Atiqah knew she was already a step behind her peers after having spent one year studying nursing at a polytechnic before transferring to Jurong Pioneer Junior College (JPJC). A year into her nursing course, Atiqah questioned the path she took. She had chosen the polytechnic route originally as she doubted her own abilities to handle the JC curriculum but she decided that “to not try at all would be the bigger mistake.” She took the leap of faith and joined JPJC. Determined to do well, she looked for various opportunities to develop herself. She was appointed Class Manager, Project Work Group Leader, and took part in the Singapore Youth Festival (Malay Dance) even though her Co-Curricular Activity (CCA) was The Ambassadors Club. At the start of JC2, she was also chosen to be an Orientation Group Leader.
However, her active college life was brought to a halt when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and Home-Based Learning (HBL) was implemented, Atiqah found it extremely trying to stay focused on her studies. Together with two other siblings, she had to share a common study space and the use of only one laptop in the household. As an older sister, she also felt responsible to coach her younger siblings in their schoolwork, especially as one of them would be taking the PSLE exams. Alas, just as HBL ended and things were beginning to look brighter, Atiqah had to go for an abscess drainage surgery. The surgery worried Atiqah as it meant missing lessons in school. She wondered if she could catch up in her preparation for the A level examinations. “It really took me some time to find my footing again. But I reminded myself of my end goal – to provide my family with a better life,” said Atiqah. The college, her civics and subject tutors, and classmates rallied around her to give her the support she needed.
Atiqah is most grateful to the college for the support given during a difficult time. The loan of a laptop and printer facilitated the revision of her work. Helpful tutors and classmates also ensured that she did not miss out on her lessons despite her surgery. The unwavering support gave Atiqah continued strength and motivation. She intends to read Business in the university to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to start a business venture in future.