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A Level Results 2014: Noteworthy Rafflesians – Part 2

By Valerie Chee 15S07B, Nicole Foo 15S06A, Benedict Koh Yen Hin 14S06N, and Kang Yi Xi 15S03N
Additional reporting by Ching Ann Hui 15S03A, Michelle Choy 15S05A, Gao Wenxin 14A03A
Photographs by Natalia Chioang and Nicholas Koh 14S06E of the The Raffles Photographic Society

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In the second instalment of this feature, we introduce more inspiring Rafflesians from the graduating batch of 2013.

Loh Jia Wei

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At first glance, Loh Jia Wei (13S03C) already looks to be someone who has to overcome all odds to become who she is today. Despite her muscular dystrophy and having to use a wheelchair in her daily life, she has worked consistently in order to achieve a set of results that would make her parents and teachers proud. However, there is so much more to Jia Wei than her academic proficiency and the pain she has withstood over the years from a previous operation. An avid reader of non-fiction, as well as a learned member of the Astronomy Club, she has spent her time in RI exploring her academic interests, leading her to discover her true calling as a law student after one particularly thought-provoking civics lesson. Since the A levels, Jia Wei has been taking up law internships to gain experience in this new field of work, as she plans to study law abroad in the near future.

When requested for some words of wisdom regarding the arduous road to this year’s A levels, Jia Wei advises that current Year Sixes, “really just work consistently, (and) don’t leave everything to the end.” In her experience, life after JC is drastically different, and so enjoying JC life while you can is an important factor as well!

Herman Lin Yao Ahmad

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A proficient marksman, Herman Lin Yao Ahmad (13A01C) was a member of the 2012 National Youth Team and captained the school shooting team. Athletic passions aside, Herman was also an active member of the Community Advocates and was involved in flagship campaigns such as No Shoes Day and Hair for Hope. He also engaged in ground-level work by spending a few months to provide tuition to those in Girls’ Homes. When asked about how he managed to cope with what must surely have been a daunting workload, Herman said that “Freedom is doing what you love, and happiness is loving what you do.” He felt that by having chosen to join CCAs that he felt passionate about and enjoyed participating in, his JC life was rendered more manageable.

As for his future plans, Herman hopes to gain an opportunity to pursue his education in the United States. He feels that American universities provide a more conducive environment for one to engage in self-reflection about themselves and their future.

Josiah Tan Yi Teng

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Extremely passionate about serving the community, Josiah (13S07A) received the pinnacle award in Boys’ Brigade known as the President’s Award despite being hearing impaired. In addition, Josiah earned a distinction in the Community and Citizenship Domain of the Raffles Diploma, and was also a member of the Raffles Entrepreneur’s Network (REN).

When asked about how he manages his academics, Josiah replies that it’s all about setting realistic expectations for yourself. “You don’t need to get straight As right away but make sure you are putting in the consistent hard work.” Extremely self-motivated, Josiah also shares that he doesn’t believe in tuition. “Throughout JC, I told myself that if I’m going to get the result, I want it to be by my own effort,” he says. When asked about advice for his juniors, Josiah wishes that the Year 5s will “have fun and make friends. Focus on your CCA and find a passion. There must be something that makes you want to go to school everyday and that’s not going to be work.” To the Year 6s he suggests focus and discipline, “For now, you can still finish up your CCA commitments. Finish them well, and don’t neglect your work – but by June, you have to really drop everything and focus.”

Gerald Lim Jie Rui

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Gerald Lim (13S06O) doesn’t fit a typical high-achiever mold – he’s a self-declared ‘disorganized mess’ who doesn’t plan his time or own a calendar of any kind. His results, however, tell a different story. A member of Community Advocates (CA) and a participant in the Chemistry Olympiad, Gerald has managed to achieve a Merit in both the Cognitive and Leadership domains of the Raffles Diploma.

