Journey to Raffles Institution
By Low Huey Sze
In 2016 W@W Writing Competition, we had our very first prize award ceremony to celebrate the victories of our young writers. We took the opportunity to invite our dearest alumni, Low Huey Sze, to share her success story of how she had strived to score A1 for ‘O’ Level English Language and made it to her dream school – Raffles Institution.
Good evening teachers, parents and students. I am Huey Sze, a graduate student of Writers @ Work. I was from CHIJ St. Theresa’s Convent and now I am a Year 5 student in Raffles Institution.
I first joined W@W in Secondary 2, with the aim of improving my English grades for my O-Levels. My family and I walked past the enrichment centre, and we thought of giving it a try since we were looking for English tuition. Before attending my first lesson at W@W, I had the perception that English enrichment would be tough for me as my foundation of the language was rather shaky.
True to that, I struggled so much during my first lesson at W@W, to the extent I felt like a hiker lost in the woods of English. But I did not give up.
Learning is a long process, so it was not a simple journey to improve my English, especially at the beginning. I could barely understand my English teachers in school. To my astonishment, I could hardly understand the lessons at W@W too. I can still remember clearly that the first assignment given by Miss Jemie was to write from the perspective of a shoe, which has been flung onto the top of a goalpost. Excitedly, I wrote the essay, filling each paragraph with many descriptive words. In the end, I got back a piece of work that was bleeding with red ink. There was so much to learn about essay writing.
That was how my first few pieces of W@W homework went, and things did not seem like they were going to get any better real soon. Errors after errors, I felt as if all hope was lost for English. I’m sure that many of you at W@W can relate to this experience, where you thought that you were going to ace that assignment given by the teachers here, but the results just tell you otherwise. Believe it or not, the struggle was real. But don’t give up.
There is always light at the end of the tunnel. Over time, I started to get used to the rigour of the lessons at W@W, and my vocabulary bank started to expand. It was a tremendous achievement to master and use new words easily. My W@W classmates and teachers were friendly and funny; they were a great help in making all the lessons enjoyable.
My favourite lesson in W@W was learning to write an essay on ‘Time’. The essay was extremely memorable as it taught me the importance of time, and it was a turning point where I realised I could write with ease. It was a moment to behold. In fact, I had two W@W moments during my three years here. First, I eventually emerged top in English in my school. Second, I won last year’s W@W writing competition. If only W@W had organised a prize giving award ceremony last year, I would be sitting among all of you. I can imagine how difficult the questions must be. Trust me, I know. But all of you did not give up.
After three years at W@W, my efforts (and Miss Jemie’s) has finally paid off. When I received my O-Levels results, I got straight As, but more importantly, I got A1 for English! My parents and I certainly did not expect this result, and I could not describe the flurry of feelings — joy, shock, confusion and elation. The first few people I shared my results with was Miss Jemie, whom I cannot express how thankful I am for her guidance. My parents were a great source of support as well, and I feel that no amount of ‘thank you’ would be sufficient.
W@W has given me more than just lessons in English and a distinction in the subject. I have made good friends and gained unforgettable memories. I have become more confident in myself and learnt to more resilient. Now, I am a student who embraces.
the experience of learning new things with patience and perseverance. These are things that we cannot learn from textbooks. W@W has been a great help in teaching me skills and virtues that will see me through the challenges I would face in future.
For the current students at W@W, if you ever feel like your days are tough, keep on fighting. Sometimes, things don’t go your way, and it could be so bad that you feel like giving up. But don’t, because you never know when something greater could be coming your way. Remember, give every opportunity a shot. Regardless of what the outcome may be, give it your best shot. You will never know unless you’ve tried. Remember, don’t give up.
Tonight, I would like to specially congratulate all the winners of the 2016 Avengers of the W@W writing competition, especially my brother, Tjun Lym. Regardless of your placing, I am sure every one of you is a winner tonight. Just like all the heroes in your stories, be a fighter and never give up