Love that pursues

The local universities held their White Coat Ceremonies over the last two weeks, and I (fresh out of my 40 day insta-fast) scrolled through many pictures of my seniors in their new white coats. I was filled with a mixture of envy, excitement, and fear. I admired them for having survived JC and A levels, attaining what must have been excellent grades, and now being able to start their Medicine journey. The prospect of wearing my own white coat is thrilling, but at the same time, the fear that I won’t make it there is so so real. Every day I go to school and (try my best to) stay awake in class and pay full attention and take down notes meticulously and complete my homework to the best of my ability and study and study and study, but eventually, whatever fuel I’m running on burns out. The feelings of never matching up to my smarter schoolmates, of never being able to tick off everything on my study plan, are immensely frustrating. Coffee-fuelled late nights can only bring me so far.

Even during the past week as I felt myself burning out, I received verses from God – reminders of his constant presence. I read somewhere before that we don’t need God to give us new promises, we simply need to remember the promises He gave us before. Trusting God takes a lot of faith in his future grace. Even if He has been so faithful thus far, I, as a tiny ungrateful human, forget far too easily. I have forgotten how when I felt this same despair during CTs prep, I eventually just gave it to God, and how He really took the wheel and steered me through. “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfil His promises to her.” Not only does God make these promises to us, He never forgets them and carries us through till the very end. Nothing He says to us is a mistake, because He is a perfect God who sees all our flaws and can turn them into victories. 

I really love this song On and On by Housefires. It tells of how no matter where we may run – the highest mountain or the deepest darkest valley – God finds us there, because His love goes on and on and on. Even when we turn away from God, He chooses to pursue us. His love holds on and won’t let go, His love never leaves us on our own.

Even as I slog away at my endless tutorials and notes, God is right here with me. There is no need to fear, because if this is God’s plan, nothing that I do can make it happen any more surely, and if it is not, then nothing I can do will make it happen. It is really easy to trust this all up in my head, but as this week’s guest pastor shared, we can’t just have cerebral worship (obeying God in our heads and not living out our knowledge). I’ll try harder (!!) to be less stressed and to be more joyful in my work, knowing full well that God is God over all.

“And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

Holding On Tight

Happy hump day to myself! It’s already week nine (okay we cheated a little since our full timetable only started last week but whatever) and I’m 100% ready for the March (not)holidays to start asap! I feel as though school sucks so much out of me because I go home every night tired and unable to keep my eyes open regardless of whether I’ve just had coffee. I can’t pinpoint what it is exactly: the social interaction, the work, volleyball or ??? I’m watching all my friends drag themselves through this cycle of: 1. I don’t want to do this, but 2. Everyone else is doing it, so 3. I will make myself do it. I’ve honestly not seen so many people work so hard and publicly for that matter hahaha I’m more used to being intimidated by closet muggers/people who post their mugging pictures on their Snapchat/Insta stories for the rest of the world to see and feel ashamed of themselves.

Of course it really isn’t all dreary! I won’t deny that now is a really tough time because Dramafeste is really a horrible experience because all our sets are falling apart and the whole production just isn’t as concerted (compared to RGDF at least). But working on Dramafeste has given me time to get together with my House friends again.Though it is really beyond exasperating, I’m really glad I’m doing it with them. I find so so much solace in getting together with my friends from RG. Having left RG, I really miss it incredibly much </3 I miss being able to speak my mind or not speak at all, depending on whether I feel like it, because right now I feel obliged to interact and get to know new friends haha. I miss the teachers! Whether they were not so nice or really friendly, I still miss them all. I miss being able to walk around school and see familiar smiley faces because here it’s so awkward to see a once familiar face that now doesn’t smile back. Primary school boys are really such bad memories no joke.

Though I am most times mentally tired, and sometimes physically tired, I think God has been working more than ever in me. Even though I have to skip my Miracle Mornings when I sleep late and miss my 18983248 alarms in the morning, God still meets me after that and amazes me in the most unexpected ways. I’ve been walking to the MRT for the past few days, and the sky is always a different ombre in the morning. It’s a seamless and most gentle ombre, each hue of blue washed over the previous layer in a delicate and honestly perfect stroke. God paints the pitch black nights into glorious days, reminding us how His mercies are new every morning. Listening to worship songs on the way to school also wakes me up and reminds me of His presence, and how He will continually replenish my energy and give me strength to walk through the entire day.

The past week, God spoke to me about finding rest in Him. Though I’m only halfway through this week, I sense He is telling me about love and strength. I’ve always interpreted 1 Corinthians 13 as instructions on how to love people, but yesterday I realised that all love comes from God. Before we can love others in the way God instructed us to, He first loved us in the same way. So if our love to others is supposed to always hope, always protect, always trust, and always persevere, we can be certain that God loves us the same way. Even when we feel like giving up, God covers us with His love. He not only protects us but places His hope in us and trusts us. He perseveres in His love towards us even if we stumble. ❤ As I overheard another prayer group sing this morning, “You’re a good, good father.”

If Perfection is an Asymptote

January is almost over, CNY is almost here and I feel I have just been swept along by the relentless torrent of Social Activities since school started. I’ve allowed myself to slip back into the company of comfortable friends rather than that of classmates who, while earnest and kind, always seemed to be on a different intellectual curve. I still feel like a foreign specimen in the sprawling campus, looking straight forward whenever I am obligated to move around, for fear of making eye contact with a primary school acquaintance who I no longer recognise at first glance, and then have to make the oh-so-awkward decision of whether to smile or feign ignorance. Hopefully, this tense consciousness will dissipate with orientation, which begins at the end of next week! Meanwhile, I will revel in the one week long break from school.

Of the many books I have been indulging in, two stood out for me. The first, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, is an astoundingly realistic novel about sisterhood and how war changes everything. Then again, I use “astoundingly realistic” as a reader who is entirely unacquainted with war. It is one thing to read about the atrocious war crimes in a non-fiction text, but it is another to live the (still detached, but arguably closest possible) experience through the descriptive paragraphs of a skilful author. Every time I thought it couldn’t possibly get worse, it did. Relationships were strained, people changed, and children matured quicker than they should have. The immense feelings of loneliness and desperation penetrated the novel and gripped me from start to finish. While wars rage in our world, our lives continue. We go on each day, hopefully gratefully, most probably robotically, while someone else suffers. The things the book described still happen today, and it so chilling to think about another in distress, while I sit here in perfect safety and comfort. If this is not motivation enough for me to make real change through Medicine, then I don’t know what is. It is so easy to turn away in denial and continue basking in my undeserved privilege, but how could I allow myself to do that to a fellow child of God? God tells me I was born for this, called to this royal position for such a time as this. A time of suffering for another is a time for me to challenge myself to use my education to make a positive change.

The second immensely thought-provoking book I read was When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. This autobiography chronicles the life of a neurosurgeon-neuroscientist (the most revered combination of specialities according to Dr Kalanithi, and I can see why) and how everything flipped on its side when he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He studied in America and hence did two previous degrees in Literature and the History of Medicine (at Cambridge!!) before pursuing his medical degree at Yale. What a legend, truly. He conveyed the confused and conflicted thoughts of a Medical student perfectly, bringing the beauty of literature and the power of words together with his deep understanding of the human experience. My biggest takeaway from the book was the need to make life changing (actually, life changing) decisions as a surgeon. So much hinged on the decision to go ahead with a particular procedure or to hold back, and there were instances where he was right and others where he was wrong. He couldn’t let doubt get in the way of his choices and had to do his very best for his patients to see them through till the very end. He also discussed the importance of the doctor’s human touch – the need to empathise and communicate with the patient in a way that made them feel secure in your care, and not to see them as mere paperwork or another box in your checklist keeping you from going home. All his experiences were articulated in such a raw, true way. I can only think of it as him giving me glasses to look into the Medical experience, where previously my vision was blurry and my impressions unsure. Of his many sentences that hit the nail on the head, this is perhaps my favourite: You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving.

What beautiful words!!