Gerald tells us that he studied during any free time he could get, earnestly sharing that even a short 10 minutes of studying is useful. Additionally, Gerald attributes his academic success to his good friends, who encouraged him by giving him moral support, as well as his teachers, who were ever-helpful during consultation periods. He feeds off the energy and encouragement of the people around him, citing his parents and friends as sources of inspiration for him and his studies.

Loo Jun Da

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Joining RI at Y5 from Bukit Panjang Government High, HP student Loo Jun Da (13A03A) maximized his 2 years in JC with both academic and non-academic endeavours. He participated in canoeing, and served in the Grassroots committee as an external commitment. Jun Da cited his supportive, close-knit classmates as the key to coping with his immense workload, which involved taking H3 Geopolitics. While he managed to relax in his spare time by running at MacRitchie and watching movies, Jun Da remained driven to continue bettering himself academically. One inspirational quote he derives meaning from is “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run down if you don’t move forward.” Despite being blessed with a quality educational environment here in RI, neglecting the importance of constant self-improvement can be a fatal mistake. To those currently studying in RI, Jun Da recommends progressing by taking things one step at a time rather than mulling over a whole array of responsibilities, which could eventually result in unproductive procrastination.

Lim Min

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Lim Min (13A01B) willed herself to continuously stretch her potential through the support she received from teachers, friends and fellow classmates, as well as her own determination to excel in her studies. While in JC, Lim Min benefitted from the many cultural activities and overseas trips organized by the Humanities Programme, and had the invaluable opportunity to connect with other “like-minded people who were up for intellectual discourse”. She joined RI as a JAE student from Crescent Girls’ School, and in her two years here became an active member of both HISSOC and Community Advocates. In one particular collaboration with a group of Hwa Chong students, Lim Min helped to pioneer Project Feedback, which involved fundraising to raise awareness for world hunger.

Meanwhile, post A-levels life has seen Lim Min picking up Malay as an additional language and even making plans to open her own graphic design business – heartening evidence that she will continue to grow and learn even after leaving RI. To the current Year 5s and 6s, she leaves the advice of pacing yourself rather than rushing your studies at the last minute, as well as making full use of the plentiful resources available in RI.

Chua Jun Yan

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Jun Yan (13A01A) served as Chairman of Raffles Debaters in RI (Year 1-4) and President of Raffles Press in RI (Year 5-6), and has further made use of his abilities to aid others around him. With a team of friends, Jun Yan organized a “Singapore Conversation” at Northlight School to help other students gain a greater sense of awareness of our national issues, and was also a member of the team which interviewed former drug addicts to help produce a book for SANA.

Looking back on his 6 years as a Rafflesian, Jun Yan reflected that Raffles taught him to start something new, to make and learn from mistakes, and to manage people’s expectations and demands, as well as the meaning of camaraderie and friendship, especially during the final phase of A-level preparation. Comparing life in Raffles to that in the army, he says that it was initially tough as he “missed the lack of freedom”, but went on to say that life is not as bad as people make it out to be, as everyone has a different, unique experience.

When probed for a piece of advice to the current Year Sixes, Jun Yan confidently replied, “The key thing is that every subject has a code, a method, so try to crack that code as soon as you can so that you can get used to it earlier.”

Koh Han Jie

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Han Jie (13S03D) was a passionate sportsman, having captained the RI softball team to Gold at the 2013 National Inter-School Softball Championships and represented Singapore at the World Junior Men’s Softball Championships in Argentina in 2012. Not only that, Han Jie actively served both the local and international community, having volunteered at the AMK Child Care Centre, and rendered aid to needy Cambodian citizens as part of ISLE 2012 by collecting rainwater to alleviate the sanitation problems there, among other things.

When further asked about how he was able to handle so many commitments, Han Jie had this to say: ”The key to succeeding is to know how to prioritize your commitments. When it is time to study, you study hard. When it is time to play and train, you play hard and train hard. When you do something, do your best, or don’t do it at all.” Evidently, this mantra has helped Han Jie succeed, as seen from his South Zone and National Colours Awards in 2012 and 2013, as well as his Raffles Diploma with Distinction in Sports.

