Not The End, But A New Beginning: A-Level Results Release Day 2023

Main Writer: Megan Tay Jia-Xin

Contributing Writer: Edmund Wong Li Hong

Many may see the day of the A-Level results release as a day that signifies the end of a chapter in their lives. One that marks the end of an era, the end of their journey at ACJC. It’s the end of regular classes, spent learning with the classmates they have grown to form close friendships with. It’s the end of lessons and consultations with teachers who have worked tirelessly alongside them in preparation for every test and exam. It’s a farewell to the ACJC campus itself. 

Though many may view it this way, it is truly only just the beginning. Just as much as the A-Level results release may represent an ending, it also demarcates a new beginning. A fresh start. Here begins the next step in the lives of many of our ACJC students, replete with many exhilarating adventures on the horizon: be it attending university, locally or abroad, the discovery of new friends and passions, the start of a new job, a stint in National Service, or whatever else the future has in store for our 2022 graduates.  

This excitement for what was to come was palpable today as our J3s began pouring in through the school gates, itching to receive their results and happy to be back in the school that holds so many fond memories for them. 

Excited chatter was heard all throughout school as they wandered through their old stomping grounds before making their way to the hall for the much awaited ceremony.

The hall was packed, excited seniors sliding into their seats. The air crackled with nervous excitement, with happy greetings ringing through the air. It was a truly moving sight to see the camaraderie and kinship present amongst so many of these classes, delighted friends reuniting for such a momentous occasion. 

Alumni taking a selfie to commemorate the day. Photo Credit: Mr Mark Ng

Not only were these happy reunions a lovely sight, but it was fascinating to see how much our seniors have changed since graduation, now looking completely different outside of the school uniforms we were so used to seeing them in, already making the next step towards their future. 

A touching video played on loop on the projector in the hall, broadcasting happy memories on the large screen for all the J3s to reminisce on. It was a heartwarming collage featuring iconic moments the J3 batch experienced, received by nostalgic shouts and laughter from the audience as they pointed out their classmates, joked with each other, and reflected on their unforgettable time in ACJC. 

This was succeeded by a speech by Dr. Shirleen Chee, one that had the whole room buzzing with anticipation for what was to come. 

Then came the announcement of the honour roll. With every named call, Dr. Chee prompted each student to stand in celebration of their achievements. As Dr. Chee listed their myriad of accomplishments, the crowd roared in support, cheering on their batchmates for the hard work and dedication they put in during their JC journey. 

It was incredibly inspiring to hear what my seniors were able to accomplish, not just academically, but also holistically, through their CCAs, competitions or external VIAs. Hearing the impact they made, not just on school, but at times, on society, was dazzling. I’m sure this was an inspiring moment for my JC2 batchmates as well, motivating and spurring us on to achieve our goals in our remaining time at ACJC. 

What truly encompassed the ACJC spirit for me, was seeing the reception for each of these students as they rose up, waving at their fellow friends and teachers present in the crowd, wide smiles adorning their faces. The cheers and whoops of support and encouragement from their classmates in recognition of their talents and achievements really highlighted the sense of community our ACJC culture has. This unique sense of camaraderie and unity is something we’ve passed down from batch to batch, and something I hope we can continue to pass on for generations to come. 

Honour roll students posing with ACJC teachers. Photo credit: Mr Mark Ng

Another heartwarming scene was watching the selected J3s being called up to receive their certificates from Dr. Shirleen Chee. With every name announced, excited cheers erupted from the crowd, proud classmates celebrating one another. The J3s wore both looks of shock and excitement as they dashed up to the stage, intercepted by the congratulatory gestures of friends and teachers. Some students even grabbed onto their friends’ hands and ran up to the stage together, again exemplifying the sense of unity and friendship that remains alive within the J3 batch.

Finally came the moment everyone was waiting for. Dr. Chee announced that each class would go to the respective tables the form teachers had set up on the side of the hall to collect their results. There the teachers stood, waiting with excitement and greeting their students with happy smiles and congratulating them on their accomplishments.

As I watched the swarms of students stand up and head toward their tables, I couldn’t help but feel excited for them and what was in store for their future. 

And so they went, ready to kickstart a new beginning.

Joseph Chan Chern Ern: The Embodiment of Tenacity and Capability

Written by: Divyesh Balakrishnan, Sitinur

With a strong passion for science since secondary school,  Joseph Chan’s passion has pushed him to go above and beyond the curriculum, reading science books and taking part in science-related events to deepen his understanding. He attained Silver in both the Chemistry and Physics Olympiad. He also attained Gold in Science and Engineering fair. Furthermore, he took up 2 H3 subjects – Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Physics. Well, all that studying paid off as Joseph Chan is the ACJC Top Science Student for 2022. Joseph has proven to be more than just an academically robust student with stellar leadership skills being not only the President of the Physics and Engineering Club but President, Head Editor and Technical IC of AC Press. 

Joseph Charn Chern Ern, 2SA1, Top Science Student. Image: Mr Mark Ng

What is your favourite memory from ACJC?

I cannot think of one as there are too many. But if I have to choose one, it would be all my memories with my class. My class is very interesting with many characters and everyone has a unique personality. My classmates helped me go through difficult times and made me laugh and smile when I needed it the most. I am really sad to see them go, but I know the time has come and we will still keep in touch anyways.

What sparked your passion and interest in science? 

I have been good at science since primary school and that piqued my interest in it. Once I entered secondary school, the science curriculum taught covered much more and I was hooked and went to the library and watched videos on youtube to learn more. Science opened my eyes and the more I read, the more I understood. Science changes one’s perspective as it allows one to understand phenomena in everyday life.