This quote resonates so deeply with me, especially in these two weeks where we were reminded of the wealth of opportunities offered to us by the school. We are encouraged to pick a domain in which to develop: cognitive, leadership, sports, arts and community service. I feel, to a certain extent, that I have dared to dip my toes in a little of each aspect and yet never really excelled in any. After readjusting my goals for JC in accordance to my priorities for my grand life plan, I am turning away from the old familiarities. It is always hard to leave what I am used to, no matter if they were good experiences or unpleasant ones. There have been so many times where I considered my plans again, trying to decide if I were really brave enough to radically (for me) change my previous style of existence. It helps that so many of my friends are also venturing into new unknowns with me I guess! This year, I need to learn that I can’t do everything someone else does, have everything someone else has, or be anybody but myself. How many times have I gone on the once-innocent-Instagram only to become upset because of what someone else is doing that I am not? I’m slowly learning to regulate my emotions and learning to lean on God for strength. He created me and made me the perfect one to carry out His plans in my circles. He will not deny me of anything that I will need to succeed, so fear not YH!

For the past few mornings, God has reminded me through my daily verses that I am 1. not to worry because 2. He will guide me and establish my steps (no matter how much I seek to chart my own journeys) and that 3. I need only ask Him for it to be given to me, and knock, for the door to be opened.

Christina Perri aptly sings: How to be brave, how to love when I am afraid to fall?

So I mustn’t be afraid to fall. My identity is that of a child of God, NOT a slave to fear. For with man things are impossible, but with God, nothing is impossible.

I am very blessed to be surrounded by supportive friends, from the crazy ones to the ones who celebrate my successes more than I do myself. So blessed. There are just so many things to be appreciative of. Growing up is such a strange feeling. While I feel more in touch with my emotions and thoughts and self-dependence, this connectedness is foreign, and makes me long for my pink-princessy-dress days, where life was a hundred times simpler.

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Sleepy Vibes

It has just been ONE week of school and I am already returning home each day completely exhausted and ready to roll into bed. The words that come most easily to me are I’m tired, and I say them almost robotically whenever I have nothing else to say. I think it’s insane how draining social interaction has become for me, considering how this time last year I would have had to lead cheers and be enthusiastically engaging lil year 1s in conversations. It’s not always bad though – when I’m talking to a friend one-on-one, or when I’m with a group of familiar people who I am (truly) comfortable with, I really savour the time we have together. Like my MRT rides with my primary school friends, the talk with my dance batch mates during auditions, and all the Whatsapp conversations with friends I see everyday and those I haven’t seen in a while. I love friends who I can have conversations with without having to worry about anything, without having to hide anything and without having to fear that they’ll judge me. I love just being able to tell them about the significant and insignificant, knowing they will actually care about my life and be interested in the conversation regardless of the content.These conversations rejuvenate me rather than add to my stress, and make me feel like a friend rather than just-another-person-I-can-use (lol I’m so angsty). When lessons start proper, I’m going to have to make new friends and hopefully they will be the dependable sort who won’t be part of my worries! screams a little

I’ve tried to be more mindful about what I’m doing and I think it has helped in some ways. The Miracle Morning routine has been an amazing way to start the day thus far. I have to get up at least 30 minutes earlier, but once I brush my teeth and wash my face, I’m wide awake to focus on TMM. I play my instrumental ambient music and do this:

  • Silent time (pray)
  • Affirmations (read a list of affirmations about myself – sounds highly egoistic but it reminds me of the positive when I am often dragged down by the negative)
  • Visualisation (play out the rest of the day in your head, helps me to prep myself mentally and think about how everything will turn out fine)
  • Exercise (do a few leg lifts and stretches just to complete the acronym)
  • Read (read my Bible + devotions book)
  • Scribe (write the daily verse + my thoughts on it – I hope to end up with 365 pages of beautiful scripture when I am done)

It’s honestly so easy to start the day frazzled and anxious, but when I listen to the calming music and pray and read the Word, I allow my heart to settle down and block out the noise of the world. It gives me time to reflect on what I’ve been doing right and wrong and most importantly gives me the opportunity to correct my wrongs. In this week alone, TMM has made me realise how 1. my response to A Certain Situation was highly un-Christlike and 2. how worrying about my future CCA was really a waste of time because *surprise* God has a plan for me and it will work out no matter what CCA I join. God’s perception of time is so different from ours, it’s like us being burdened by a tiny speck in a magnificent masterpiece. I won’t deny that I still worry a lot, but I would say TMM still makes me a little more trusting and a little less worried, so it’s still a worthy habit!

