Hello everyone, Lionel here! I'm a proud NJCian from the Class of 2016, and one of this year's President's Scholarship recipients 🙂 I've been fortunate enough to be given the chance to "hijack" the NJC Facebook account for a bit, so I'm just going to do a quick post on my experiences thus far!
Being at the Istana was an extremely humbling moment for me, because I knew getting the scholarship was not a product of my efforts alone. Considering my less-than-affluent family background, I owe a lot to the meritocratic system Singapore upholds, my parents for instilling in me the value of hard work, and the many people who have helped me along the course of my development to get me to where I am today. To say I'm grateful is certainly an understatement.
My time in NJC was a critical part of that dynamic. These were the formative years of my life, and I benefitted tremendously from the mentors and teachers who shaped my moral compass and supported my every aspiration. The Boarding Programme helped me to forge the kind of friendships that will last a lifetime. Playing Hockey and being in the Symphonic Band did much to mould my character, as did the Political & Current Affairs Society in opening my eyes to the larger world around me. Organising SISC, going on the Waseda exchange programme, and participating in World Scholars Cup were all defining moments of my NJC experience as well, and I guarantee anyone that as long as you take the initiative to seek out opportunities proactively, you will definitely find plenty of fun and meaning in your NJ years too.
Even though being in the SAF was something I've always looked forward to, I sorely miss my 6 years in JC, and not just because of the fantastic Cai Fan. NJC was a place of learning and exploration for me, and the space it gave for personal discovery is something I find hard to come by now I've left school. So for the current students out there, treasure your time in NJC! The institution is certainly more than just appearances – it's about the people, the opportunities, and the holistic education it offers you in the prime of your life. Make the most out of it, and enjoy yourself in the process! 🙂