The Word ‘Resilience’ Does Not Have an A

This article is submitted by an alumnus from the graduating batch of 2018. Note: some parts have been edited for brevity and clarity.


Written by: Anonymous

Designed by: Jo Yeoul (19-A2)


The ‘A’ Level results were released almost four months ago. All the chatter, screams, and cries have long died down. For me, I have finally sorted out my emotions and pieced my life together. Before the ‘A’ Level results become a thing of the distant past, I am finally convinced to share my story.



My academic journey was undoubtedly a test of willpower. My J2 year started off rough, when I scored a 0 for my chemistry lecture test which I studied hard for. I remember so distinctly the ‘0’ written in the last box of the cover page and a ‘U’ written beside it. I do not conform to that success story of a student who started off with nothing and ended the journey with an ‘A’. In fact, I was nowhere near an A. I got an E. ‘E’ is an alphabet no one would want to see on their certificate, but for me, it meant a lot. I had passed. I had finally passed after failing chemistry for 2 years straight. You might think that it is unimpressive, but the point I would like to make is that we all experience ‘success’ in different ways.


That very day when I received my March Common Test results, and where everything started to spiral is still fresh in my mind. It rained heavily that day. I went to a far corner of the school, looked at my DESU/D grades, watched the rain, and cried till the school gates closed.

Did you think that was bad? That was only the start of a tumultuous ride. I continued to study very hard, but my grades did not improve. In fact, they dropped from the March Common Test to the Mid-Year Examinations. The drop was so drastic that I attained single-digit percentiles for the first time. After this, my health deteriorated and I was often unwell. The academic struggle is tough, but the battle against health problems, many lasting for more than a month, was arguably tougher.




You must be wondering, how bad can one’s health get? I started the year with a multitude of stomach problems. Following those, I was often down with flu and never quite recovered. Throughout the year, my health condition deteriorated so much that I was very thankful for each day I was well. I had a hand injury that worsened, and I had to go for my first operation during the Preliminary Examinations period. For one month, I could not do any papers and had to vocalise my practices. However, that was not the hardest struggle. I was a music student whose performance instrument was the piano . . .

The rest does not need to be explained.

During the A-Level Music Performance and Portfolio submission week, which also happened to be the SAT week, I was also down with severe abdominal pain, which was so bad I was given 2 painkiller injections at once. I also struggled to type my music write-ups while being at the hospital, awaiting treatment. Eventually, I pulled through by the skin of my teeth.


It is hard to articulate the strain it had placed on my life. However, I learned that when we are battling against things in life that are more important than grades, such as our physical health, telling yourself to “press on” might just be the hardest thing. It was so exhausting, and many a time I wished life had been easier. I often ruminate on the need to pursue our dreams, when life seemed bleak. I was so sick throughout the year that even the simplest of tasks such as eating was laborious. Yet, I constantly reminded myself that life would never be complete, should we not live with purpose.



Next, mental health – a topic our society shuns. It might come as a surprise to many that my life had been plagued by the aforementioned. I had to deal with the ridiculously high expectations of others while having to keep up with being a DSTA JC Scholar in my first year. I started off struggling alone, and almost lost myself in that war. My pride was so important that even when I could no longer find the strength to live another day I preferred to fight alone. Eventually, things took a turn for the worst, and I confided in my friends. I really must say that friendship is what that pulled me through the hardest times. There were times I felt as though I was going to lose my sanity, but my friends were always there to help me stitch the broken pieces of my life back.


What I would like to say, is that we all wear a mask – some more translucent than others. But behind each opaque mask, painted glamorously with flamboyant colours, might be a frown no one can and would see. It is something no being in this world wants to go through, but some do, because of how they are or were, made. Nonetheless, if you ever feel that your life is not in place, it is alright – there are people willing to hear you out and bring you through difficult times. ‘People’ is one of the most beautiful things I have found in Eunoia, and one of the many things that made my life a tad bit brighter. I never realized this, until trials came at me.


