constantly expecting myself to do better really took a toll on me as I compared myself a lot to others. I was never satisfied no matter how well I did, and always beat myself up for not doing better. I eventually realised it stemmed from a lack of gratitude, and so I made a conscious effort to recognise all the things I should be grateful for. I even kept a ‘gratitude log’ to ground myself and remind myself of everything I look forward to feel safe and happy always in life. This not only changed my toxic mindset, but also brought me closer to the people around me.

WHAT WAS THE MOST MEANINGFUL PART OF YOUR JOURNEY IN EUNOIA?

The most meaningful part of my journey in Eunoia were all the connections I made, be it with new people or rekindling peer relationships. I am ultra grateful for all the experiences gained, joyous occasions spent and lessons learnt, and I cherish each individual greatly. I truly believe that you can learn something from everyone, and my time in EJC has definitely reinforced this.

WHAT ADVICE / WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOUR JUNIORS IN JC2 AND JC1?

I don’t think I can give any specific advice as everyone in EJC has such unique and special journeys of their own, but I would like to say just this: be open. EJC really gives us boundless opportunities to grow, so don’t be afraid to reach for whatever catches your eye! This is your time to explore, to dream, to laugh, to fail and to learn, so go forth and conquer! You are way more capable than you think and so much potential lies within you. We will all face self-doubt at some point, but know that everything will be alright eventually and there are so many avenues for you to seek help: teachers, friends, staff, seniors, alumni and more. So be open to all the wonderful possibilities that this school can offer!

Law Jia Sen

ALUMNUS OF CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL

Law Jia Sen (20-I5) epitomises the Eunoian spirit through his initiative and care for others. He voluntarily created online platforms to share his notes on Physics and other subjects with his entire whole cohort. On those platforms, he even went as far as moderating the discussion board and actively answering questions. For his classmates, he set up a mentorship scheme and was a Physics mentor to his peers, holding regular discussion sessions after school with those who needed them.

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

I feel very happy, as I scored as well as I could, after two years of work. I am extremely grateful to my teachers for teaching and guiding us throughout our journey in JC. They were always extremely helpful and supportive. My friends have also been lovely, and I am extremely grateful for them. Finally, I am thankful for my parents, who supported me each step of the way.

WHAT WAS A SPECIFIC CHALLENGE OR 'LOW POINT' YOU FACED IN 2020-2021? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME IT?

My low points were academic in nature - I struggled with General Paper from the start of 2020 and did not do as well as expected in Chemistry at the start of 2021. It was consistent effort and a lot of help from my teachers that I improved in these subjects. There was also disappointment when I scored lower for Project Work than what I had hoped. However, as we were advised, it is not the worst outcome, and there is always a way forward.

WHAT WAS THE MOST MEANINGFUL PART OF YOUR JOURNEY IN EUNOIA?

It was the way my class supported each other through challenges, as everyone had their own strengths they contributed. It felt like a pool of support, where the stronger students in class helped the weaker ones in every way possible. It was comforting to know we had each other’s backs and would help each other all the way.

WHAT ADVICE / WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOUR JUNIORS IN JC2 AND JC1?
IN PARTICULAR, FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE IN GUIDING YOUR PEERS' LEARNING, WHAT STUDY TIPS WOULD YOU SHARE WITH YOUR JUNIORS?

My advice to my juniors is to have some close friends who can be a source of support and help, such as study groups. There are also some who work better with competition, and it can be motivating to compete in grades. Of course, this should be done in moderation, and not to the point of stressing each other out. This method has helped me motivate myself. As for study tips, I encourage consistency especially during the holidays. Try to have scheduled study times for subjects, especially those that seem harder. Even doing a single question a week during the holidays is better than nothing. I’d also suggest consistent revision: revising old topics while learning new topics. It is easier to do this than to push hard near examinations. Finally, keep asking questions. During lectures, think about the questions you can ask, note them down and ask them after. Constant questioning will help clarify doubts and familiarise yourself with concepts.