What sparked your passion for research?

Science and research are intrinsically intertwined. Therefore, science naturally introduced me to research.

What’s your favourite part of research?

Experimentation. I was supposed to go to the lab, but Covid got in the way. Therefore, most of my work was done. I had to do many simulations on the computer but it was nevertheless riveting. Research is a lot of playing around. There are often many obstacles but I have found that taking a walk or taking a break helps me think of new ideas. I enjoyed research but would have appreciated it if he got to work at the lab.

What do you plan to do with your life after A-levels?

After finishing the army, I am thinking of going overseas to study mathematics or physics. More specifically, I want to go to either Imperial, Cambridge or UCL. Local universities are my backup plan. NUS had offered me a place in NUS College, which is an honours programme and very exclusive. However, I prefer overseas universities as it gives one a more global experience and the teaching group is generally smaller. I prefer small teaching groups as it is easier to ask questions. I am also looking into scholarships such as PSC Engineering, PSC Teaching and A*STAR. As for my career, I want to be a professor.

What advice would you give your juniors?

Be consistent in your work. Please do not hand up your assignments late and give it your best. The consistency will pay off. Do not slack off. Furthermore, you should make sure to stay active in your extracurriculars. Do not be afraid to volunteer for positions to not just develop your portfolio but your character as well. It will teach you many things such as organisation and handling large groups. It gives you a lot of valuable soft skills.

If you could say something to your J1 self, what would it be?

Do your best. Sometimes you feel so tired but even then you should try to push through as the pain will be worth it and it would be nothing. It will look difficult at the moment but if you push on and try your best you can find out just how much you can do and push yourself. Give it your all.

How do you feel about your results?

I was surprised. I did not expect to be the Top Science student.

What are your passions outside of studies?

I like badminton. Every week on Saturdays, I will go and train with my coach. It allows me to let out some steam from the stress of CCA and studies. I also like cycling a lot. It is a good stress reliever. I love cycling around the estate when I am stressed. I cycled a 32 km stretch from Jurong to Coney Island and back with my father! On my cycling trips, I get to see many exciting things.

What big motivator helped you through your JC years?

My parents for sure. They gave me tough love. They taught me discipline. They supported me when things got tough and cooked my favourite food or bought them. They always offered encouragement and were very motivational. I am very grateful for them and would not have achieved what I did without them.

Joseph has truly demonstrated his resilience and capability by managing all his commitments from all ends, even excelling at them. He is truly an inspiration to his juniors and batchmates. Congratulations!

Chloe Lau En Qi: An Insightful Inspiration

By: Euan Loh 2AD2

Easygoing, good-natured and filled with humour, Chloe is an academically gifted, musically talented student who has proven her competence time and time again. As the Top Arts Student in ACJC for the 2022 A Levels, she has shown her fortitude, resilience and capacity for learning by attaining stellar academic grades while managing her other duties as a member of Symphonic Band and a member of the Singapore Youth Orchestra. In this article, AC Press explores Chloe as a person, how she managed to attain such success and what she plans to do in the future. 

Image: Mr Mark Ng
  1. What’s the first thing you felt upon completing the A levels?

    I guess happiness, because there’s finally a break after quite a long period of studying. I was excited to finally be able to do other stuff that I enjoy. I was able to spend more time with friends or family. I took two months to relax and enjoy myself, and started several internships with a law firm (CNP Law), Little Marvels Therapy, and Our Music Studio, where they teach music to very young children. I have an interest in hanging out with young kids, and after that I’ll be going to Manila in the Philippines with my friend to teach English. I used the holidays to catch up on my reading, friends and relatives, strengthening the friendships that I made in ACJC and beyond. I also went to a music conservatory linked with NUS. I look forward to applying my musical skills in a way that can translate into something beautiful. I find music such an inspiring subject and I enjoy it dearly.
  2. How did you deal with subjects that you found difficult?

    I took literature, music, ELL, and mathematics, and I also pursued H3 music.
    Funnily enough, I didn’t find any of the subjects too challenging…I believe it is very important to like the subject you’re doing, because if I didn’t enjoy what I was doing, I didn’t have any motivation to study. So I found satisfaction from being able to improve, and secondly relying on my friends for support. It’s a very nice community in ACJC where people can help each other, whether it is in CCA, or classmates.

My H3 thesis for music was called What Is Life and What is Death: Mahler’s Exploration of Mortality through Music. I’m rather philosophical and like to think about life and death, so I decided to focus on the composer Gustav Mahler and his Resurrection Symphony. His whole life was quite troubled. Death basically followed him throughout his whole life, and this was evident through his music, which I analysed extensively. It was a lot of work and got quite tiring at times, but I managed to pull through thanks to the support of my teachers and classmates.

  1. Who was a teacher that you found inspiring?

    My maths teacher, Mr Kayden Lim. He was really encouraging and patient with me. As an art student taking H2 maths, I was often confused at times, and at times I considered dropping the subject to a H1. Before I received my results, I ended up thinking my maths was going to be very bad. He was really nice. During the last lesson we had with him, he reassured us that he had full confidence in us, and gave us a talk on what was really important in life.

    We also handed in his work very late, but he was very nice about it. He also didn’t mind that we were late to every lesson!
  2. If you could sum up the ACJC experience in one word, what would it be?

    Supportive. People-wise, interest-wise, if you have an interest in something, the staff and people here will support you. The people here are really nice, and will help you every step of the way – so don’t be afraid to ask for assistance!
  3. Is there anything you regret about the ACJC experience? Anything you would do differently?