A Level Results 2014: Noteworthy Rafflesians – Part 1

By Valerie Chee 15S07B, Nicole Foo 15S06A, Benedict Koh Yen Hin 14S06N, and Kang Yi Xi 15S03N
Additional reporting by Ching Ann Hui 15S03A, Michelle Choy 15S05A, Gao Wenxin 14A03A
Photographs by Natalia Chioang and Nicholas Koh 14S06E of the The Raffles Photographic Society

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The graduating batch of last year is undoubtedly filled with many colourful personalities, exceptionally talented individuals and students who have overcome adversity in the course of their JC lives.

Prior to the release of the A Level results, Raffles Press sat down to interview some of these students to find out how they succeeded in leading meaningful JC lives amidst their various commitments. We also enquired about their sources of inspiration and support, as well as any advice they might have had for the current Year Sixes.

Antariksh Mahajan

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Antariksh Mahajan (13S06D) is someone who, without a doubt, has a diverse array of passions.  An avid debater, he had the opportunity to showcase his flair for rhetoric at the Heart of Europe Debating Tournament in 2012, and was part of the Singaporean team that clinched the first prize in the competition. Moreover, during his JC years, Antariksh helped out at Meet-the-People Sessions and also found time to provide free tuition to low-income students. Apart from that, he was one of the Vice-Presidents of the 32nd Student’s Council, and was heavily involved in organizing well-loved events such as Take 5. Looking at his impressive list of commitments, it is easy for one to wonder how he managed to juggle both his preparation efforts for the A Levels and his many extracurricular activities whilst staying driven and enthusiastic.

When quizzed about this, Antariksh had this to say: “If you try and find meaning in what you do, if you try and enjoy it, not procrastinating, prioritising, (and) managing your time becomes that much easier.” Nevertheless, he admitted that, for him, his stint in National Service “has been an exercise in trying to remember my motivations.”

Ashlynna Ng Rui

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Having been elected as the President of the 32nd Student’s Council, Ashlynna Ng Rui (13A01B) is undoubtedly a well-known face within the Rafflesian community. One of the most impactful experiences she had during her JC life lay in dealing with the widespread criticism and skepticism about the Smile Challenge – a campaign which she launched with her fellow Councillors to transform the school into a friendlier, more vibrant community – from those within Council. “It took a lot of faith in a sense and support from the people that actually believed in it to get the courage to push it through,” Ashlynna reflected.

A role such as the President of the Student’s Council certainly entails many significant responsibilities – we questioned Ashlynna on the strategies she employed to cope with the stress. Her response was certainly enlightening – “I love doing Council work…so for me I don’t really need to take time off to watch Korean dramas, that kind of thing. So Council is basically my leisure,” A person who cares deeply about her fellow Rafflesians, Ashlynna urged the Year Sixes taking the A Levels this year to “strive for the best for (themselves), but also (not) forget that there are others around (them).”

Adam B Mohamad Rafey

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As Captain of Bayley-Waddle house, Adam (13S06K) is certainly no stranger to interacting and working with people of various walks of life. Adam was also an active member of the Students’ Council, contributing to the success of many school events, and was a passionate advocate of fun as a primary goal within BW. With the inter-personal skills he has honed, Adam hopes to earn a place at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at NUS, so as to further apply these skills in the real world.

Striking a balance between academic and non-academic commitments is no mean feat, but Adam is a fine example of someone who has been there and done that. He advises students to “pace yourselves”, and more importantly, to not completely give up doing what you love simply due to the A-levels, but to know when to relax and take a break.

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Shrey Bhargava

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Shrey (13A01C)’s keen interest in acting led him to join Raffles Players, through which he participated in many productions. Externally, he has participated in Othello with Shakespeare in the Park, as well as auditioned for commercials and TV shows. His love for the arts has earned him a distinction in the Aesthetics domain of the Raffles Diploma.