I also hope to tell you that no battle is ever too tough to fight, and no road is ever too rough to walk on. It is about waking up each day and telling yourself, “I really hate this life of mine, but the only way to not hate it anymore is to get up and live my life.” The hardest part of leading such a life is knowing how to segregate school and emotions because our society hardly accepts people who are different in this aspect. Suffering alone is draining and tiring. At the same time, we are not born to be conquered by challenges, but born to overcome them with the strength we create within us. Strength does not appear with the snap of our fingers – it comes from the heart. This is a message I thought was easy to comprehend, but hard to truly accept.



The ‘A’ Levels, for me, was a battle. A battle where I went to the field powerless. I thought I would have lost myself in it, but I walked out alive. I tell myself, I have conquered. To everyone that might be struggling, please do not give up. Take heart, and fight on. Resilience and courage comes from within. When you wake up, tell yourself that you are not going to give up, that you are going to pull through this tough period of time, and you will, for it is all in the mind.



We are one Eunoia after all. When I thought I was not going to make it, my teachers and friends were always there for me. They helped me through tough times and encouraged me to achieve more. When I could not write, my friends took notes for me; when I was absent from school, they helped me with my academics during my breaks; when I almost could not find the strength to press on, they gave me food. My teachers were always there to help me. They never rejected a consultation request and were often using different pedagogical methods to help me with my academics. They encouraged and guided me with love and care.

At the end of the day, when the aftermath of results day cleared, I know for one that those letters I see on that certificate are nothing more than alphabets. The journey taught me a whole lot more lessons textbooks cannot.

And finally, what everyone might have been waiting for… So, what did I get? Nothing impressive. A UAS score of 75.325, and the grades which spell ACCE/BAA. Did my life reach a complete stop? No. With the skills and knowledge I have gained beyond the academic realm, I have earned myself a place in 7 reputable universities abroad, places in prestigious courses from 2 local universities and an esteemed scholarship.

The word ‘resilience’ does not have an ‘A’, but that does not mean that we should live life without resilience. Resilience is a very beautiful entity. When life gets rough, resilience gives us the strength to trudge on. I write this not to ask for your sympathy or empathy, but with the hope that this story of an anonymous Eunoian, who might just be your senior or friend, will empower you to fight on with grit, leaving no regrets behind.

The word ‘resilience’ does not have an ‘A’, because there is so much more to life than straight As. Every individual has their path to take, and their unique story to tell. Adversity is part and parcel of life – unavoidable, but it is only through adversity that people yield the best of themselves. Setbacks are difficult to accept, and the emotions that emerge with each downfall might continue to linger with you, but never allow them to cloud your direction in life. Allow them to be a source of motivation, to encourage you to journey further. Nothing in life comes easy. Love one another, show compassion, display courage!

The word ‘resilience’ does not have an ‘A’ for resilience is something harder to practice than the pursuit of an A. At the end of the day, know that you cannot avoid the storm, but you can draw every strength within you to walk the most demanding of paths.

P.S. If you know who I am and would like to message me about any part of this article, please feel free to do so, but I would really appreciate it if you could help me to keep my identity concealed. If you do not know me personally, I would be very grateful if you would respect my privacy and anonymity.

Push Start

In this article, the Origin* explores the possibilities of video games as life lessons. Who said video games were all bad?

Written by: Athena Lim (19-A4)

Designed by: Athena Lim (19-A4)


People consider video games another avenue to escape from reality, and for good reason. Of course, you’ve heard the usual pitch: video games cause violence, are addictive and a waste of time. All these people have likely heard it too.  If the claims hold true, why do people, despite this, play video games?


Percentage uncertainty: 0%

A game, in essence, is programmed to do specified, predetermined tasks; a character will always respond to certain stimuli in a certain way, enemies will have pre-set abilities, et cetera. Walkthroughs can often be found online, allowing players to find out more about the weaknesses of that upcoming boss, and even spoil a surprise encounter that might happen. In contrast, reality brings with it the daunting uncertainty of human interaction, with a single unplanned factor snowballing into a huge problem without warning. In a way, video games allow us to take a step back and do some risk assessment: while we may not always be able to change other factors, we can predict them and prepare accordingly. Does spotting questions count? In any case, you didn’t hear it from me!