    Personally for me, I don’t really regret anything. I believe that everything in my life happens for a reason. When I look back to my whole life, it feels that everything fell into place and was just perfect. It’s definitely not a coincidence that it all happened like that, even for situations that were uncomfortable or undesirable, I feel like I grew from that. In the end, I feel like they were good for me and helped me to grow as a person.
  4. What is your favourite part of the school?

    My favourite place is the Hub. It can be used for many purposes. My CCA, symphonic band, would have practices here if the band room was not available. The reason why I chose the Hub is because towards the end of A levels, a lot of my classmates were in the Hub. The fact that we could all study together was inspiring; it was just a very nice environment where different classmates just gathered to support each other. I also had a lot of consults with my teachers here, but I mostly enjoyed hanging out with my friends.
  5. What is your favourite food stall in ACJC? 

I loved trying different things every meal and out of convenience. I chose the one with the shortest queue. But I always found the noodle stall incredibly delicious. The instant noodles with fried chicken were especially delightful!

  1. What do you plan to do in the future?

    I plan to enjoy it. I don’t really have anything in mind for now, I’m just waiting for surprises and opportunities. My career will definitely be humanities-related, like a civil servant, a musician, or a teacher. I do enjoy working with children, so I feel that path could be a potentially right one for me.
  2. What are your favourite hobbies to do outside of studies?

    I play the French horn. I’m quite involved in the music scene. During prelims, I performed in a concert which was quite risky (it was the middle of prelims) but I really had fun. Studying is not everything. I love hanging out with kids, so I like to play with babies. I like reading as well. When I was studying, sometimes I didn’t have enough time to read. I love novels that make me cry…my favourite novels were historical fiction, such as personal accounts about world wars. A recent novel that I read was the Last Hours in Paris.
  3. How did you destress during A level year?

    I found joy in what I was doing. Because I enjoy what I do, it didn’t become that stressful. I made sure I had variations in what I was doing. Study when you can, but if you really can’t, please don’t stress out over it and remember to take breaks! This will serve you well in the long run. I didn’t care about it so much…remember that your exams do not define you! I had a thirst for learning, essentially, and I remembered to enjoy my life. And also, as a Christian, I remembered to rely on God. We cannot control our whole lives, and I felt that entrusting everything to God helped me feel assured and secure, because not everything is in my whole hands. I wasn’t really expecting to do well, but God came through for me in the end.

     

Syed Jalal Ahmad Gilani: A Scholar of the Arts

Main writer: Belle Neo (1MD6)
Contributing writer: Syed Nabil Bin Syed Hassnor (2AD2)

[Syed Jalal Ahmad Gilani, Class 2MD2 and President of ACSian Theatre. Image: Mr. Mark Ng]

A charming and respectful young man, Jalal displays all the traits of a model ACJC student. His proclivity for the arts drove him to join ACSian Theatre, wherein he excelled greatly and managed to claim the position of president. Jalal is recognised for his impactful roles in many plays, in addition to his consistently outstanding academic achievements.

Jalal took English Literature, Theatre Studies and Drama, English Language and Linguistics, and Mathematics at the GCE ‘A’ Level. After the release of his A Level results, we have interviewed him to find out more about his overall experience in Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC). Check it out below!

Q: How do you feel after getting through A Levels?

Very relieved, it’ll be a good celebration in my bunk tonight. Very relieved, and very grateful, for the teachers’ help, the school’s help, the school’s support, and my friends’ support.

Q: How was your overall experience in ACJC?

Very, very fulfilling. Because it was honestly more than a JC could have offered— in terms of the quality of education, the standard of the teachers, the university-life setting, and the unique subject combinations that allowed me to pick my area of interest. I was able to select a specific area of interest in Theatre Studies and Drama, same for H3 Literature, which honestly allowed me to enjoy school. If I had taken Physics and Chemistry I wouldn’t be here doing this interview. Because I found a subject combination that I love, and really, really enjoy studying, it became a lot easier. And, of course, having friends, and a college environment that’s so focused on being energetic and passionate about what you do, being surrounded by a good performing arts CCA (ACSian Theatre) where a lot of skills overlapped, a lot of skills enhanced my chosen subjects, and the skills were developed from scratch.

Q: Is there anything you regret doing in ACJC?

No, not really. I’ve not done anything that I’ve looked back on and regretted, I especially don’t regret making all the mistakes I did, because I would not have learnt not to do them a second time.

Q: What would you say is your biggest motivation?

I tend to motivate myself, because I want to not have to regret anything. I want the sort of satisfaction from a clean slate, knowing that I finished well. My philosophy is “Don’t try to juggle everything at once, do something well, finish it off, and move on to the next thing”. Just like how I wanted to finish this (JC), move on to NS, finish NS, move onto a university of my choice, which I’ve got more ‘choice’ because I’ve done well.

Q: What was your favourite part about being in the outstanding ACSian Theatre?

The performances. My second favourite part would be the rehearsals, because—well actually, my favourite part combines the two. Watching the video of the very first rehearsal as we’re about to go onstage, knowing how far we’ve come, is a tradition I tend to do myself. It is a real testament to how capable [we are], not just talented; talented doesn’t cut it—and willing to learn, how much we’re able to push past fatigue and pain and any setback, and really dedicate ourselves to that (the play). And once that is done, move on completely to our studies or whatever else is necessary, not forgetting, of course, that we are students before actors. 

Q: Speaking of ACSian Theatre, what’s your favourite play that you have acted in?

