Written by: Athena Lim (19-A4), Ernest Tan (19-E6), Lee En Tong (19-U2)
Designed by: Jo Yeoul (19-A2)
Photographs by: EJC Media
6 January 2020 will be remembered as a significant milestone for Eunoia Junior College, and perhaps the architecture of educational institutions in Singapore. Known as the “first high-rise Junior College campus in Singapore”, the sprawling Bishan Campus welcomed its first batch of users.
The subject of many news reports – publicised just days prior to the Big Move, the new campus elicited a keen and shared feeling of euphoria amongst staff and students, who gathered at Bishan Active Park for the momentous moving-in ceremony.
There were no dampened spirits on the day, as students and staff gamely joined in the festivities. By 7.30 a.m., there was already a steady stream of JC2s making their way to the park. Even despite being the first day of school, the park was abuzz with excitement, with the student leaders hyping everyone up by leading students in cheers and dances.
While it had been a long time since the students participated in such activities, everyone began to cheer along enthusiastically to the ‘Team Eunoia’ cheer in no time. While many residents looked on curiously, it was certain that we were slowly making our mark in the neighbourhood of Bishan. Maxine Lee (19-U2), a JC2 student and Orientation Group Leader (OGL), found the entire experience to be “hype, overwhelming and fun” and expressed her anticipation for the incoming JC1s.
As preparations for the event were underway, the JC1 JIP students were beginning to enter the park, welcomed by lines of enthusiastic students and the roaring cheers of the JC2s. In a motion to welcome the incoming JC1 students, the JC2s arranged themselves around the JC1 cohort, reinforcing their place as part of the Eunoia family. Amanda Wong (OG 24), a JC1 student, described the school culture with one word – ‘heartwarming’, and expressed gratitude for the OGLs’ enthusiastic efforts in helping her ease into the new environment.
The day’s events started off proper with speeches by the 3rd Student Council President, Lum Wan Tong, and the College Principal, Mrs Wong-Cheang Mei Heng – both of whom highlighted the symbolic start of the academic year with the new campus. This was followed by yet another round of house cheers and dances, coupled with exuberant singing and music, showcasing the vibrant spirit of Eunoia.
The celebrations quietened to herald the arrival of the relay runners, who ran from the Mount Sinai campus to BIshan Active Park, and had been running since 7 a.m.. The relay consisted of 4 legs, which were covered by groups of pioneers, J4s, JC3s, JC2s and JC1s, and represented the college in moving from the Mount Sinai campus to the new. Tan Chin Fong (19-O5), a member of Track & Field, was running for Leg 3 of the Relay. He felt that “it was an honour to be part of the relay, as it symbolises a transition into a new phase for EJ.”
Finally, it was time for the main event: the mass walk. Led by the college leaders, everyone was split into four groups, each taking a different path, to arrive at one of the four gates in the campus. The sight of the towering campus and tastefully integrated greenery left many in awe and anticipation. Wong Sean Yew (19-U4), a JC2 student, described the campus as a “modern and majestic building”, expressing anticipation for the lessons to be held in the 900-seater auditorium.
Students and staff then headed to the elevated stadium for the finale, assembling to form the words “EUNOIA HOME”, with each house forming their corresponding letter, and the JC1 JIP students forming the word “HOME”. This cemented the Bishan Campus as a home for both the current batches of students, as well as many others to come.
With the end of the commemorative events, students broke off for their respective programmes, with some taking the time to explore the new campus. One JC2 student, Desmond Lim (19-O5), was pleasantly surprised when he toured the tutorial rooms. “It’s so much breezier in here, compared to Mount Sinai. The wood furnishings also give it a very homely look.”
Others, while acknowledging the upgrade in facilities, reminisced about their time in the Mount Sinai campus. Brandon Aw (19-A4), felt that “even though we spent only one year in Mount Sinai, I’m starting to miss it because of the many memories that I forged there – from blissful orientation activities to the dreaded hunger pangs at 3 p.m.”
Talking about hunger pangs, students eagerly checked out the new canteen stalls, and tasting the food from the food carts manned by external food vendors and staff volunteers. This consisted of some very scrumptious fare like Ramly burgers, hot dogs and ice cream. Some laboratory staff were also manning the crepe and corn cup stall, which we can attest was absolutely fantastic!
After all, what’s better to end the day than comfort food?