Secondary School.

“Not a neighborhood school, but a school in a neighborhood.”

Woodlands Ring Secondary School. My alma mater.
The place where everything began.
The place whose name brings about bittersweet memories.
The place that took so much from me, but gave me so much more.

I won’t dwell on all the negatives in this post because all of that is in the past and I’ve learnt that we should all acknowledge our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward with us into the future. Hence, this post will be focusing on some of the things I’ve gained during my 4 years in WRSS.

The one thing that attracted me to apply for WRSS in my Sec 1 Posting Exercise was Robotics and Robotics only. The school was well known and respected for their niche in a certain CCA and guess what? It’s their Robotics Club. And the reason why I was so drawn to Robotics was mainly due to the fact that my father is an engineer and he kinda rubbed off on me and that is probably why I was so passionate about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) at a young age. However, I never really got the chance to pursue that passion because I was rejected for 6 straight years by the Robotics Club in my primary school as it was a small but prestigious club. Of course I didn’t let that deter me and I pursued my other passions like sports and arts in primary school as my CCAs while also signing up for a few robotics workshops at my neighborhood community center.

But, I was a really curious child and signing up for small little workshops and learning the small stuff could never sate my hunger for knowledge, which was why I was so determined to join a Robotics CCA in my secondary school education. However, the decision to apply for WRSS solely for a CCA, not to mention their niche, also came with great risks. I faced the same problem as I did back in primary school, where if I had gotten rejected by the club, I would be a completely different person, living a completely different life. Unable to develop my passion, unable to pursue my dreams, unable to live the life I have now.

Thankfully, I was able to get past the stringent interviews and part of the select few that were able to join the club. It was definitely one of the happiest days in my life.

When I joined the club, I was immediately introduced to a line-tracing robot known as KaiRobo and I was able to master the programming and controls of the robot in a few weeks. Afterwards, I moved on to LEGO where I focused on building and programming LEGO MINDSTORMS sets for the rest of my time in the club. I was extremely dedicated to the club and literally spent every minute outside of curricular time and sleep in my CCA, even on weekends. I can’t even remember if I had a single holiday in my 4 years of secondary school. Of course, all that time spent was not for naught. I participated in a multitude of competitions, one after the other, sometimes even simultaneously and won in many as well. In my 3rd year, I joined the EXCO (Executive Committee) of the Robotics Club and together with a close group of friends, planned and executed events for my fellow club members as well as hosted delegates from other countries during their visits.

Below is a list of notable achievements(not all) that I have accomplished during my 4 years (do note that in some of the competitions my school swept all 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes).
1. Young Engineers Award (YEA)
– Attained Bronze, Silver and Gold award

2. National Junior Robotics Competition (2012, 2013, 2014)
– Won 2nd Placing (2012)
– Certificate of Participation (2012, 2013, 2014)

3. FIRST LEGO League (2013, 2014, 2015)
– Won 3rd in Robot Design (Programming) (2015)
– Certificate of Excellence (2013, 2014, 2015)

4. FIRST Tech Challenge (2012, 2013)
– Certificate of Excellence (2012, 2013)

5. Marine & Offshore Challenge (2013, 2014)
– Won 2nd Placing ( 2013)
– Won 3rd Placing (2014)

6. ITE Central Skills Competition (2014)
– Won 2nd Placing

7. Interschool Robotics Challenge (2013)
– Won 1st Placing

8. Singapore Amazing Flying Machine Competition (2014)
– Certificate of Participation

9. NYP Astronomy Competition (2014)
– Won 2nd Placing

10. Secondary Maths Challenge (2015)
– Certificate of Participation

11. Robotics Club Executive Committee (2014-2015)
– Served as Head of Logistics and Welfare

In my 4th year, I clinched the prestigious YEA (Young Engineers Award) GOLD awarded by Singapore Polytechnic and Science Centre Singapore, where I was invited by Singapore Polytechnic to apply for the Direct Polytechnic Admission (DPA) exercise (now known as the Early Admission Exercise (EAE)) to an engineering course of my choice in the school. Which led me to where I am today in the Diploma in Engineering with Business and I have not regretted my choice since.

I am especially grateful to all the friendships I have forged in my 4 years, to all those who stayed in my life and even to those left. I believe there is a reason for everything and that change is a constant in our lives. But how we experience change is up to us.

There are also a select few teachers who have made a difference in my life that I would like to thank and they are – Mr Ravin, Mr Jeremy See, Ms Nur and Ms Tan. You guys have made a positive impact on my life and helped shape who I am today.

And as WRSS always says, through the gates of Woodlands Ring Secondary School, we walk the best and HUAT AH!

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