 My first one: Twelfth Night. I had just DSAed into the school, and was among my seniors from ACS Barker. It might be my favourite because I was not president at the time; it was the only show I was not president for, so I could enjoy the freedom of being an actor. But, I think it’s mainly because it was my first. It was an introduction like no other, it was really quite amazing to know how everything is run professionally. I’ve seen professional companies [before], and this is one of them. 

Q: What are your plans for the future?

It’s a toss-up between law and maybe theatre professionally. I think the two overlap quite a bit in the skill set. But I’ve got to say I’ve got no preference at the moment, I can just imagine that I might have a slightly nicer car as a lawyer—unless I make it big as an actor. 

Q: What are some pieces of advice you’d give to the juniors?

Don’t try to do everything at the same time. It’ll be like juggling bowling balls, and it’s impossible to cut it down to tennis balls, or juggling balls—I’ve gone too far with this analogy now, can’t go back—focus on one of them, finish it off, do it well. Your teachers will be flexible, so get the support you need from them, as well as from friends and ACJC’s extensive network of alumni. Most importantly, make sure to have fun. 

Q: What’s something you’ll miss dearly about being in ACJC?

Everything. I’ll miss it dearly—I’ll miss the canteen, the recesses, the lunch breaks, where I’d have my friend with me, I’ll miss the teachers, the nagging, because it helped me, I’ll miss the interactions with Dr Chee and the vice-principals whom I see around the school. I’ll be back, you can’t get rid of me so easily. 

Alexandra Ci Hui Sing Scholefield: All-Rounder in All Ways!

Main Writer: Murugavel Girija 

Contributing Writer: Vera Teo Hui Zhen

Image: Mr Mark Ng

Lexi is an academically gifted student who was the vice captain of the Debate & Oratory Society and was a member of the Library Club. She is a highly motivated and ambitious student who took part in various extracurricular activities regularly. Her interest in Maths is exceptional, which can be observed through her subject combination. She took H2 Maths, Further Maths as well as H3 Maths. She participated in various competitions in her CCA and also achieved commendable awards during her time in ACJC.

What are your CCAs, subject combinations and some of your achievements?

I was the Vice captain of Debate (Vice Captain) and was part of the Library Club. I received the SAF Young Leaders awards. I also participated in the Asia Universities Debating Championship (AUDC) on the 26th and 27th of February 2023. AUDC is an Asian Parliamentary tournament, letting us put our skills to the test in a format novel to them. Breaking 3rd and making it to quarterfinals, we learnt a lot from this tournament and I ranked 2nd. My subject combination was H2 Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Knowledge and Inquiry. 

After finishing all your A Level papers, were you satisfied with your performance?

I didn’t feel that good. I also felt bad right after the papers as I had high expectations for myself. However, I re-oriented myself after a few months and now I am just going with the flow. 

Upon receiving your results, how did you feel?

I’m shocked, I will update you on how I am feeling as I am still trying to process what happened. On a good note, I am really happy for my friends. They both got to go up on the stage as they received multiple distinctions. I was happy; cheering for them. It was quite fun.

What is one of your most memorable experiences in JC? 

So many! There was always something going on every time. But the most memorable moment was during Debate and where we had the Intercollege Debates and when we didn’t make it to the next level. We thought we did better than we did, but did badly. We were crying, but also bouncing back really quickly and organising for the next event. The teachers were really supportive during the process. I think this is what is also really important in life where bouncing back from failures is a crucial skill to move on forward.  

What are your plans after JC? 

I am currently doing a teaching internship at Woodley Secondary. I will be doing that for a couple more weeks. I am currently teaching Maths and Physics. It is quite stressful and tiring at times. I have not really thought about my plans after that yet. 

What is one advice you would give your juniors to get through their JC life better? 

Do things you like in JC. It could be your CCA or even the subject combination you choose. Do participate in VIA or watch concerts organised by AC’s Performing Arts. This will really help you to forge more friendships and memorable experiences. 

What are your hobbies or passions that you have besides your academics? 

Debate! I did a lot of debates and competitions. Being involved in anything is always fun. Knitting is another one even though I am not really good at it, I am still learning. I decided to pick it up because I realised that I needed to relax and chill more amidst all the rigorous work.

What did you do when you were faced with difficulties or felt like giving up?

I would calm myself and give myself a break. If you think you can do it, you put a lot of pressure on yourself. But we need to remember that we need to focus on ourselves, and focus on the experiences more than the end result. For example, enjoy learning the subjects and understanding the concepts rather than focusing only on the results. Or even being too obsessed with the results of your cca competitions; rather than looking at the smaller things such as your friends around you. Maybe you won’t be able to get the awards and grades you want, but that’s not all life is about and taking care of yourself is more important. 

If you have to name someone who you are grateful for, who would it be and why?

Oh there are so many people. So many teachers in school are fantastic. The teachers are very passionate and always take their time to go an extra mile. My class and CCA were also super fun. Thanks to my debate teachers. Disclaimer: I love my subject teachers; especially Mr Kek who taught me KI. He is very good at conversations. Mr Low, my form teacher,  Mr Ng, who taught me Maths, Mr Teo, who taught me H3 maths, and Mrs Soong who taught me Physics. She is very passionate when it comes to teaching Physics. As well as all my other teachers from PE to Econs and every single teacher in ACJC. Mr Poon and Miss Cheah who were my debate teachers in charge. They always made sure that debate was functioning backstage and it was only made possible by them. They are really hard working where they even come back on Saturdays to ensure the admin matters of debate were taken care of.

To end off, if you had to describe your JC experience in one sentence what would it be?

Super fun. 