On the other hand, being mindful means I am Acutely Aware of my life goals + my action plan, which is entirely contradictory to what I know I am supposed to live out, i.e. trusting in God’s plan for my life. Seriously I struggle with this everyday, not knowing which line is the point at which I need to let go and let God. Some days I wish our world weren’t so competitive and education could be innocent and fun and purely educational. I tell myself JC is probably the last time I can have fun and do things as a student that I won’t be able to do in the future, but on the flip side if I just have fun then what about my bigger goal? Y I K E S . I want to do so many things but there is never enough time for everything and not knowing how to find the perfect balance really tortures me. For this reason I over-plan and overthink and this is so lethal and school hasn’t even really started yet! (If I could make the letters in this sentence grow progressively bigger to emphasise the increasing anxiousness I feel, I would.) BIG SIGH.

I love spending time with children and elderly because they teach me how happiness doesn’t have to be complicated. Watching the little boy get up to dance along to the worship song (alone, mind you, all the other children just sat and played with the toys), and seeing the elderly’s faces light up as they sang and clapped along, are such precious reminders of how simple our emotions of joy were meant to be. I wonder how long it will be till the time when I don’t have a care in the world and a song could bring me complete bliss.

Because I have been so tired recently, I have just been reading ferociously to escape from reality (triggered: memories of Literature and the characters in The Glass Menagerie escaping from their tragic lives). But the books I have been reading are barely an escape because their plot developments and endings always leave me more confused about how to carry on with my life. (Am highly tempted to use the word sh00k HAH). I feel I haven’t made time to read a book properly in the last 4 years, so returning to fiction for fun is really refreshing and I hope I continue to read actively in the next 2 years!

Honestly, like all my other posts, I have no idea where this one is going… I guess I just felt like surviving the first week of JC was something to shout about and also felt like putting all my reflective/nonsense thoughts into proper sentences. I cannot believe it’s going to be Chinese New Year so soon but I’m So. Excited. at the prospect of not having to go to school for a week!!! Jiayouzzz to you and to me for the next week of life, try to make the most of it!

“If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit.”

Interspace

noun: a space between things

School is finally starting next week!! I feel nervous for JC but at the same time I’ve been extraordinarily sluggish at home so maybe school starting will motivate me to get back into work mode. Right now I’m just stuck between holidays and school, relaxing and work, and it’s quite frustrating to not be able to have more control over what I end up doing in the day. When school starts this will be better because I won’t have as much of a choice haha.

This past holiday passed insanely quickly, and to be fair to myself I wasn’t playing mindlessly for the most part! I guess I was learning a lot about Medicine and slotted in as many things as possible, such that I didn’t feel the buildup to Christmas and all of a sudden it’s almost Chinese New Year?(x100) I feel quite unprepared for JC because I’ve been off educating myself on Medicine rather than BCMH haha but I guess I’m working towards a greater goal! And now that JC is starting I don’t want to forget all that I have learnt, because I know it will be all to easy to shift my focus to the content I need for the grades. AHH.

I have been trying to make the most of this week by starting some mindful habits and reading and exercising, which will hopefully stick even when things get busier! Ultimately I don’t want to become a sad lethargic study machine (though it is quite possible knowing myself)!

I think this year’s church theme of the Year of Sabbath is a very timely reminder for me to always find rest. That no matter how much I strive to accomplish, God guides my path and He has the ultimate control. It’s always about finding the perfect spot between doing my best and letting God do the rest. The past week’s sermon was also exceptionally refreshing for me in my plan for this year! Our youth theme is #unshakable. We live in a very noisy world where the outside pressures influence us to think we need to achieve more, earn more, be accepted and that we will never be enough. Our pastor put this very cleverly: we think to ourselves “I am not perfect”, but the thing is, God never asked us to be perfect! God made us according to His plan for our life and whatever we need, He is sure to provide. Rather than looking to the world, or even within ourselves to find an identity and a purpose, we need to find our identity in Christ alone. “Don’t build your life on the external, so that regardless of the external, you will never be shaken.” How true is that!! With God as our cornerstone, I daresay we become invincible.

