Updated: Mar 21, 2021
We will respect our interviewee’s wish to remain anonymous. Any similarities are purely coincidental.
How did you decide your subject combinations?
I did not know exactly what I wanted to do in university, so I chose Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and H1 Economics. I heard from seniors that Science stream would leave more doors open in university which was the reason behind my decision!
How is the environment in Hwa Chong?
I think it is a competitive but wholesome environment here. There are a lot of people in the school which meant there were a lot of opportunities but also a lot of people are willing to work hard for the same goals.
How would you describe your CCA experience?
I was from Track & Field in Hwa Chong and being one of the largest CCAs in the school purely because of our sheer size, we were fortunate to have a lot of support and quite significant resources. Looking back at the national final where everyone in the school from high school to junior college were coming down to cheer us on, it was really special to be part of that. Hearing the school song being sung by thousands of people in the stadium was a surreal moment of our school spirit, one I would cherish for a long time.
That sounds amazing! What do you learn from your time being a student athlete in JC?
After our season in J2, I trained for an overseas competition in July. It was a tough period of time where I pretty much had to train alone without my CCA friends, while keeping my focus on the upcoming A Level examinations. Things didn’t quite pan out how I envisioned as I false started and was disqualified. I felt like all of the hours put in leading up to that very second was wasted.
It was natural for anyone in your position to feel disappointed, how did you bounce back from that?
I do think about it a lot and realised that despite what happened, I enjoyed the experience of training and the atmosphere of the competition. In the end, it has been done and it is out of my control to reverse that. With the effort that I put in and the overall experience I had, I can be happy with myself and would not change it any other way.
Outside of life in Hwa Chong, what other activities did you engage in?
I really love Hwa Chong and considered it my second home, and for that I mean spending a great amount of time in school, especially as the A Level examinations were drawing closer. Having said that, I spent some time volunteering at a children home, where I was tutoring some of the kids there. I have always wanted to give back in the way I think we students know best, which is through teaching subjects that we have spent countless hours studying. Finding the balance between doing what you want to do and your main commitment like school and CCA was key, although it proved to be difficult at times.
You have spoken really fondly of Hwa Chong, was there a moment where you look back now and really miss it?
I feel like there was not really a ‘best’ moment per se. Although, there was this moment where one day, my friends and I were staying back to study and saw an amazing sunset. We dropped everything and ran over to see it. And then, still enthralled by the breathtaking sunset, we turned around and witnessed a double rainbow! These little moments were what made the school special, because in a way, we would not have experienced such spontaneous moments of joy if not for school!
There were also those moments where we would da bao food and sit and chill at the central plaza and play music till 10 and get chased out by the security guard. You can only imagine the chaos when a buggy was hot on our heels!
Also, in J1, we did not have a classroom but we have class benches instead. I really like them because everyone would be chilling there and you get to meet a lot of people. Your friends would always be there too after school so you know where to find them.
What is one thing that juniors can look forward to when joining Hwa Chong?
Our Mid-Autumn Festival (MAF) is absolutely wonderful to be a part of. The scale of our celebration is huge, with alumni from many batches coming back to immerse in the atmosphere. We also have faculty outings which is a fun night of food and performances.
Knowing what you know now, would you change anything?
If there is anything I would have done differently, I would say to slow down more, and not to continuously look to do something new. One definitely needs time to self-reflect, otherwise we risk getting caught up in the whirlwind of JC life. My seniors cautioned me that JC passes by super quickly, and I think this is where for anyone who is reading this, do take a step back to reflect on your goals and direction before taking the next steps forward.
Finally, what is one advice for juniors to make the most out of their time in Hwa Chong?
Be open and ready to meet new people, especially mutual friends! Also make use of the many opportunities the school provided. I was lucky enough to go on an overseas learning trip in Hong Kong where the highlight was undoubtedly hiking for 100km across the country. Last but not least, don’t let the academic pressure be the end goal of yours, instead try your best and enjoy the two years!