Image credits: Mr Mark Ng

Lim Yao En, Sean: The Embodiment of Dedication

By: Sitinur and Divyesh Balakrishnan

A dedicated student who sets high targets academically, Sean is admired by his peers and his juniors. He has led the Students’ Council with a keen attention to detail and with a heart for service. It was no mean feat to run a face-to-face JC1 Orientation, albeit with restrictions. Sean set the direction for his enthusiastic Council and allowed for the successful induction of new students. Sean is not only Valedictorian of the Class of 2022, he is also a recipient of the Outstanding Project Leader Award as well as an MOE ECHA Award for character and noteworthy personal qualities. Earlier, he also received the SAF Young Leader Award and the WF Oldham Scholarship awarded by the Tan Chin Tuan Foundation.

Image taken by: Mr Mark Ng

Having recently received your results, how do you feel right now?

I felt a mix of emotions. I was very grateful for the results I received. I was a little disappointed with my results. However, given the resources I was given, I feel like I did my best.

Being the Student Council President you have definitely had a lot on your plate. How did you cope with all your commitments?

I learnt to prioritise my time between CCA, friends and school work.

My advice for students struggling to cope with a lot of commitments?

My advice would be to take a step back and make a plan.

What is your favourite memory from ACJC?

It would probably be the last day of school – the baccalaureate series. It was the end of 2 years in ACJC. We all felt happy that two years of JC were finally coming to an end. That day made me reflect on the fun times I had with my friends and teachers.

What is your favourite thing about joining the Students Council?

The community and the friends. Being in the Student Council is hectic because of the proposals and the large amount of work. However, the teachers and other council members are always there to support us. This makes the student council very meaningful for me.

What do you plan to do with your life after A-levels?

I am currently in NS. Afterwards, I want to do an Economics-related degree. I want to then work in public service sector.

If you could say something to your j1 self, what would it be?

Be your best and everything will work out.

Were there any times you felt like giving up? How did you overcome those?

Yes, definitely. I wasn’t actually that strong for GP throughout JC and would always do poorly in tests. I knew I had to do something to overcome this hurdle so I gave my all by practising a lot. I did the Ten Years Series papers and went through them with my GP Teacher and arranged consultations. Practice surely makes perfect. Overall, being tenacious was the key factor to overcoming these setbacks.

Lastly is there anyone, in particular, you are grateful for?

It would be teachers whether it be in class or council. They were with me no matter how tough times were. For example, in academics, my teachers have never given up on me but instead, motivated me. My teachers have gone above and beyond. They really cared about our welfare and who we are as individuals.

What is your favourite Student Council memory?

My favourite council memory would be the end of orientation day camp. During those short few days, everything that could go wrong went wrong. The biggest issue would be the SMM changing once again after we planned out the entire orientation so we had to re-do all our planning according to the updated SMM. We were really pressed for time and had to quickly think of new solutions. Even small things like missing visualisers slowed down our entire plan. Although it sounds like everything went wrong, it was my favourite memory as I was able to see how adaptive all the council members were. Most importantly, we were able to train the mentors to be good brothers and sisters for our incoming juniors.

What are your passions outside of studies?

Frisbee! I was part of AC Ultimate and played for competitions outside of school. I love playing Frisbee as it gives me an opportunity to unwind and have lots of fun hanging out with my friends. I enjoy playing the guitar as well. In general, I love to hang out with my friends and spend quality time with them.

What big motivator helped you through your JC years?

To see the end goal in life first and then work towards it. Whenever I am down, I remember my goals and the reason why I work so hard for everything. Having this in mind, I was able to push through difficult times because I knew it will all be worth it in the end.

Choo Li Xuan: Persistence Drives Excellence

Main Writer: Murugavel Girija

Contributing Writer: Vera Teo Hui Zhen

[Choo Li Xuan, 2SC6. Image: Mr Mark Ng]

Li Xuan is an academically gifted student and President of the Science and Mathematics Council and the Biomedical Club. She has organised multiple large scale events such as the International Biomedical and C.B. Paul Science Quizzes, with hundreds of participants throughout the year. She remains an amiable leader who cares for the people in her team and is always enthusiastic to emphasise their contributions. She ensures that current and future tasks are provided for, regardless of the recognition given. 

Li Xuan’s scientific achievements include a Gold medal for the Research Group Award for the International Elementz Fair. She is also a recipient of the MOE ECHA Award and the ACJC Outstanding Project Leaders Award.

How does it feel to be in the Principal Honor Roll?

I feel honoured. Although it was unexpected, I feel grateful for the opportunity to be featured in the Principal Honor roll. I also want to thank all the teachers who helped me along the way, getting me to where I am today.

What was your CCA and subject combination?

I was in 2 CCAs, Science and Mathematics Council (SMC) & Biomedical Club. My subject combination was H2: Biology, Chemistry, Math, and H1 Geography. I did a couple main VIAs in my time here. I was involved in the NKF (National Kidney Foundation), where we got to educate people on chronic kidney disease, because there have been a rising number of cases. Next, was bracelets of hope with an organisation that helps childhood cancer patients and their families. Through this we made friendship bracelets for students with cancer to provide hope and encouragement as well as support for their treatment. I also participated in EOCIP (overseas community involvement programme) where we taught them English and played games. This led to cultural exchanges and helped us to foster strong connections as we still communicate with each other.

Upon receiving your results, how did you feel?

I felt… okay. Just a feeling of acceptance when I received it. Although before I received my results, I did feel a little nervous. 

What is one of your most memorable experiences in JC? 

I’ve had a lot of memorable experiences; mainly being in SMC. For me, planning events are super fun and memorable; one such example being the bracelets of hope VIA. The ties that I had with my class were also super memorable.