It definitely isn’t a conscious choice most times to tie our self worth to our achievements and social acceptance, and it is difficult to break away from it as well. For me, knowing that God is always there for me to seek shelter is all that I need. That no matter how unworthy I feel, my heavenly Father thinks 100% otherwise! Hopefully I will cling on to this truth through this year and make it out not just alive, but as more than a conqueror.

The Bible always puts it best:

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.f And by him we cry, “Abba,g Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

More Than Conquerors

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34W ho then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”j

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,k neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  1. I am NOT a slave to fear
  2. Whoever God calls, He will glorify
  3. Nothing can separate me from the love of God
  4. I am more than a conqueror 🙂

It is so tempting to compare myself to others, to want the opportunities they have, to do what they are doing, and this all stems from my intense Fear Of Missing Out … As I wrote in my Bible Journal this morning, I just need to remember that when I seek God first, I have all I ever need. He will open and close doors in accordance with His plan, and if I spend on day dwelling on what someone else has that I don’t, I’m going to miss out on my own grand opportunities!

This is all easy to think when times are still good, but at the end of the day, the ultimate test is whether I uphold this when I’m at the bottom of the pit. For this, I’ll just have to wait and see, but I trust 100% that God will constantly renew me and will draw ever closer to me if only I am willing to draw closer to Him.

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All our hopes for 2017! ❤

Rainy days and baby cries

Feeling extremely tired after just two weeks of my work attachment at the clinic! This is a very different kind of school holiday because for the first time in forever (frozen vibes after seeing so many little girls in Elsa dresses/with frozen water bottles…) I am not just rolling around at home watching YouTube, baking the life out of my kitchen, eating nonstop etc. etc. On the contrary, I have had to wake up at 6.30am every weekday and huddle with the rest of the working class on the train to work! It’s not even really work per se since all I do is observe the doctor, but nonetheless it’s been extremely insightful in every sense of the word! I’ve had the rare opportunity to see what it is actually like to diagnose cases, counsel parents, see newborn babies, visit restricted areas in the hospital and so many other things. On the shuttle bus to and from the hospital, all I feel is blessed.

Seeing newborns and babies also restored my sense of wonder: it is truly an inexplicable sense of joy to hold the hands of a little neonate; to see the pumping of a tiny heart; to smile at a child and have him/her beam back at you. It’s also lovely to see the children’s parents, grandparents and helpers bring them to the clinic and love the child no matter how sick he/she may be. I’ve seen so many caregivers with crazy eyebags (I feel like this mother I saw today had double eyebags? Didn’t know that was possible…), catching the illness from their child and just being exhausted overall but still put their child’s wellbeing first and care for them with an undying resolve.

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Besides staring at cute kids all day and attempting to stop them from crying by handing them stuffed toy bears, I’ve also had the most mentally-stimulating conversations with the doctor I’m attached to hahaha. It’s mind-blowing how much she knows about everything! She also hands me many readings from brochures to textbooks on medical conditions, which are all incredibly useful because I can’t find these medical texts in the library. There’s just so much to find out and an endless wealth of information on each condition. Whenever the clinic is slightly quieter with no patients waiting outside, or when we go on rounds, she takes the chance to ask me about what I’ve read up on and gives me new information to find out more about. In many ways this is much more challenging than school work because of how real it is: I see the child’s condition and I find out more about the causes, symptoms and treatment, and see first hand how the diagnosis is made and how it is communicated to the parent. While it is difficult to have to think fast when seeing the patients and talking to the doctor and to continue researching at home even when my eyelids are drooping, I really enjoy this type of mental stimulation. Being exposed to the field of medicine is incredibly humbling – each day brings new knowledge.

Of course there are times where I really feel like not doing anything HAHA. Sometimes I wish I could just wake up late and cook and eat breakfast leisurely and then watch YouTube to my heart’s content and roll around and bake and live life like it’s actually the holidays. I am also getting very envious of my friends who are overseas!!! BUT then I remind myself of how insanely blessed I am in a different way because this is SUCH a precious opportunity that rekindled my love for children and their innocence and made me appreciate medicine so much more (x1000!!!!)!!! Just one more week left and then a mini break before I fly away to yet another exciting experience! This has been such a meaningful and enriching holiday hehe I really don’t want to go back to school.