In addition to his love for acting having spurred his academic progress, Shrey attributes his success to his “family, friends and very supportive girlfriend.” He also warmly advised his juniors to have fun:

“When you get to A Levels and it’s crunch time, at least you have things to fall back upon and remember stuff that motivated you throughout your 2 years in Raffles. When you talk about these things – it’s fun, and just for that moment, the stress goes away. You can re-energise and put more effort into it.

Seet Yun Teng

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Seet Yun Teng (13S06F) was one of many who developed the impressive habit of staying back in school to mug late into the night, in preparation for the notoriously fear-invoking A levels. Yet during this surely trying period of time, Yun Teng committed to Raffles Players as a CCA and further revealed her streak for self-motivation by contributing in the MT House Directorate through events such as Grad Night and Storyline, and even taking out time to explore her interest in dance by having dance lessons every Sunday. An enthusiastic H3 Art student, Yun Teng has invested time into the study of philosophies and theories behind art, and plans to further this unique academic interest by taking art in university as well.

Yun Teng advises that current Year Sixes should try to pace themselves on the route to this year’s A levels. She believes that taking the As is not an “individual thing”, and that keeping friends around is imperative to pulling through together.

Eugene Lim

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Eugene (13A01C)’s passion for service to the community found him as Chairperson of Raffles Interact, as well as a member of the Governance and Civic Engagement Program (GCEP). Additionally, Eugene pursued his interest in History, having completed his H3 History research paper on the late Nelson Mandela.

To balance his many commitments, Eugene shared about making sure that his Interact meetings started and ended in school, and that the members weren’t obliged to finish their responsibilities at home. Essentially, he confides, it is all about setting the right boundaries for yourself. “If I had a motto,” Eugene says, “it would be Grace Within Contingency.” He continued about how there are a lot of things to accomplish in life, like “finishing the A-Levels and going to University!”

“So these are contingencies in life that always bring you away from what you think you want, but what’s important is that you always take it with grace.”

Yong Ren Wei Bryan

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What attributes do we normally associate cross-country runners with? Grit, tenacity, and willpower. Bryan (13S07A) is definitely no exception, having had to balance the notoriously rigorous academic life of a JC student alongside his heavy commitments as the Captain of the Raffles Cross-Country team. A highly motivated individual, Bryan described his Cross-Country experience as one in which he learned to further understand people, citing the importance of personal achievements and goals to individuals.

A recipient of the Raffles Diploma with Distinction in Sports and Leadership, Bryan hopes to go overseas to pursue his university education if he gets the opportunity, because it will be “a good experience.” He also had this to say to future batches of Rafflesians, “Don’t waste your time in JC, as it is not a very long time.” To this, Bryan added that students should have a “moral compass”, and urges everyone to “appreciate your teachers.”


Look out for part 2 of our feature on noteworthy Rafflesians soon!

A-Level Results 2014: Ground Sentiment

By Ching Ann Hui (15S03A) and Michelle Choy (15S05A)
Photographs by The Raffles Photographic Society

The GCE A-Level results were released on Monday, 3rd March 2014. Even though many envisioned it to be a nerve-wracking day with life-changing repercussions, the atmosphere at the Multi-Purpose Hall was rather light-hearted, with all the J3s excited to see their schoolmates again. Deputy Principal Mr Magendiran was equally pleased to meet the batch of 2013 once again, and commented that “they are spirited, full of energy, and they live up to the traditions of all the previous batches. They have done us proud.”

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Before the address began, the batch of 2013 sang the Institution Anthem for the very last time. It was also Mr. Chan Poh Meng’s first time delivering the Principal’s Address to the awaiting J3s, since joining the school in January. He jokingly promised to not dwell very long on the slides, so that they could receive their much awaited results as soon as possible.

Mr Chan addressed the school with the overall statistics of the batch of 2013, and featured some noteworthy students (more can be read here). It seemed as though it was barely after Mr Chan began his speech, when it was time for students to file into their respective venues to collect their results. And when the moment for students finally came, there were varied reactions – some bore glad smiles, others squealed out in joy, ineluctably, there were also tears, and somber silence.

