Student Reflections: Conquering Fears

We share inspiring stories of some of our students who faced their fears head-on. In the process, they expanded their horizons and enriched their lives.

Joseph CHU, Environmental Studies Year 2, barely passed swimming in school. His fears were compounded when he was unable to find his oxygen mask during a diving drill. His bad experiences led him to avoid swimming. To overcome his phobia, he slowly exposed himself to water, and repeated and simulated the process mentally. Today, Joseph holds a lifeguard certificate, and has participated and won various lifesaving competitions.

He says, "I am glad I took up lifesaving. It not only liberated me from my phobia of swimming but also became one of the most memorable journeys in my life."





MUNDO Triscia Katerina Galvan, Applied Mathematics Year 2, constantly failed mathematics exams in primary school. She also felt insecure in the Normal Academic stream. She regained her confidence by spending hours working on mathematics problems, and in the process discovered the joy of problem-solving. Her grades picked up from junior college and today, she aspires to teach or conduct mathematics research to uncover new applications.

She says, “Mathematics is about perseverance in tackling problems. My love for mathematics stemmed from practice. With grit, you can overcome setbacks. It is not about the endgame, but the learning process.”



Nischal Rye NAYAR, Life Sciences Year 2, travelled alone to India from March to June 2015, without his handphone. He set out to challenge himself and to push past his fear of loneliness. In doing so, he found inner strength that saw him through the journey. He plans to travel over greater distances and in different terrains.

He says, “I needed to know that I had the independence to face the world. I wanted to be fully invested in my experience without help from connections. I am convinced that the body and mind can be pushed beyond to greater limits.” 

Nischal 01


Nischal 02

Nischal travelled for two days non-stop via two overnight buses to get to the Thar Desert. He slept in the desert and learnt to appreciate the wonders of nature through the clarity of the stars in the night sky and peace in the midst of the desert.


Nischal 03


Nischal trekked for five days to get to the Pindari Glacier in the Western Himalayas, reaching a highest point of 3,200m. This was the best part of his journey.