Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Back-to-School Surprise!

The holidays are over, and it is the start of a new semester. Being students, we have mixed feelings about the start of school. Some may be elated at the thought of meeting our old friends or getting to know new people, while some may face anxiety due to tougher academic demands as they become seniors. 

For us Social Work students, we were told that our timetable was to be suspended on the 1st day of school and all students were to report to LTK2 for a “combined group lesson” in the afternoon. All of us did not know what was in store for us. Following our course manager’s instruction, we thought that it would be another boring lecture to sit through. 
what’s going to happen?

With a simple game of changing seats, we were seated with a student from a different cohort each on our left and right. Thus, we started to introduce ourselves to our course seniors and juniors seated around us. 

Our lecturers had specially planned the day’s activities to allow us to start the semester on a positive and light note. We watched an entertaining video, which helped to motivate us in many ways. It made the Year Ones feel more welcomed, and encouraged the Year 2s not to let deadlines and stress dampen their passion in social work. As for us Year 3s, we were inspired to come up with innovative ideas for our projects. 

Afterwards,  our course manager invited us to send a text message to our peers seated on our left and right, to motivate them for the new semester ahead, as well as to let us know we had each other’s back. It was especially meaningful for us to know that we have course mates who wanted to spur us on, despite knowing each other for only a short while!

The day ended with an ice cream treat! It allowed us the chance to bond and get to know each other even better! 

While waiting for our turns to claim our ice creams, we engaged each other in conversation; proving that even the wait can be meaningfully used to promote bonding!  

Soon, our ice creams arrived! We embraced the cool sweetness sliding down our throats! It was indeed a taste of paradise! 


It was indeed heartening to see my course mates growing closer in  friendship!

Most of the students told me that they had fun and they look forward to seeing more of these activities organised.


“I think it’s good to interact with all of our seniors and juniors on the first day of school”, said Ai Ling, a Year 2 Social Work student.

As the day came to a close, I envisioned a closely-knit student community being built to weather the storms we are going to face in the future. But with the knowledge that we have one another to count on, what can falter us?


By Matthew Tan Ser Yung, Diploma in Social Sciences (Social Work)



Matthew is 20 and pursuing his Diploma in Social Sciences (Social Work) at NYP. He may have suffered a traumatic brain injury in a judo competition and may have lost his hopes of becoming a judo champion,  but he has found new passion and interest in writing. He is happy to share how he feels and thinks, and hopes to encourage his readers with his writing.

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