Writer: Benjamin Lim
Having participated actively in so many CCAs in her first year here in hall, most of you are sure to know her from one CCA or another. After her win of the MAB Freshman of the Year award, KE Press had the opportunity to sit down with this mature and inspiring personality as she shared a little about her thoughts and experiences here in hall with the rest of us.
Share a little about yourself: what are the CCAs you joined, etc?
I came from Malaysia and arrived in Singapore last August. I am currently majoring in Physics. As a member of hall, I’ve had a part in Malaysia Night as the vice-chair, IHG Convening Committee as the co-vice chair, F block Committee, Dance, Choir, A cappella, Floorball, Softball, DnD Pageant.
Wow, seeing that you have so many activities on your hands, was it terribly difficult to balance academics? How did you do it?
Umm… it’s certainly a challenge. My advice to future juniors would be to not be greedy. Pick what you like and try to focus on a few CCAs. This will help you to fully enjoy them and you’ll probably be able to make the most out of the experience there =).
Personally, my friends helped me out a lot, both with my schoolwork and hall life. But I think what helped to make the difference for me is that I learnt to prioritise my life, in order to make a distinction between needs and wants. And choose the needs over the wants when the situation called for it.
I suppose my biggest concern when I came to Singapore was whether I’d be able to adapt to the different culture, but I’m really thankful that I quite enjoy hall life and the hall culture. If not for hall, I wouldn’t be able to fit so well into Singapore!
Did you consciously work towards obtaining this award? Or was it simply a pleasant surprise?
Totally not! But when I first heard about the award and the fact that I’d been nominated, I have to admit that I was rather excited about the prospect of contesting for the award. To learn that I’d won the award during DnD made it even more delightful!
How was competition like for the award this year? Did you expect to win?
I felt that this year’s nominees are all fantastic people. In fact, a lot of the nominees are my friends, and I definitely feel that all of them are equally capable and worthy of this award in their own right. I still hoped to win, but I would have been happy for anyone else who won. I feel that this award is an encouragement to the person who wins, and not so much the recognition of an individual.
What would you be willing to give up this award for?
More time to sleep!
Any tips or advice to your fellow hall mates on how to live a fulfilling hall life?
Do what you enjoy doing and what you are good at, but not at the cost of what is important.
Looking back, would you have done anything differently this year?
Most probably not… even though I met some problems that resulted from not managing my time well. I still feel that every single experience in hall was rewarding in its own way: Making friends, learning leadership skills, picking up precious lessons on not sacrificing sleep over certain matters (Laughs), I mean if you really need sleep, you really have to sleep.
All those memories, good or bad, are still precious memories. And I believe they ultimately played their part in making me who I am today, which I definitely do not regret.
In the next academic year, would you take up the same level of involvement as this year? Why or why not?
Hmm…I won’t tone down the level of enthusiasm but I will tone up the wisdom in making decisions. I suppose I’ll be picking up less activities, and focusing on important stuff, like friends. Many times, you get so caught up in activities that it robs you of time with your closer friends. You just end up meeting a lot more people but at a very superficial level, never really getting to understand them.
To the incoming freshmen: Don’t be intimidated by the choices you have. And definitely don’t be afraid of the things I say. Get advice from your seniors. And most importantly, have fun! Hall life is fun =D