What are your plans after JC? 

I am actually in the military now, serving my National Service. I guess as long as it takes; not sure. I may go into Medicine; then I might sign on in the Army.

What is one advice you would give your juniors to get through their JC life better? 

To plan early. Plan your future. Be grateful for things you already have and embrace the experiences and obstacles that you might face along the way.

What are your hobbies or passions that you have besides your academics? 

My hobby, or rather, passion, is actually volunteering. I think it’s a very fulfilling and meaningful experience, because if I am going to do something with my time, I want to spend it benefiting and lifting others up. That is meaningful; making a difference in people’s lives.

What did you do when you were faced with difficulties or felt like giving up?

I mostly just chilled for a while and then replanned (because I like to plan) my future and anything that I am unsure about and if there are any things that I can improve on, I consult my tutors. And basically think of ways to improve myself. Not really to take a step back but to stop and think as well as reflect.

If you have to name someone who you are grateful for, who would it be and why?

There’s a lot of people that I am grateful for. Can I say more than one? SC6, my whole class and the teachers. The class spirit and environment was super helpful and very uplifting. And the teachers were super supportive and encouraging.

To end off, if you had to describe your JC experience in one sentence what would it be?

It was a meaningful time that I am grateful for and I will never forget it.

Li Xuan’s passion to lead with humility and her aptitude for her studies really shows through her experiences here in ACJC. We hope that the experiences Li Xuan has shared are impactful.

Image credits: Mr Mark Ng

Chen Xiang Yun: Passion and Positivity

By: Raye Yap 2MD3

Edited by: Megan Tay 2MD2 

Image: Mr Mark Ng

Tough and filled with resolve, Xiang Yun has proven herself to be a highly competent student. As the captain of the girl’s tennis team, she has shown her strength and determination in guiding her team to victory in their matches. At the same time, she has managed to attain excellent grades and executed her student duties skillfully. In this article, we explore more of her student life and how she has managed to get to where she is today

  1. What is your subject combination?

H2 Physics, H2 Chemistry, H2 Mathematics and H2 Economics.

  1. How did you feel, before and after you received your results?

Before collecting my results, I felt quite nervous. In some sense, I was anticipating my name to be called, since I had confidence I would score in certain subjects. As the ceremony went on, I could feel the atmosphere becoming increasingly tense and stressful. However, just before I could feel too down, I finally heard my name being called. I think that confirmation felt super surreal, as I went on stage to collect my results while my friends cheered. It was rather relieving to finally know how I performed.

  1. What made you want to join tennis in ACJC?

I actually started playing tennis at a young age. I had experience from primary school and secondary school, and I really enjoyed playing the sport. That was primarily what drove me to join tennis in ACJC too. I am able to have a lot of fun playing this sport.

  1. We heard that tennis trainings are rigorous. How did you manage to finish all your schoolwork, while attending sessions?

I believe it would be a huge emphasis on time management and consistent studying. Since tennis trainings are often long and end late, I did not have ample time to sit down and spend hours studying. However, I still made it a point to at least spend a few minutes every day to browse through my notes and attempt a couple of questions on my tutorial worksheets. I think with a busy schedule, you do not have to study loads every single day, but ensuring that your memory stays fresh is important – and you can do this by studying for just several minutes a day.

  1. Describe your AC experience.

‘Fun’ and ‘interesting’ are the first two words that come to mind. I have learned a lot while attending this school, especially from the Scholarship Development Programme I was enrolled in. I remember listening to many career talks, which provided me with a clearer idea of what I may want to do in the future. The school also invited public speakers to share tips on acing interviews, by paying attention to what most interviewers would look out for in their candidates. Having gained such enriching experiences like these from AC, I feel I am equipped with useful skills that will be beneficial.

  1. What is one favourite memory you have of AC?

I believe it would be from my CCA, tennis. I really liked how the entire team was really bonded and everyone got along well, both on court and off court. That sort of warm environment was always a nice reason to look forward to CCA sessions.

  1. Was there any time you felt like giving up? And what did you do to overcome this?

Definitely. It would be somewhere around February to March last year when I had many commitments. I was an Orientation Group Leader, and I missed out on multiple lessons due to my duties. When I came back to class, I did not have enough time to catch up on my work and consequently, did not perform as well as I thought for my tests. It was around this time that tennis was also beginning to prepare for our seasonal games, so the workload only got heavier from both academic and non-academic ends. I remember feeling quite demotivated as a result. However, going back to what I said earlier, time management and consistency in studying is extremely important! In fact, they were what got me back on track for my academics. 

  1. What are some things you did to de-stress?

I actually really enjoy eating as a way to de-stress. My favorite snack to munch on would be Meadows’ truffle chips. Sometimes, I also scroll through TikTok and watch videos for a while. I also find exercise to be a great way to relieve stress. Besides tennis, I do play basketball at times too. I find that exercising takes my mind off school work and tires me out, which actually helps me get better sleep at night and ensures I am well-rested for the upcoming days.

  1. Do you have any other interests/activities outside of school?

As I mentioned earlier, I enjoy playing basketball from time to time too. It was a sport that I learned casually in secondary school, although I still do personally prefer tennis. For activities, I remember taking part in a VIA project with my classmates in J1. We worked with a childcare center and prepared games, arts and crafts and other fun activities for the kids there. However, I do remember it being a bit challenging, as it was all done via Zoom and it was difficult to fully engage with the children. In saying that though, the experience taught me to persevere and learn to resolve problems on the spot, as I had to think of ways to handle the children cordially and effectively.