The world is your oyster

The freedom to rewind time by saving and reloading the game is an obvious safety net, with no cost for doing so most of the time. Of course, this is a good chance to learn from mistakes, for most games involve a specific strategy which can be applied in real life, such as studying methods. With the mid-years approaching, it’s wise to know whether mindmaps or audiobooks, for instance, work better for you. I personally like rewriting notes more than re-reading them. One has the luxury of time in the player-centric world of a game – the plot simply will not progress until the player does. Alas, the real world isn’t half as patient, and deadlines are a thing we cannot avoid; perhaps a reminder to study for our lecture tests, and Mid-year Examinations?


You’ve gained 100 experience points! Level up!

Most games have an experience system, where doing the most menial tasks will eventually net you enough experience to ‘level up’, and many challenges can be overcome through ‘grinding’, the potent mixture of brute force and endless time.  In reality though, you’d likely make little headway if you work without a plan. Everyone has had that moment when our brains felt like a leaky bucket, our hours and brain cells seeping away when studying. Work smart, not work hard, as the adage goes, and remember that your time is limited.


Double or nothing.

Hard work pays off, remember? The sense of accomplishment from finishing a hard level, for example, is certainly a factor in their popularity. The risk-reward system is a huge pull, sure, but how much is the risk? For some games, it is simply a matter of in-game currency, which may take time to earn, but is renewable nonetheless. Though taking any risks is up to our own discretion, we can certainly agree that the rewards are much better, considering that losses can be recouped easily, whereas a missed opportunity in real life is often just that, with little to no chance of a similar one. Some games play on that, extending their reach a little further into the real world, offering (marginally) better chances for better in-game equipment in exchange for a taste of our wallets.


On the other hand…

Video games aren’t all doom and gloom, for they do offer an immersive way of experiencing a story. As such, while video games may be a pretty bad representation for the twists and turns of life, it is those differences that draw people to playing them. The rich backgrounds of some role-playing games, for instance, with blossoming communities of like-minded individuals creating and expanding upon that world, such as through fiction or art, is a powerful pull for some, and an invaluable chance to live an impossible dream vicariously for others. Strategy too plays an important role, precariously treading the line between being easy enough to grasp readily, yet intricate enough to engage long-time fans and the competitive scene (Though it largely depends on the genre and intended audience of the game – for instance, Pokémon, which appeals to both older and younger fans, has a much gentler learning curve than other games).

No matter what games you play, I’m sure they’ve had some impact on our lives, and it is up to us to sift through and learn from them.

Agony Aunt Agatha #3

I like a guy but I can’t tell if he likes me back. Are there any signs to look out for?

First and foremost, it’s important to recognize relationships as a serious commitment that requires the effort of two individuals in order to have a chance at success, especially at this age, so be careful when ensuring that the both of you know what you’re both in for and intending for before you go too far! But here are a handful of small tips to notice if he’s noticing you back:

  1. He finds all sorts of random ways to communicate with you, such messaging you to ask for homework help although the assignment is only due 2 weeks later.
  2. He seems to break into a smile particularly when he’s around you, and only you.
  3. He shows a lot of concern for you and seems very conscious of your presence.
  4. He compliments you and makes a lot of eye contact with you.
  5. He tries to get your attention, be it by poking fun at you or showing off something that he is good at.

Good luck, and if all else fails, just ask him directly instead of sitting in suspense!


I didn’t sign up for house cap/council but I still want to be part of organising school events and being more involved in school but I’m not sure if that’s possible. I’m not sure what to do or who to approach.

I’m sure the school would truly commend you for commitment and interest in serving the school, and I’d like to assure you that leadership certainly doesn’t stop at these official titles but extends beyond boundaries into your everyday life. Don’t worry, there will always be opportunities to help out so long as you look out for them, and even if you aren’t spearheading events committees, the school is always looking out for student input. Just don’t be afraid to step up and share your ideas for whichever areas you feel you can help out with.