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To some, the results came as a pleasant surprise. Benjamin Wong (13S06D) said, “I didn’t really expect this. I expected worse!”, as he clutched his results slip – straight As! When asked about his future plans, he expressed interest in studying in Singapore Management University (SMU).

While speaking to some of the civics and subject tutors, they were pleased with how their form classes had performed. Mrs. Lim, civics tutor of 13S06K, commented that her form class “generally did well”, as did most of the other civics tutors. Mrs. Shirley Tan, deputy principal of Academic Studies in RGS who was there to provide moral support for her ex-students, was “very very proud of all the girls”. When asked about possible tips and suggestions for the current batch of Year Sixes, Mr Edward Ng advised, “as long as the students try their best, I’m sure that the results will come automatically.”

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Parents were also very impressed with this year’s results, with many saying that the school performed very well. Mrs. Ang, a parent, expressed appreciation that the school has placed its focus on providing a holistic education for Rafflesians. She was also pleased that by featuring the all-rounders and focusing less on just those that did performed exceptionally academically, less emphasis was placed on results this year.

When asked about their stellar results, many commented that it was ultimately the support from friends and family that helped them over the finishing line. Adam Rafey (13S06K), the former BW house captain of 2013, expressed that it was from “a lot of love from my friends and family. Especially my mum and my dad.” Similarly, Lee Zi Xin said, “Definitely my parents, and friends. We’ll gather all the physics definitions, and really help each other out.”

As for students who were unable to achieve their desired results, Ms Avadhani, a GP tutor, commented that “it’s an opportunity to look at alternative careers and subjects. There isn’t only one way to achieve something or do something, so this is the time to get creative. If they are willing to push themselves, they should be alright.” She also noted that the people who did well are people who’ve been working very consistently, as compared to those who often liked to do last-minute work. For the Year Sixes reading this article, it’s probably time to start reading up on materials outside the syllabus for GP!

Other students also expressed great gratitude for their teachers, both school teachers and CCA teachers. Bryan Yong, captain of the cross country team, expressed thanks to his CCA teacher in-charge Mr. Tay, and his coach Mr. Steven, for really “helping him out through these two years”. Similarly, another student (who wishes to remain anonymous) commented, “my economics teacher Miss Amelia Heng is awesome! She stayed back with me until 6pm for consultations.”

To all those going to take their A-Levels this year, we found this advice by Ang Tiong Han (13S03A) particularly apt:

“Just study hard, and make sure that you don’t have regrets when you actually get your results – even if you don’t do well, you’ll know that you’ve at least put in your very best.”

Class of 2013: High Achievers

by Gao Wenxin (14A03A) and Allison Choong (14S05B)
Additional reporting by Valerie Chee (15S07A) and Kang Yi Xi (15S03N)

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Anticipation ran high as the 1,239 students from the Class of 2013 awaited the release of the 2013 ‘A’ Level Examinations results today. Overall, the cohort turned in excellent grades, with 97.6% of the cohort achieving 3 H2 passes with a pass in GP or KI. This is above the national average of 91.1%, and an improvement from last year’s 97%. Roughly 68% of the cohort also scored at least 3 H2 distinctions, and 170 students achieved distinctions in all subjects offered (including H3), compared to 129 from last year.

Today also marks the first time that Mr Chan Poh Meng delivered the ‘A’ Level results as Principal, and he congratulated the batch on their personal and community achievements. His presentation featured students who were talented in areas of sports, arts, leadership, community service, as well as all-rounder JAE students. One memorable aspect was the emphasis on some “noteworthy tough cookies”, or students who had juggled their school life alongside personal challenges or difficult circumstances.