Felynn Chua

ALUMNA OF CHIJ ST NICHOLAS GIRLS' SCHOOL

Felynn Chua (20-O2) was a talented Softballer and dedicated Softball Captain. She was exemplary in her commitment and effort to the team and the difficult training sessions. She did not let her passion for the sport and team flag even though there were no National Schools Games – the pinnacle of most JC athletes - during her time here. She led by example, and with compassion, rallying the spirits of the team well and earning their support and regard.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR RESULTS AND WHY? WHAT ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR?

I am very satisfied with my results. Even though I did not get a perfect score, I got the results that I needed in order to enter my dream course of study. I am also extremely thankful given these results were a marked improvement from my mid-year and prelim scores. I am grateful to all my teachers for guiding me over these two years, and helping me build the confidence that I sometimes lacked. I am also grateful to all my friends for helping me with revision as we battled to the A- levels together. Most importantly, I thank God and my family for extending grace I did not deserve, and for walking with me every step of the way.

WHAT WAS A SPECIFIC CHALLENGE OR 'LOW POINT' YOU FACED IN 2020-2021? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME IT?

A challenge I faced was having to deal with imposter syndrome in J2. With mid-year results that were below average, as well as having to mentor the new J1 players in my CCA (softball), there were many times when I struggled to match up to my own and others’ expectations.
I overcame it by relying more on my friends and accepting their words of encouragement, and taking one step at a time. It felt like I was faking it but in the end I really did make it. By taking things one day at a time and fulfilling my various responsibilities one task at a time, I was able to cope with the highly demanding JC experience. It was really helpful to live by my favourite quote: “The sun will rise, and we will try again.”

WHAT WAS THE MOST MEANINGFUL PART OF YOUR JOURNEY IN EUNOIA? OR WHAT IS THE BEST LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNT IN SOFTBALL?

The best lesson I took away from softball is how to “take courage”. Stepping up to serve as captain in JC1 was very different to anything I had done before. Needing to decide when to buckle down and work hard or when to stand up for my team’s welfare led to difficult conversations that taught me courage as a leader. I am grateful my team gave me space to learn on the journey. It also took courage to reflect on the less positive outcomes of my leadership journey, but this was important so I can strive to improve in the future. Through softball, I learned and was needed to show courage.

FROM YOUR EXPERIENCES IN EJC, ESPECIALLY AS A LEADER OF A SPORTS CCA, WHAT ADVICE / WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOUR JUNIORS IN JC2 AND JC1?

I would advise my juniors not to be afraid of showing vulnerability and needing help. Facing burn-out or imposter syndrome is an extremely real issue that sometimes seems hard to admit, but it is only through reaching out that you will be able to emerge stronger and a better leader. EJC is a place with a good community (teachers, counsellors and friends) and you should make use of this supportive environment to learn and grow, so that you can best contribute to your community in turn.

Eleanor Chua

ALUMNA OF SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Eleanor Chua (20-U4) stood out as a charismatic and effective leader whose contributions ignited the Eunoia spirit amongst her peers. She was a highly respected Vice-Chairperson of Ultimate Frisbee and her efforts to rally the spirits of the team amidst the heavy restrictions on training sessions amidst the pandemic meant motivation levels and camaraderie were high. She also organised signature House events as a Sports Representative and was on the organising committee of the Orientation Programme.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR RESULTS AND WHY? WHAT ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR?

I am extremely happy with my results. It has been a journey of highs and lows, and I am thankful that the many hours of hard work my teachers and I put in has paid off. I am grateful for my tutors and my friends as they were incredibly supportive throughout my two years in Eunoia, celebrating my happiest moments with me and fighting with me through tough times.

WHAT WAS A SPECIFIC CHALLENGE OR 'LOW POINT' YOU FACED IN 2020-2021? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME IT?

In early 2021, shortly after the high of Orientation 2021, I struggled to keep up with my studies and meet the expectations I had set for myself. It was stressful and scary as I felt so behind in my work, and everything I learnt in J1 became foreign to me again. Thankfully, I had my tutors, friends and family to cheer me on. I learnt to slow down and take things one step at a time, ensuring that I could fully grasp a certain concept before moving on to tackle another. It was definitely difficult when I first began to pick myself back up, but slowly and surely, I grew more confident in my studies.