Firstly, your CCA. You can run for a leadership position, for which you can ask your respective CCA teachers for more details on the duties of the different roles

Secondly, you can also sign up to be an OGL to help the new batch of J1s to feel welcomed and integrate them into the new JC environment next year.

Thirdly, take this year to prove your capabilities to your class and when the next year comes around, you can volunteer to be a part of the class committee. Roles such as class chairperson, vice-chairperson, and house representative are particularly involved in school activities such as college day.

Fourthly, whether during house interaction times or even with just your own class’s house rep, don’t be afraid to share your ideas, help out, or offer to get more involved in programmes and initiatives being shared.

These are just a few simple ways that you can get involved in school and school events; be sure to also look out for more opportunities that pop up in your EJC email, and if you have any questions, I’m sure you can feel free to approach our Student Leadership and Talent Management Head of Department Mrs. Brigette Koh, your civics tutor, or any respective teacher in the department of your interest, especially if you have anything particular in mind or even if you’re just seeking more concrete opportunities and offers. Best of luck in your search!


I’m really stressed out! I can’t seem to fit into EJC. I miss secondary school so much this is so difficult for me

We must admit that JC life can be stressful, with seemingly endless worksheets due and tests coming up. No one said that it was going to be easy or safe. I’m sure that a lot of us miss our secondary schools dearly, from the wonderful friendships we’ve forged, to the amazing teachers who spoon-feed us with notes and nuggets of knowledge. Going into JC is like how you went from primary school to secondary school. Difficult at first, even in the first few months, but you learn to settle and find a place for yourself. Keep catching up with your old friends, but don’t forget to spend time with your new ones. You will gradually grow and find a routine and place that you’re comfortable with, so in the stages before that happens, take it easy, find things you enjoy, and try to look for the little things in JC that make you feel less stressed. You can always approach your CG tutor or any of your subject teachers to talk about your worries and I can guarantee that they will give you valuable advice as well.


I don’t understand why we have so few cca and no clubs compared to other schools. I was looking forward to joining things that like astronomy club/young diplomats. Thinking of starting a club but I don’t know how to and I’m scared people won’t join.

Besides have quite a hectic schedule in general, EJC is quite a new school and we haven’t had the time nor do we have many resources or manpower required to run so many new CCAs and clubs popping up so quickly. Nonetheless, if there is something you are passionate about, don’t be afraid to take things into your own hands! Many of our current CCAs are student initiated, such as Ultimate Frisbee, Art Club, and Environmental Club. For example, Aretha Wan and Faith Seah, the founders of Art Club, saw that EJC did not have an art club but wanted to help make EJC more vibrant as well as develop the artistic passions of non Art Students through this CCA, and hence proposed the establishment of the Art Club CCA, which eventually passed and is what it is today.

Therefore, if you’d like to start a club, I’d suggest firstly thinking carefully about what kind of club you’d like to establish as well as the kind of activities, etc., that it would encompass. For an idea of the numbers interested in joining, you can create a Google Forms and share them around your friends and classes to see how well-received the idea is. From there, there is a New CCA Proposal form that you can fill in and apply to establish. For more information, as well as for consultation before you send in your proposal, we advise you to speak to the teacher-in-charge of CCA, Mr. Charles Cheak. Good luck on following your passions, and don’t be afraid to take the first step!

Art exhibition review – Mazel Galerie

The hearty guffaws from the Michelin Star restaurant “Kam’s Roast”, the hustle and bustle from Singapore’s busiest district, Orchard Road and the occasional honk from an exasperated driver. Amidst the fast-paced nature of the surroundings lies a peaceful respite – a glass-enclosed Art gallery, where the constant “whir” of the air-conditioning humming in the background serves as the only element of sound disrupting the peace. A pleasant contrast.

Mazel Galerie is indeed a hidden gem on the second level of Pacific Plaza on Scotts Road. Open from the 21st April to May, the gallery features a wide variety of visual Arts – from traditional sculptures and paintings, to an interactive magnetic table and a sculpture made up of dust, this is a place for both the Art enthusiast and the newbie.