  1. What is some advice you would give to your juniors?

Your mental health is most important, above everything else. When you are not in a good state of mind, you cannot expect to perform up to standard. Learn to find time to do things that you like, instead of spending all your time studying. Too many of us force ourselves to study for long hours every day in hopes of feeling productive, but I think that if your mind is just not in the right state to do so, then there is absolutely no need to force yourself. That would only make you feel very unhappy. Study when you can, but if you really can’t, go easy on yourself and find ways to relax! This will serve you well in the long run.

Xiang Yun is certainly an inspiration to all her juniors and batchmates. Congratulations on your A’s! 

Shaunn Blasius Lok Jun Jie: Positivity Personified

Main Writer: Megan Tay Jia-Xin

Contributing Writer: Edmund Wong Li Hong

Shaunn Blasius Lok Jun Jie, Photo Credit: Yearbook 2022 (Mr Mark Ng)

Shaunn exemplifies the spirit of ACJC, displaying tenacity and passion in everything he does. What he has accomplished is certainly no small feat. Leading his Water Polo team to third  place in the NSG and playing in the national Water Polo team, all while juggling his academics, Shaunn is the personification of diligence and determination, all with a positive, fun-loving outlook. In the following article, we sit down with Shaunn, and find out more about his time at ACJC. 

  1. Tell us about yourself. What was your subject combination? 

I was a (Water Polo) DSA student, coming into this school. I didn’t do so well in the O-Levels, but since we were allowed to choose whichever subject combination we wanted, I took my strongest subjects, which were Physics, Chemistry, Maths, and H1 Econs, with PW and GP. 

  1. What is your favourite canteen stall?

Waffles! The waffle aunty. I’m pretty sure she’ll remember me. 

  1. What was your CCA like, and why did you choose to join it? 

I joined water polo when I was nine years old. My neighbour asked me. I was just there to lose weight, then I realised I was half-decent, so I DSA’d into ACS Barker. I didn’t know we could get into schools using sports at the time. 

I didn’t do so well for PSLE. I went to the Normal Acad. stream at the start, then in Secondary Two, I got promoted into Express. Then, I joined the national team for Water Polo, which helped me build up my portfolio. It was a lot easier to DSA wherever I wanted after that. The water polo circle is quite small, so everyone knows everybody. 

What’s one struggle you faced in your training? 

Trainings are tiring. Really tiring. Thank God, here, my teammates are quite amazing. So training is not as dreadful as it should be. In (the) national team it’s hard, because we train at 5:30 in the morning. You just have to power through it or take a nap during the break and try to absorb whatever you can. That’s probably the biggest struggle: Just time management. No time to rest, or take a breath. 

Do you have any pre-game rituals? 

I listen to music, of course. I’m the type of athlete who cannot be serious before games. Some athletes need to get in the zone: I’m the complete opposite. I just have fun. I pray before the game, because I’m Catholic. It helps me to calm my nerves. So, one hour before the game, I’ll be dancing, singing and hyping up my teammates. Then, right before we walk out, around ten or five minutes before, I will do a prayer. 

In what ways has your CCA helped you to grow as a person?

I think, without my CCA, I’d be nothing. Before I joined the national team, I wasn’t really motivated. I didn’t understand what “grinding” was. But after being surrounded by people who have been playing a sport for so long at a higher level and seeing the hard work and determination that goes into training…. it also transfers into life in general. So, without Water Polo, I wouldn’t be as hard-working as I am, even in school. It links up. Everybody in Water Polo thinks the same way. 

What are some accomplishments that you’re proud of during your time in AC?

That’s a hard question. I didn’t really accomplish much in J1. So, after that, I barely promoted, advanced, then in J2 I just knew: Okay. Serious business time. So, in J2, COVID management protocols got relaxed, and then I could play in my first international game in three, four years, which was in March, which is nearing mid-years. So I played that, played quite well, did what I was supposed to do, then I studied all the way. I didn’t do so well in mid-years because of that, but I kept going. I just followed through. It really was an uphill battle. My biggest accomplishment wasn’t one specific thing. It was completing the journey, getting a full cert. For me, it’s a very decent score. But for the rest, it might not be. But, I feel like completing this whole journey, for my situation, is my biggest achievement so far. 

What were the challenges you faced in trying to balance academics and CCA? How did you overcome them?

Mostly by routine and discipline, and by surrounding myself with friends. That’s the most important thing. I have a senior, he did very well for A-Levels. He was like me, from Barker, and I’ve known him since Barker, and he is a good inspiration.

I have Arianne Tay, she’s a Sports Girl, and is in the National Team for Bowling. She goes through the same struggles I go through, so we study a lot together. Even though our academic level is a bit different, she still cares to study with me. So, just surround yourself with the correct people with the correct attitude and the same goals. Then, everything will be easy from there. 

When the going got tough, what kept you going?

God was really there, and again, the people that surrounded me. My parents… my dad, since he drives me most places. I stay quite far, so me and him have quite long car rides, and those car rides are like breaks. So usually, I have training in the morning, come to school, study til’ five, then the car ride home is around 45 minutes, which is the best break ever. For me, it’s eating a buffet. Just two hours, no studying, just eating. Then I go home, take a nap and reset.  

I approached A-Levels knowing I did my best, as cliche as that sounds. There was nothing more I could do. Not to say I studied 24 hours a day, but it was more like balancing my mental health and studies, the longevity of how I can study and how long my motivation can last. I already knew I did my best, so I knew whatever score came out, just completing that last MCQ for Paper 1 Physics, I knew I already achieved something out of it. If I failed, of course I’d be sad, but I knew there was a lot more that I gained from JC.