WHAT WAS THE MOST MEANINGFUL PART OF YOUR JOURNEY IN EUNOIA? OR WHAT IS THE BEST LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNT IN ULTIMATE FRISBEE?

My time in EJUT was certainly a highlight. Teamwork makes the dream work. During training, we had to complete drills that required great coordination and communication. I loved being a part of EJ Ultimate Frisbee because it really showed me how when many individuals come together, each putting in their best effort and respecting each other, we can achieve great things as a team!

FROM YOUR EXPERIENCES IN EJC, ESPECIALLY AS A LEADER OF A SPORTS CCA, WHAT ADVICE / WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOUR JUNIORS IN JC2 AND JC1?

To my juniors, live your best in all you do! In a blink of an eye, JC life will pass you by and I feel that it is really important that you graduate knowing that you have grown and developed into the best version of yourself. So, take a deep breath and take on these challenges. Chase not perfection, but growth and happiness. Stay optimistic and helpful, because I believe that you will soon be a stronger version of yourself!

Yanisa Kee

ALUMNA OF SINGAPORE CHINESE GIRLS' SCHOOL

Yanisa Kee (20-O5) was a bright student who was a Bicultural Studies in Chinese Programme (BSP) Scholar and was also awarded the A*STAR Science Award, in recognition of her strong aptitude in the field of Mathematics and Science. She was passionate about uplifting others and stepped up to take on a range of leadership roles to fulfil her aspiration to be the voice of the voiceless. She leveraged platforms such as dialogues with the school leaders and MOE senior management to speak up about issues such as mental health support. She also took on the role of the Under-Secretary-General (Liaisons) in the OnePeople.sg Model United Nations (OPMUN) Secretariat, to contribute to more open conversations about local issues such as race, religion and social cohesion among the youths. Yanisa has been a strong advocate for inclusion. In her role as a Student Facilitator in the Pre-University Seminar 2021, she encouraged her peers to think more deeply about the issue of inclusion. As a House Captain, she also put in much effort to ensure that each and every incoming JC1 felt a sense of belonging to the Eunoia community.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR RESULTS AND WHY? WHAT ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR?

Although my results were not exactly what I expected, they reminded me of how unpredictable life is and I look forward to the journey ahead. I am grateful for the community around me that has supported me over the last two years. Although the A-levels were gruelling, I took comfort in knowing that I had the support of my teachers and peers.

WHAT WAS A SPECIFIC CHALLENGE OR 'LOW POINT' YOU FACED IN 2020-2021? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME IT?

As the J2 year progressed, I felt increasingly burnt out due to the combined weight of both my academics and extracurriculars. I constantly felt very tired and lacked the motivation to keep up with the pace of school. I found solace in the support network of my peers. Together, we would motivate each other and find creative study methods to help each other study better. It was very encouraging to know that we were all in the same boat and I could always approach them for help.

WHAT WAS THE MOST MEANINGFUL PART OF YOUR JOURNEY IN EUNOIA?

I am deeply grateful for all the opportunities Eunoia has given me to serve those around me. Some of my fondest memories are with the 4th Student Council (4SC). The friendships I forged and the memories I made in service to the school are core memories that I will always hold dear to me. Council taught me what it means to be a passionate servant leader, and inspired me to continue to serve others wherever I go.

AS A STRONG ADVOCATE FOR INCLUSION, WHAT ADVICE / ENCOURAGEMENT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOUR JUNIORS IN JC2 AND JC1, WITH REGARDS TO BUILDING AN INCLUSIVE LEARNING COMMUNITY, OR MAKING EJC MORE INCLUSIVE FOR EVERYONE?

As cliché as it sounds, I believe that change comes from within. To build an inclusive community, we have to first be the ones to inspire others to make change — we have to believe in the power of inclusivity. My advice would be not to just tolerate each other’s differences, but embrace them. I hope Eunoia can be a community that is truly inclusive.