Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Life without Regrets

We, at NYP COMMS and Outreach, received a personal email from a student - Matthew Tan – who told us just how special he felt when he received the Daisy Phay – NYP Foundation Scholarship recently. It touched us so much that we decided that it should be shared with everyone. 

To read Matthew’s letter, scroll down. 

Thank you Matthew. We’re proud of you.

Matthew Tan (right) receiving the Daisy Phay scholarship from NYP Principal and CEO, Mr Chan Lee Mun 

August 2nd 2013 was the day of the NYP scholarship presentation ceremony. Being one of the recipients, I donned my first formal attire – a long sleeved white buttoned shirt, dark pants, leather shoes and a sky blue tie.

Though I was dressed like any other recipient, I was different. Walking with a limp, people could easily see that I have a problem – yes, I am physically challenged.

However, that is what makes me special.

I can still compete amongst my “normal” peers in spite of my condition and even stand out in the crowd to win the scholarship. Though I am physically challenged, I do not let it be an excuse for me to laze, but strive hard for my future. 

That afternoon, I was standing on stage, proud and living the moment I earned with my hard work. I was not ashamed of my disabilities or limp as I knew it is what makes me different from the rest. After going through a traumatic brain injury that led me to walk a longer and tougher road compared to my peers, I came back on my feet again.

The effort I put in to get this far - to get relatively good ‘O’ level results -while having to struggle with some impediments was nothing less than tremendous. The Daisy Phay – NYP Foundation Scholarship, meant for performing students who have a passion to serve the community, gave me recognition for wanting to serve the disadvantaged.

Why am I so proud?  Firstly, this recognition means that I can still shine and serve the community despite being handicapped. It also means that with resilience, determination and hope for the future, someone who is disadvantaged can still have a brighter future for himself. 

In fact, I am not the only one in the world who has gone through difficulties. There are others with tougher trials. Like Nick Vujici, the man with no arms and legs, but who still touched the lives of millions in the world through his books and speeches, or Bethany Hamilton, the world renowned surfer with only one arm, and our very own Dr William Tan from Singapore who is wheelchair bound but did ultra-marathons to raise money for charity. These are examples of what people can do if they don’t ever give up. So, what excuses do I have  for lazing off?

We are all called to make full use of what we have, our talents, circumstances and even our obstacles, and to glorify God through them.  It may be tough to believe that “bad” things can turn out good, but they do when we face our lives fearlessly with faith, hope and courage.  

Procrastinating and being lazy can sometimes be so much easier, but in the end, what do we gain? Only regrets.

Matthew Tan Ser Yung


  1. Awesome! You did not give up on yourself. Proud of you, Matthew. May God always bless you.

  2. excellent perseverance. You are a role model to all students on how much they can achieve if they believe in themselves and push hard. Well done and all the best to your studies.