Also some less serious things I’ve noticed hahaha:

  1. the most common bag to hold baby things in is Anello HAHA luckily I didn’t buy the backpack on impulse man it’s for moms
  2. the most common phrase to say to a baby is “olalala olalala” – like wtpong does that even mean..??? parents and grandparents say that to the baby to stop them from crying but 9/10 of the time it doesn’t work HAHAHAHA
  3. the most popular sweet flavour is strawberry and the least popular sweet flavour is mango.

That is all. 🙂

Graduation

The fact that graduation is so near didn’t really sink in till I watched the video our juniors put together for us. Our mass dance song that played in the background also brought back many fond memories, where my journey in house first started! While reading a friend’s post and looking at all the photos online, I decided to look back on my four years in RG too, and found myself smiling at many things I did that I had already forgotten about. I extracted over a hundred photos – over a hundred things that made me glad I came to RG and didn’t run away when tough seasons rolled around. There’s no doubt that the school environment is stressful, but I also believe that this is what works best for me and makes me want to push myself further. Perhaps I have pushed myself too hard sometimes, but to be very honest the results never disappoint HAHaha and it’s all worth it in the end!! My friend was telling me how many people in our class push themselves too far, but that because we know God, we know when it’s time to stop and let God do the rest. I think that is very true! Especially for this year, I feel that while I have never stopped trying my best, I also find peace and assurance in the knowledge that God is always working behind the scenes and that I really have nothing to fear if what I’m doing is in God’s plan for me.

One very strong testimony I have of how God has worked in my life would be meeting Julia! (Hi Ju if you are reading this!) In Y1 I really really (X1ooo) hated CCA because it was an environment where I felt I was constantly being judged and deemed as inadequate due to my lack of experience in dance. I couldn’t wait to quit at the end of the year and definitely did NOT see myself staying in the CCA for all four years! But along the way, I met Julia and noticed how despite everything that was going on around her, she managed to stay positive and spread joy to all those around her. As I got closer to her, she also invited me to church. And that began a transformation in my life. She has always been a role model for me in her walk with God, like how she had a prayer group when she was Y4 and now I have one of my own! ❤ All the adversities I faced drew me closer to Jesus and throughout my four years, He has really blessed me with so so many sisters in Christ that I know I can always count on.

Being in RG also revealed to me that I am largely an introvert. I do enjoy the company of friends, but really only those that I am very close to and can have comfortable conversations with. I read somewhere that friends are people you can share comfortable silences with, and I think that is somewhat true. Given a choice, I would rather sit alone than be with a large crowd haha. Being seen alone used to be something I feared, but after a while I grew to appreciate these quiet times and not care so much about what other people think.

Can’t have a post about RG without HOUSE! Okay some confessions now: #1 never really thought much about house in y1 (/don’t really remember what I did in house pracs because unlike some batch mates I wasn’t the type to fangirl seniors) and #2 as a student leader trainee, I wanted to join psb. HAHA but even so when I was allocated house, I still tried my best of course! Dramafest was a turning point because the dedication of the seniors rubbed off on me, and I guess I was just very focused on doing my job well, but the kind seniors really took the effort to affirm my efforts and made me feel like perhaps this is where I belong! I also never imagined I would ever become house capt because my fellow house commers were so much more suited for the role and outspoken and passionate and enthusiastic and basically all the things I thought a house capt needed to be. But the seniors really took the time to make sure I knew that I was equally capable, and encouraged me to give it a shot, and for that I will be eternally grateful! Their actions and words showed me the importance of investing your time in growing others as leaders in their own ways, and how words of encouragement and affirmation can do so much in giving someone a boost of confidence! As house capt I was also one of the less outspoken ones, but that didn’t hinder my learning experience in any way, because I still gave every single house event my best shot and truly cared (and still care!) for my house!