What was your most memorable experience in AC?

There’s too many! I could write a whole book about the past two years. But the most memorable would be training. Our CCA is really small. There’s only 6 of us in our batch. We’re all super close. Even now, we still meet.

What’s one thing you’ll miss the most about JC life? 

Just seeing everybody. I haven’t seen some of my good friends in months. We can’t do anything about it. We want to see each other but we’re both tired. I have a part time job, and I still have training, and they have their part time jobs too, and most of them are also in NS. You take each other for granted, seeing each other every day. Then, I could meet four friend groups a day: before school, during break, after school, CCA. But now, I meet one friend group a week. And car rides with Mr Paul. We would just talk. (I’ll miss) just hanging out with teachers. 

Do you have any advice for new J1s, especially those planning to join a sports CCA? 

Have fun, but not too much fun, and don’t make silly mistakes. Which is super hard. It’s normal to make silly mistakes, you just have to get back up and pick yourself up again. 

At one point, in J1, before mid-years, everything was just bad for me. My grades were bad, social life was bad, stuff at home was bad, and I really didn’t want to come to school. My relationship with my teachers went downhill as they didn’t trust me as much. I used June to just study, and slowly gain their trust back. Of course, one month of studying is not gonna get you six months of missed work, so I didn’t do so well, but I was continuous, and slowly, eventually, I got there. 

What do you think the future holds for you? And what would you want to pursue after leaving JC?

After knowing my results, I still haven’t decided what I want to pursue yet. Maybe I’ll work for a year overseas, at Club Med? I’ll just do something spontaneous. 

I feel like life is a book, and as cheesy as it sounds, you’re writing your own story. I don’t want my book to be boring. When I pass away, when my son reads that “book”, I want him to say “Dad is so cool!” (laughs)

Any final message you want to share with our readers? 

Don’t worry too much about how things turn out. One verse that stuck with me through the whole of JC – I kept repeating it as a joke, but it made sense to me –  was the one where God fed the sparrows. Sparrows just fly around, but somehow, they get fed everyday. Food appears, miraculously. Say, if things don’t work out in JC, there’ll be something else out there for you. If you don’t do well in a test, it doesn’t mean it’s the end but don’t give up. Keep studying, find new methods: I switched my studying methods ten thousand times until I found one that suits me. Keep trying, block out all the noise and be motivated. Good luck guys!

Tay Kai Lin, Arianne: Bowling to Victory!

Main writer: Syed Nabil Bin Syed Hassnor (2AD2)
Contributing writer: Belle Neo (1MD6)

Meet Arianne, our star national athlete of bowling!

[Tay Kai Lin, Arianne, Class 2MD1 and Vice-Captain of Bowling. Image: Yearbook 2022 (Mr Mark Ng)]

Arianne is a responsible and stalwart leader in Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC) who anchors multiple roles in many different areas and capacities. She has unsurprisingly been awarded the Principal’s Honour Roll, the Colours Award, ACJC Sports Scholarship and ACJC Sports Girl Award. She is also a passionate and committed bowler, who has proudly represented ACJC and Singapore in numerous bowling competitions, such as the Interantional Bowling Federation (IBF) Under 21 World Championship.

Arianne is currently competing in Dubai International Bowling Center (DIBC) Open 2023. At the A Levels, she took H2 Chemistry, Mathematics, Economics and H1 English Literature as her subject combination. Check out what she has shared with us after the release of the A-Level results below!

Q: How was your overall experience in ACJC?

It was filled with memories that will stick with me forever. I always had fun with friends, whether we were studying, eating or talking. The school environment was always comfortable and friendly, and I always looked forward to coming to school for my friends and lessons. 

Q: What ignited your passion for bowling?

Probably the thrill I feel during competitions. It really motivates me and spurs me to train harder, along with the fun I have with my teammates and coaches during trainings. These really ignited my passion for bowling.

Q: How does it feel to be an outstanding national athlete?

I think I still have a long way to go to be an outstanding national athlete. But as for my current accomplishments, I definitely feel very lucky to have the opportunity to represent Singapore in competitions, and grateful to be able to see my trainings being paid off from the medals or achievements that I have received.

Q: Did you have any pre-game rituals for yourself?

I think just having plenty of rest the night before the finals or event if crucial, but I also chat with teammates and coaches before the game to feel less anxious.

Q: Who is your biggest motivation? What are some words you would like to say to them?

My biggest motivation would probably be my parents as they have been so supportive of me in my entire bowling journey, and have played a huge part in allowing me to be where I am today.I would really just like to thank them for everything they have done for me.

Q: What are some pieces of advice you can give to your current ACJC juniors?

Know how to prioritise your studies, CCAs and external commitments depending on importance. Also, remember to just enjoy your time in AC, work hard in order to play hard, and just appreciate your time in school.

Q: Is there anything you regretted doing or not doing when you were in ACJC?

I think my time in AC was pretty fulfilling and there’s nothing I really regret. I’m very satisfied with all the experiences and opportunities that I was able to experience during my time in ACJC, like being the Vice-Captain of Bowling, being an Orientation Group Leader (OGL), taking part in the Overseas Community Involvement Project (OCIP), and so much more!

Q: What are some of your plans after the A Levels?

I hope to be able to compete in more competitions now that I am waiting to enter university, but I’ll also take the time to apply to universities, spend time with family and catch up with friends, while also training hard for upcoming competitions.

Q: What is something you will miss dearly about being in ACJC?

I’ll definitely miss being able to see my friends everyday, I’ll miss the times that we had together during class, breaks or even after school and will definitely just miss ACJC as a whole.