Our reporters with Mr Chan
Our reporters with Mr Chan

Mr Chan also highlighted that 339 students (27%) have achieved a perfect University Admission Score, with the mean score in RI being 85 out of a total possible of 90. In an interview with Raffles Press, Mr Chan reiterated that such “quality grades will put [students] on a good stead” with local university applications, even in competitive faculties, and hopes today’s outcome will help the 2013 batch “achieve their personal aspirations”. He also urged students to broaden their horizons no matter their results, and be open to options beyond traditionally prestigious courses and universities.

Those who were former RGS girls were also surely encouraged by the presence of Mrs Shirley Tan and Ms Chin Jen Fu, who were in attendance today. When approached for comment, Mrs Tan told our reporters that she was very proud of the girls, and that the results were “a great affirmation of all that they have done in all the 6 years, and an affirmation for the RP” as it is “testimony that they are laid very strong foundations.”

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Subjects-wise, Biology maintained a 80% distinction rate, as did Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, and History at 70%. Economics has shown an encouraging improvement with a 70% distinction rate as well, and one Economics tutor enthused that the results “couldn’t be better” and that this year saw “highest distinction rate ever”. The percentage of those scoring distinctions in General Paper, Knowledge & Inquiry, English Literature, and Geography have dipped slightly from the previous year; however, it should be noted that the 2013 ‘A’ Levels featured a revised Literature syllabus as well as the removal of the “Vocabulary” section from the GP paper.

Mrs Lim Lai Cheng, surprisingly, also had some final words for the batch via a slide in Mr Chan’s presentation. She asks the students to “always believe in yourself, and through small acts, work towards changing the world.” On that note, we will like to congratulate the Class of 2013 on their achievements and we wish all J3s the very best for their future endeavours!

Class of 2012

9 Distinctions: 10 students (i.e. 0.81%)
At least 8 Distinctions: 88 students (i.e. 78 with 8 Distinctions, i.e. 6.29%)
At least 7 Distinctions: 282 students (i.e. 194 with 7 Distinctions, i.e. 15.65%)
At least 6 Distinctions: 543 students (i.e. 261 with 6 Distinctions, i.e. 21.05%)

There were 1,240 candidates.

Class of 2013

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9 Distinctions: 4 students (i.e. 0.32%)
At least 8 Distinctions: 80 students (i.e. 76 with 8 Distinctions, i.e. 6.13%)
At least 7 Distinctions: 277 students (i.e. 197 with 7 Distinctions, i.e. 15.90%)
At least 6 Distinctions 533 students (i.e. 256 with 6 Distinctions, i.e. 20.16%)

There were 1,239 candidates.

More Than Words: Kaleidos 2014

By Celine Liu 15A01E, Michelle Zhu 15A01B, and Nai Jie Lin 15A13A

Photo Credits: Raffles Institution Year 5 - 6 Orientation 2014 Facebook Page
Photo Credits: Raffles Institution Year 5 – 6 Orientation 2014 Facebook Page

Kaleidos – from Ancient Greek Kalos, meaning beautiful, and eidos, meaning form.

We are all aware of that which we call a kaleidoscope, a narrow, enclosed tube filled with beads and pebbles and other beautiful things all crammed and packed into a mangled mess of colour that, when observed, launches into a medley of brilliant light. Kaleidos 2014, a time once so woefully dreaded and eagerly anticipated, has come to a close after 4 short days and an even shorter weekend packed with new experiences, new memories and new friendships.

Or so that’s the plan.

Though to the casual observer orientation must have seemed a jumble of energy, excitement and light, for some of us more inconspicuous pebbles in the midst this was far from the case. Being surrounded by people seemingly on a constant, albeit rather artificial high- the energy can become exhausting, the excitement forced and the light- blinding.