The theme of the Gallery surrounds the Chinese Zodiac, with most works inspired by animals of the Zodiac. Take a look at this painting. Can you spot all 12 animals?

Members of the Origin* strained our necks, trying our best to view the painting from all angles. Joanna, deep in thought, recited the list of animals in sequential order. Ashley tip-toed, bent down and turned upside down in attempts to decipher the animals. Jacey, curious about the Art exhibition, struck up a conversation  with our gallery guide. Upon asking the chief curator who hailed from Brussels on why he chose the theme of the Chinese Zodiac, he replied, “I just like it”.

Some of the sculptures were carved with the purpose of creating the most symmetrical carving in mind. When viewed from the front, both sides are congruent in terms  terms of dimension and design.

Here is a snapshot of Joanna and a symetrical bunny sculpture.


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My personal favourite piece of work was a sculpture made entirely out of dust. Yes dust.


Sculpture of a mouse made up of dust

What intrigued me was the ability for the sculpture to remain together as well as the artist’s creativity in taking something seemingly cheap and insignificant and turning it into a piece of work worth hundreds and thousands of dollars.

If you wish to momentarily seclude yourself from the hustle of life, pop by Mazel Galerie which opens from 11am-8pm. It will not disappoint.

For most of the team, it was our first time attending an Art exhibition, and truly, what an eye-opening experience it was.

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Some of our team with a painting resembling a dragon!
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Can you spot what’s amiss with the painting? Hint, look at the shadow of the snake

Revealing what Eunoians truly think of the Arts!

Photo credit: Sandra Tan Jia Ying

The Arts. What does this word elicit whenever it crosses your mind? Boring? Meaningless? Or according to a General Paper question – A luxury only the rich can afford?

You might have come across a survey titled “The Arts or Nah” whereby the Origin* sought to find out what were the general sentiments the school had towards the Arts. Wondering what the responses turned out like?

Statistics for Arts or Nah 1

Statistics for Arts or Nah 2

Statistics for Arts or Nah 3

From 3 simple questions, the results turned out somewhat shocking. Judging from the responses of question 1 and 2, Eunoians seemed to hardly engage in Arts-related activities.

BUT here’s the catch. Although the response to the first two questions might cause one to jump to the conclusion that Eunoians have no concern for the Arts, the response to the third question dispels such notion. The reesponses reveal that majority of Eunoians believed that the Arts actually do improve their personal quality of life, telling us that Eunoians would attend Arts related events if not for the reasons hindering them in question 2.

Fear not! The Origin* presents solutions to deal with the top 3 problems hindering Eunoians from attending Arts events:

1. I’m way too busy! How does one even find time to dress up and attend fancy concerts that last 2-3 hours?

Do not stereotype Arts events as glitzy theatre productions with elaborate sets, luxurious venues and the need to dress up. We acknowledge that there are a good deal of Arts events that are of this nature, such as the recent American Ballet Theatre’s Swan Lake. But in all honesty, the bulk of the Arts events in Singapore are informal in nature, held in an informal setting and last for a maximum of an hour. This gives you the freedom to pop by after school for a refreshing hour’s break before heading back to study.

“WHAT, that can’t be true!” Is this your response? Well let’s list some examples!

Check out the Esplanade Outdoor open theatre or the Esplanade Concourse for performances nearly every Friday night and the weekends. #TGIF! There is always something going on, whether it is the Hua Yi Chinese Festival that features Chinese dance and music, the Indian Festival of the Arts, or even a junior college/secondary school band!

If the Esplanade still seems too inconvenient, don’t forget Singapore’s first UNESCO world heritage site – the Botanical Gardens. Surrounded by a lily pond, the Shaw Foundation symphony stage is home to countless symphonic band performances, dance showcases and many many more! What’s more, Botanical Gardens MRT is merely a few stops away from Buona Vista MRT station (closest MRT station to EJC).

