FROM ME TO EU: THE JAE EXPERIENCE [PART 1]

Koh Hekang (2018)

(i) Why did you choose Eunoia?

During a primary school gathering, some of my friends who were in the IP batch presented the prospects of going to Eunoia to me. At that point in time, the idea of a new school brimming with opportunities to create appealed to me. I decided to go for the open house and found myself immensely impressed by the atmosphere and environment that the college exuded. This wonderful first impression really impacted my decisions. When the time came to make my decisions, Eunoia ended up being one of my top choices in spite of its relative distance from my house. 

(ii) What was your EJ experience like? When did you feel like you identified as a Eunoian? Did you feel there was a difference between the JAE and JIP students?

Eunoia offers tons of exciting programmes, and I tried to make full use of these opportunities as I curated my own Eunoia experience. From Eunoia Global Orientation (do apply to go if you get the chance!) to planning water games for Eunite to heading Road Run (and more!), these programmes and events really brightened up my time in Eunoia. Quite honestly, while I thoroughly enjoyed my academic experience at Eunoia, the social environment wasn’t really my cup of tea. I had amazing teachers who were (and still are) immensely supportive of what I did, and my life coach was always present to give me a listening ear and advice. They made lessons interesting (though I still fall asleep once in a while, sorry hehe) and were always open to feedback. On the other hand, I did feel a little awkward — like a puzzle piece that couldn’t quite fit in — among the JIP students. Over time, I did find people that I could ‘click’ with (I suppose you attract your ‘own’ people) and I did enjoy hanging out with them. Till today, we remain great friends!

(ii) What was your EJ experience like? When did you feel like you identified as a Eunoian? Did you feel there was a difference between the JAE and JIP students?

Oh man, I have many to choose from, but the one that stands out the most to me would probably be Eunoia Global Orientation: Taiwan. Together with some 40 other students, we travelled with the teachers to Taiwan, where we had a slew of activities planned out for us. It was my first time on an overseas learning trip, so naturally it was exciting. The activities, which ranged from visiting places with deep historical significance to the famed Taiwanese night markets (the food’s so good), were a blast. We even had the pleasure of watching the debut of a dance piece by Cloud Gate Dance Theatre! My group was also crazy fun to hang out with, and the random antics and idiosyncrasies of each member made the trip that much more memorable. 11/10 would recommend if you do come to Eunoia!

(iv) What are you doing now? How did your 2 years in Eunoia shape you to get there?

I recently ORD-ed (owadio!) and am currently in the midst of a legal internship with a medium-sized law firm. In addition, I am exploring multiple skills and hobbies, such as dance and boxing, purely out of curiosity and interest. I think that my time in Eunoia has certainly

helped me grow as a person, both emotionally and intellectually (brain-gains, hehe). The focus on reflection, introspection, and metacognition has helped me to grow to become a more thoughtful person who extracts knowledge from my experiences, before subsequently translating it into some form of action (perhaps concerted effort to change my actions or mindset) to achieve personal growth. These naturally helped me in the pursuit of my interests.

Tasib (2018)

(i) Why did you choose Eunoia?

EJC was my first choice during my application for Junior College after my O-Level examinations. I joined our new college as I believed that being a part of something new would allow me to learn different sets of skills such as creativity and innovation through building a culture for the future of the institution. This was an experience which I felt I could not acquire from any other Junior College. 

On top of that, Eunoia was fairly near my home. A shorter travelling distance gave many such as myself more time to relax and spend time with our families to keep our spirits up, as well as not feeling lethargic from daily long-distance commutes. Considering that I live in the west, the previous Mount Sinai campus was very accessible to my home and thus, a key factor to why EJC was my first choice. 

(ii) What was your EJ experience like? When did you feel like you identified as a Eunoian? Did you feel there was a difference between the JAE and JIP students?

I have to say that the experience as a Eunoian is a tough yet fruitful one. As many are aware, studying in Junior College is tough due to the hectic study schedules as well as the extracurricular activities that you must participate in. These activities are essential for the holistic development of students but can be difficult to manage at times. Moreover, being a JAE student, there were a limited number of people whom I could call close friends in the earlier stage of my JC life. However, I have to say that the school ensured that each and every student is integrated well into the community. There were various initiatives such as Orientation and camps that allowed for students to mingle and spend quality time together. Through these activities, I was able to identify myself not as a JAE student but as a Eunoian. I would say that any differences between JAE and JIP students faded as we all eventually identified ourselves as fellow Eunoians with shared experiences. 

(iii) What was one highlight of your 2 years in Eunoia?

The highlight of my 2 years in EJ would definitely be the year-end massive adventure race, Euphoria. It exemplified how much we had grown as a cohort through working together within our groups and travelling around Singapore solving puzzles before converging at Sentosa where we had a cohort wide rave. As part of the Student Council, I was proud to be a part of the planning and executing crew. It brought me great joy to know that the first batch of student councillors set a high benchmark for my future juniors. The event truly displayed the Eunoian spirit and brought a smile to all our faces. 

(iv) What are you doing now? How did your 2 years in Eunoia shape you to get there?

I have just completed my National Service as a Company Commander(NSI) in Training Command, Singapore Police Force and I strongly feel that the struggles during my JC helped me to persevere through the toughest of times in my Officer Cadet Course. Mental resilience is something that is essential in everyone’s life and the junior college experience definitely builds up a student’s mental strength. I was also able to apply my social and executive skills that I acquired during my time as Student Council Secretariat in EJC. 

Georgia (2018)

(i) Why did you choose Eunoia?

For myself, it was a calculated gamble between rank points and joining a new school. In addition, the Mount Sinai campus was in proximity to my home in the West!

(ii) What was your EJ experience like? When did you feel like you identified as a Eunoian? Did you feel there was a difference between the JAE and JIP students?

It was definitely very fulfilling because it stretched me academically and I grew tremendously. I felt that I really identified as a Eunoian when I wore my uniform and when representing EJC in events/meetings. The difference between JAE and JIP students was more pronounced at the start of the year. However, this difference more or less dissipated by the second year! In my opinion, the problem does not lie with there being a difference, but the manner in which the difference is perceived and treated. I personally found this difference easy to overcome because I felt very well integrated into my class and in my extracurricular activities. However, I can imagine that other students who are more distant or find it hard to break into exclusive groups may feel isolated. 

(iii) What was one highlight of your 2 years in Eunoia?

For myself, getting the results of my A-Level examinations was definitely memorable. However, my time spent in Council and serving as the Vice-President was fruitful too!

(iv) What are you doing now? How did your 2 years in Eunoia shape you to get there?

I’m studying history in a double degree programme with the Paris Institute of Political Studies, and NUS. I’m currently in France completing my second year of studies. On a practical level, Eunoia provided the rigorous academic foundation which my university education builds upon. If I hadn’t done well in my A-Level Examinations, I would not be where I am academically today.

More importantly, my teachers at EJC had faith in me and pushed me in my studies. It was in JC that I developed and became confident in my passion for history and the humanities. Elsewhere, the many opportunities presented in the student council and hockey had developed me tremendously. For example, the chance to organise the first Euphoria Amazing Race with a team of committed peers and teachers taught me how to collaborate on huge projects. Now that I’m running independent projects, I have the organisational capacity to get things done efficiently.

Check out Part 2 here.

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