What is an introvert?An oft-seen term that’s frequently tossed around and loudly (and ironically) claimed on the internet. Yet putting the ‘introvert pride’ debate aside,  an introvert is simply a person who gains energy by being alone, and expands energy when communicating and interacting with others. By that definition, orientation must of course seem like every introvert’s worst nightmare, when one is literally surrounded by strangers sunrise to sunset. But that does not necessarily have to be the case. While eliminating the socializing aspect of orientation may defeat the purpose of orientation itself, there are still many ways in which one may fulfill the aims of orientation, that is, initiation into a new community, without systematically excluding the needs of those who are not content with relationships formed over the span of 4 days and a lot of adrenaline.

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Something that most may agree on, yet few dare to say, is that orientation can be rather superficial, a fact that can be ascertained by the sobering small number of OGs that manage to stay together throughout the two short years in JC. Despite the various OG ‘bonding’ activities and the copious amount of time spent together, it seems I’ve come away from orientation knowing absolutely nothing about anyone. And before an angry mob descends upon me in protest, I would just like you to stop and think for a moment about how much you truly know about your OG mates. What are their hopes, their stories, their fears, their loves? And no, whom they choose to shoot, shag, or marry doesn’t count. While we applaud the efforts of some OGLs to initiate ‘H2HT’s within the OG, the whole idea of forcing a connection can be rather oxymoronic.

Perhaps the real issue here can be put across by a Year Five, who commented that “I am more comfortable knowing a person before choosing to spend time with them because I know I will enjoy it, which is the opposite of orientation.” Personally, I have no qualms about being chummy with people I’ve only just met, but many people fail to realize that this may cause some discomfort amongst introverts who prefer interacting with people within their own comfort zone, and that comfort zone takes time to expand to accommodate new people – time which we don’t have.

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In a period crippled with uncertainty and anxiety, trying to drown out your apprehension through fun and games and loud music may not appeal to everyone. Some may say that it all comes together with time, yet ought not the point of orientation to be to ease this process of transition? Perhaps some changes to enable better quality interaction with our peers may be at hand to benefit not just those who require deeper interaction to feel comfortable with people but everyone as a whole. While OGs may broaden your social circle and enable you to meet a larger variety of people, bringing 20 people together and then tearing them apart immediately after seems rather cruel, especially for those who already have trouble forming relationships quickly. Indeed, some introverted Year 5s admitted to intentionally distancing themselves somewhat from their OGs because there is little meaning in the superficial interactions that do not culminate into genuine friendships. Perhaps orientation should be geared less towards a focus on the OG alone and instead directed towards developing a passion and sense of identity with the school. The focus and emphasis of “socializing” with our OGmates is really only a fraction of the big picture, that is, providing a smoother transition into the school and its systems.

Even within the OG/House system, the large amount of physical bonding activities may not be the most effective in bringing people closer. Speaking candidly from an introvert’s perspective, team-building activities may even be a factor in widening the gap between introverts and extroverts; while extroverts derive energy and enjoyment from them, introverts tend to shrink and retreat, preferring more intimate one-on-one time with their OG mates instead. Activities like station games and war games may be a lot of fun, but some time could be set aside for more meaningful getting-to-know-you activities, instead of relying solely on OG dinners and downtime to really sit down and talk. This is especially so when you consider how these times usually end up occupied more by embarrassing dares and forfeits than anything more sincere. As a self-proclaimed introverted batchmate aptly put, “what brought us together as an OG were the times we sat together and ‘talked about strange things’.” True and heartfelt interactions were much likelier when the introverts feel comfortable with their fellow OGmates, possibly even with the slight nudges of their extroverted friends. To be plunged into team-building activities is a prospect that appeals more to the extroverts, and continues to prove itself intimidating and tiring to others.

However, as OIC Ruthanne so fittingly puts it: ‘Orientation doesn’t necessarily cater to any type, extroverts or introverts. Rather, it is dependent on how willing the individual is to participate; life is all about choices after all.’ It is easy to claim the short end of the stick, but rarely is anything moulded and pressed to fit precisely your form. Nothing stops you from making this your experience, be it as an introvert, extrovert, or somewhere in between. Proposals and planning can only go so far, but at the end of the day, the real stories and friendships you forge are of your own creation, and worth so much more than words.