Lastly, if you happen to be patrolling the CBD area during the weekends, drop by the National Gallery Singapore, which is merely a stone’s throw from City Hall MRT Exit B. Apart from the eye-popping, jaw-dropping facade of British Colonial architecture, the National Gallery features classical music performances on their iconic Red Piano, as well as contemporary dances from various dance institutions around Singapore. What’s more? There are a couple of free Visual Arts exhibitions such as those sponsored by DBS, which feature works by renowned Artists Georgette Chen and Liu Kang. These Artists played a pivotal role in capturing snapshots of Singapore’s history during the colonial era when film and photography had yet to become a commonality.
2. I can’t afford anything! The tickets to concerts always cost more than $20!

Don’t get the wrong idea that all Arts events end up leaving a hole in your pocket. In fact, there are a ton of Arts events that are free-of-charge in Singapore. Take the Singapore International Festival of the Arts (SIFA) which occurs from the end of April to May as an example. Apart from all the glitzy stage productions, SIFA features free events such “Jacob Collier on Harmony and Groove”, “Deciphering the operatic Cadence of rhythm and Meter”, “Verses of Love and Life, Selected poems of Taha Muhammad Ali”, “Sky Kave Performances” and many more!

Aside from SIFA, here is a list of website links to source for Arts-related events:


3. I have no interest in the Arts at all

Do not feel bad. Treat this as an opportunity to open yourself to a new, unexplored world! Usually, people who claim they have no interest in the Arts are not anomalies of society, but rather have not had ample exposure to the beauty of the Arts.

Well you are in luck. EJC is holding our second Humanities and Aesthetics Week during the last week of April. Aside from supporting your friends in Arts-related groups, truly be in the moment and approach every performance/exhibition with an open mind.

If you are watching a dance performance, ask yourself: Why do the dancers choose to adopt certain facial expressions? How do they manage to move in sync? Is there any significance in the formations they adopt? How do they move to the beats of the music?

If you are listening to a music performance, ask yourself: Why do the musicians choose to play some parts at a louder volume and other parts at a softer volume? How do different musicians work together in an ensemble? What are the unique sonorities of each instrument that give it its unique sound?

If you are watching a drama performance, ask yourself: How does the stage set-up convey the mood of the setting? How do the actors convey the emotions of characters through inflections of their voice? How do the actors project their voices? How do they use stage props to enhance their performance?

If you are viewing a Visual Arts exhibition, ask yourself: What different brush strokes do the Artists use to bring across certain textures? Is Visual Arts solely restricted to drawing? What other mediums do Artists use? Where did the Artist get their inspiration from?

Above all, the big umbrella question you should be asking is: What is the larger message all the Art forms are trying to convey?

In a nutshell, all Art forms are a means of communicating feelings, thoughts, ideas through an abstract way where words cannot suffice. There is almost always something deeper behind every work of Art beyond its superficial facade of being a form of self-entertainment. It involves ploughing through one’s inner deep feelings It is the Artist’s job to bring his/her personal touch to their chosen Art form and this is precisely the reason why people come to enjoy engaging in the Arts.


CCA in the Spotlight – Drama

Photo credit: Jayden Sim Hong Kai

Interviewee: Satini Sankeerthana

What is an average CCA session like?
Keerthana: For the first half an hour or so, we do warm-ups which are of a few types namely, vocal, physical and games which require concentration like splat for example. After which, if there are any productions or performances coming up, we split up into our committees and get the work done. If there aren’t any events coming up, then we do group or individual activities like acting or freeze frame and sharings (sometimes) about drama and theater in general so we are equipped with skills about backstage work as well. Lastly, we have a debrief.

What do you enjoy most about your CCA?
Keerthana: Definitely Interacting with people and the synergy among the members! It really hypes me up! And that’s why CCA is one thing I look forward to even on long days as I feel that’s when my energy level automatically shoots up! Also, everyone in Drama is really friendly and we have a lot of funny memories together. I also enjoy playing the games and dancing during warm ups sometimes and most of all acting!

