Written by Lee Keng Yan (19-U1), Lee En Tong (19-U2)
Banner photographs by EJC Media (Goh Jun Xuan)
Designed by Lee En Tong (19-U2)
As the clock ticked towards 2pm, the new Bishan Campus welcomed a steady stream of J3s, who seemed to treasure, and dread, every passing minute.
Results day looked a little different this year in light of the Covid-19 situation. Additional measures such as temperature taking and separation of classes for the collection of results were taken. Fortunately, this did not dampen the spirit of the J3s. We witnessed many of them reuniting with old friends and catching up with each other, sharing stories of their lives after school.
As the time drew near to the addresses of the school leaders, a commemorative video was presented through the live stream of the Auditorium featuring their batch’s photos and achievements, brewing nostalgia in many of the students.
At 2pm, Mrs Wong, the school principal, and Mr Ganison, the Dean of the 2019 JC2 cohort, gave their address via live stream. As they revealed the overall cohort performance, technical difficulties added to the overall suspense as the J3s struggled to see some of the results clearly. Groans of frustration rang throughout the classes we were reporting from as the camera tumbled when more results were revealed. Nevertheless, this made the atmosphere a little more lighthearted as everyone found hilarity in the situation, defusing much of the tension.
What was truly touching was that the moment the results were finally revealed, everyone was congratulating each other and celebrating the school’s achievements as one. This in itself revealed a sense of school pride which was heartening to experience despite EJC being a new school. As current J2s preparing for the A Levels, we hold onto the hope that this spirit not only persists, but also strengthens in future results release days.
Although not everyone could be physically present in the auditorium, Mr Ganison’s powerful reminder that life is much more than grades resonated with many, with the cheers of students echoing throughout the school as he wrapped up his address.
However, this lighthearted atmosphere quickly dissipated as a moment of silence quickly descended upon the various classes as the J3s lined up to receive their results, offering encouragement to each other as they did so.
There were tears, shouts, elated cries and choked sobs. The release of the results inevitably sparked strong emotions. But yet, despite receiving our O Level results a year ago, what went through their minds was strangely unclear. Were they happy because of their success? Relieved because they met their targets? Devastated because they fell short? Resigned because they met their expectations, and nothing more?
Perhaps we won’t ever know, entirely, the raw truth of harvesting 2 years of fruit till we reap what we sow. Can we ever put it into words?
It also felt quite intrusive to observe these emotions. Perhaps it was the classroom setting that magnified every action and expression which made it a little tenser. It felt almost unfair to try and paint a picture of a journey we had not been on. As student journalists, a lot of the things we do, ideally, have to be done objectively. But it was much closer to home this time. As the J3s collected their results, we were seized by the thought of being in the same position in a year’s time. Would we be comfortable with people observing my actions and emotions as we receive something that will determine what comes after the A Levels? We could empathise with those who did not feel comfortable with us observing in distant proximity.
In spite of this, it was also a great privilege for us to observe these moments. We saw teachers going around to check on their students, with some providing words of comfort while others congratulated their students. We saw students leaving the classroom to call their parents. We saw groups of friends huddling in a circle, results in one hand and clutching their friends with the other. We witnessed the enduring beauty and importance of friendships and was reminded that its value goes beyond grades.
Results Day also presented struggles to Press reporters. While photographers from the Media Club have always been a constant presence at major school events, the appearance of Press reporters was a first. The nature of our work is such that we act as observers during events and convey them in words thereafter. Since we don’t need any professional tools when observing at events, we appeared to be students who were in the wrong place and grappled with justifying our presence at the event to curious teachers. While we attempted to prove our credibility by donning our Press jackets and tagging along with a classmate from Photography, many continued to be intrigued by our presence.
Having experienced such intense feelings and observing bittersweet moments, we feel ever more empowered to grow and improve continuously, not just in our preparation for the A Levels, but also in our relationships with others. A year from now, we hope that all of us will be able to look back at 2020 and be proud of how far we’ve come together.