Campaigning for house capt is arguably one of the hardest things I have ever done in my entire life, but that was just the beginning of the hard work in house. I am super thankful for an extremely capable EXCO and house comm that helped me in planning and executing all the events and initiatives. I always had ideas that I didn’t know if others thought were dumb, but ah well we went ahead anyway and I just hope they made some Richardsonian out there love house a bit more!! Like our encouragement board during the exam season ❤ In a way, that’s how I paired my desire to care for the student body (why I wanted to join PSB) with my work in house. I told myself that any student leader’s role is to serve and care for her peers, and being in house simply gave me a fifth of the school to care deeply for! One of my favourite memories will be Sportfest this year. We tried SO hard for it – we filmed a video to talk to our house about how much it would mean to us if they played the games, we painted a brand new banner, we held a cheer refresher with tons of food etc etc and just were all very emotionally invested in it. Losing sportsfest really really shattered my heart, but all the Richardsonians that came up to me to hug and comfort me after that just put my heart back together and made sure it would never fall apart again. We won the sportsfest challenge – which showed that our house had really done very well in participation, and it wasn’t just the runners who were trying hard for Richardson. This leadership experience, while daunting at times, was extremely rewarding and really unlike any other. It taught me to fight hard for what I loved and taught me to appreciate those fighting alongside me.

I hope I have covered everything by now – God, house, dance – I think that’s pretty much it HAHA and I’m not gonna proof read everything again so I hope I didn’t ramble too much up there.

Time for photos!! I limited myself to around 20 photos of memories and people that mean a lot to me, but that’s only because I’m watching my wordpress post storage haha otherwise I would easily have posted over 100 photos!

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When we filmed our Raffles song video for an inter-house game and came in second! Very fond memories of this ❤

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113/213 class party!

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2nd dramafest but the one I remember most! Such talented seniors and dedicated crew – if only they had the creative props and sets awards last year hmpf.

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Banner painting will always be one of my favourite Rg activities!

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Nincompoops annual secret santa exchange! My secret santa even has a facebook account that gets passed down each year to my new secret santa – how cool is that.

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YFC! Met so many hardworking souls through YFC and I’m very very proud of how far we came and how much we raised for SCS! This was one of the bumpier journeys I guess but also one of the most meaningful!

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March house camp on my birthday! My lovely EXCO ❤ ❤ no words.

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Comettos (missing Jing!!) I love it when I see yall around school hahaha except KE because I only need to turn around to see your face.

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Don’t remember when this was… but nice HAHA we should do this again batchies!

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My best prac countdown buddy! And science lab buddy! Thank you soph for always telling me about your life, I really do enjoy all our conversations ❤

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Shu the most loving and lovable person around, a true blessing to all!

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Tree dance dancers for dance concert! Seniors I used to fear in Y1 but who came back to choreograph a dance for us ❤

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The time we were “rushing back” from RI after taking a pit stop for snacks, and then being so afraid of getting scolded but our fellow Y4s that we banned everyone from answering their phones HAHAHHAHA sorry batchmates.

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Whenever we take photos we take this exact same mirror selfie.

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Going to support the cheerleaders at their night pracs! Cheerleaders are legit so amazing they work so hard for their houses and dance so well I think every one of them deserves an award.

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Painting our sportsfest banner at Yizhen’s house where Xiang painted the wall…. and we had some of the best shanghainese food around, and understood where Yizhen got all her funny genes from!

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Cozifam – the wildest most dedicated people around,

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Shakespeare in the park with the RALit class that is too smart for me!!!

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407 is constantly feasting… our class either smells like KFC, pizza, or both. (in this picture it was mcdonalds hotcakes though hahaha)

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Finally wore a yakata to school! J and I embracing the only Jap bits of us here.

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RACH!! Doesn’t matter how rarely or often I see her because this friendship is one to keep for a long long time and I’m so grateful for her ❤

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Lastly – possibly my favourite photo of the last four years hahahaha some of my favourite people and the emblem of all their hard work!

As a p6 5 years ago, I screenshotted the acceptance email to RG, posted in on my insta and said “BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!” and I guess that set the stage for the most remarkable journey thus far 🙂 I still don’t see myself as sixteen and any bit mature; I feel I am still very much ignorant and needy haha. But for the chance to study in RG, meet all these great people and be blessed with all the opportunities the school has cast our way, I am so thankful! Ending in the classic RG way,

Filiae Melioris Aevi