As seniors, what is your CCA looking out for in prospective members?
Keerthana: We look out for people who are committed, responsible and hard working, as we believe that although acting skills or expertise with regards to backstage are important, they can still be learnt and improved over time once you join us, but the right attitude and mindset towards acting or CCA as a whole is really important for our dynamics and in order to get the work done.

What do you think was the highlight for your CCA last year?
Keerthana: OUR VERY FIRST PRODUCTION!! “PEOPLE” It really taught us a lot and there were ups and downs along the journey and I personally have learnt a lot of skills not only pertaining to the sets( I was head of sets) but also life skills such as teamwork and coordination. It was also very exciting as some of us did not have any prior background knowledge or experience, for example, it was some of the actors’ first time on stage and it was my first time doing sets!

CCA information (Timing, achievements, etc)
Wednesdays from 3.30-6.30 and Fridays 3.00-6.00pm.

Do you have a penchant for owning the stage? Think your up for the challenge to embody different characters? Or even manage stage lighting and design? Head over to the drama club and find out more!

Agony Aunt Agatha #1

Hi Eunoians!

Ever thought about where you can obtain advice for your personal problems? Have no fear because Aunt Agatha is here! Agony Aunt Agatha (AAA) is a new column on the Origin* that offers personal advice to those who ask questions via the link:

The platform is curated by members of the Origin and our CCA teacher. Without further ado, let us begin!

Question: What do I do when I have a group mate who doesn’t help out with graded group work at all? How do I get him to do stuff without giving a wrong impression? Should I just ignore it? Is there a need to tell a teacher about this?

Aunt Agatha: The common solution you might hear from others is to set deadlines. But personally, I feel deadlines are just scratching the surface of what one can do. Firstly, make sure the appointed group leader constantly reminds members of the upcoming deadlines. It’s easy to miss a internal group deadline amidst your test schedules. If this becomes a habit, what’s the use of deadlines?  Secondly, decide as a group what the consequences will entail should anybody miss the internally set deadlines. Perhaps this guilty fellow would have to loan his/her house for the next 5 project work meetings? If deadlines do nothing to spur on your group mate, you have two options. The first would be to continue working on the project with your other group members as if nothing happened, hence leaving the uncooperative fellow out. If all goes well, this fellow would eventually feel the guilt and start to chip in. The second option would be to find out what exactly is hindering the individual. Maybe it’s CCA commitments? Family issues? Disdain towards the chosen topic? Whatever it is, get to the root of the problem. If the problem happens to be heavy CCA commitments, allocate the work such that the group members cover for the individual during his/her busy periods. Then, allocate more work to that individual once the CCA commitment is over. The third option would be to take the unpleasant route and approach a teacher for help. Personally, this should be the last resort because it could permanently damage the group dynamics (when PW has barely started) as the uncooperative fellow might feel slighted that you went behind his/her back. Since group dynamics could literally make or break your PW grade, do your best to resolve disputes internally. Meanwhile good luck!

QuestionI like someone but they’re from a different class, different CCA and different house. How do I keep interacting with them?

Aunt Agatha: At this point it could feel like there is no reason for both parties to communicate because of the complete lack of commonalities between you which,  I myself will admit, makes it very hard to find a starting ground for interaction. Nevertheless, you might still have mutual friends and, chances are, you’ll be seeing them along the corridors and during breaks and all that. Start small, and make it a point to be friendly with them whenever you see them – a casual hey, the usual greetings. Try to expand your social circle and participate in more school activities and you may just get lucky. However, do keep in mind that you still have to manage your school work on top of other personal commitments. If you have the opportunity to socialise, snatch it up, but at the same time don’t throw yourself into it too much – maintain a balance and focus on the rest of your life. Don’t preoccupy yourself with “chasing” them. Be realistic. If it doesn’t work out, don’t be discouraged – keep them as eye candy and pursue other things that make you truly happy. It might have just been a one-off infatuation. 

Thank you for reading! Continue to send me your questions at:

Yours Truly,

Agony Aunt Agatha