"At the 2018 Chinese New Year steamboat event that the Ang Mo Kio Outreach Centre organised, I was so paranoid about getting tapeworm infection because I don’t know whether the staff washed the fish before adding it into the soup”, Walden recalled. “And my friend was attempting to use three chopsticks! What a joke! I will definitely remember these two memories for life.”
Thankfully, no one got an infection, else it would be a celebration turned disaster.
Walden first knew of YGOS when he was in primary 5 through the PEARLS* programme conducted by YGOS. Like many students, Walden had a bad habit of procrastinating. “I often got scolded by my primary school teachers for submitting homework late. But I have to admit that I also had a bad attitude and was quite rebellious at school. I always cause a lot of trouble and make a mess of everything. I didn’t know there were still people who could put up with my attitude until I met the mentors at YGOS. My mentor, Jeremy, is like my best friend. I can share a lot of things with him. I don’t find myself doing that when it comes to other people.”
“YGOS is my second home, a place where many of my friendships are forged. It’s like a home away from home.”
Walden fondly remembers the encouragement that Jeremy gave him during a tchoukball competition. He was very proud that he managed to score the opening goal for that competition despite not excelling at the sport in the beginning. “YGOS is my second home, a place where many of my friendships are forged. It’s like a home away from home.”
Bit by bit, Walden noticed himself becoming less self-centred and rebellious. Helping others has become something that he reminds himself to do. Slowly, he also gained more confidence in himself, yet cognizant that he should remain humble.
But change is the only constant in life. Walden did not do as well for PSLE as he expected to. Dejected, lost and confused, he desperately wanted to give up studying. Even though Walden eventually did enter secondary school, heeding the advice of his parents, Walden still struggled with making new friends.
Thankfully, things did change for the better. In Secondary 3 now, Walden is motivated to do well, especially for Mathematics. In the near future, Walden hopes to study Meteorology or Geology and may even want to pursue dancing. Despite hoping to be able to turn back time and re-do his PSLE, Walden knows that he should focus on the present, and not be stuck in the past.
“Every end is a new beginning. Don’t give up trying.”
*PEARLS stands for Personal growth, Environmental mastery, Autonomy, Relationship, Life purpose and Self- acceptance
15 years-old, Enhanced Step-Up (ESU), PEARLS* Tchoukball Programme
- Photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash