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When people ask me why I come to Singapore to study at the age of 15 alone, I tried to avoid telling them that I am a scholar. Partially that is because I don’t want to sound like bragging about the scholarship. To me, this place has a lot of stories to tell.
The boarding school time was the best time. I stayed in a hostel with other scholars from different countries: Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. I met many new international friends. We accompanied each other in the study hall, watched the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and spent essential festivals together. We are like a group of big family, and it is the type of friendship that would last a lifetime. Challenges are opportunities in disguise Secondary school was tough because there are language barriers in both curriculum and daily life at the start. I always step out of my comfort zone to practice English with locals and adapt quickly to this new environment. I had never thought of giving up no matter what obstacles I encounter. I like overcoming challenges because I know that they make me a stronger person. Whenever I feel tired or sad, the family is a force that is always behind supporting me.
Life in Singapore is enriching. I get to choose among many co-curriculum activities (CCA), projects and community services. The different responsibilities as a student trained me to allocate time wisely and know what I want and like to do. For example, I have never thought that I can act, but my CCA in Chinese opera gives me the opportunity to find this interest and to perform in Germany as the lead role. I still remember the first time when I visit the intellectually disabled children at MINDS organization. The smiles on their face when I teach them to sing are the most beautiful picture I have ever seen. Whenever I was free on weekends, I joined Willing Hearts to cook and distribute meals to underprivileged individuals. I am genuinely thankful for what Singapore has done for me. And I hope I make a meaningful contribution back to this society through community service.
I hope my experience would make my classroom at Johnson a bit more colorful. I hope I will inspire others to live life to the fullest, travel, talk to people and see the world. Some may say that people like me are taking away places in school and making life more competitive. It is probably right, but we no longer live in a world where we close ourselves from the outer world and refuse to accept changes. The only way forward is to embrace diversity at the current age of collaboration. People who grow up differently from us look at the world differently. There is always something to contribute. I hope I get the chance to share the things I experienced in Singapore for the past ten years, acceptance, kindness, challenges, and opportunities. And most importantly every possibility is in our hand, and we earn our future.
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