“Every cell in the human body is replaced over the course of seven years”. Theoretically, this means that the person that I am today is a completely different person than the girl that was staring at her reflection in the mirror seven years ago. While this may not be scientifically viable, to say that I have changed is far from wrong.
In terms of my anatomy, I’ve grown exactly 11 centimetres taller and and 7 kilograms heavier. The masseter and buccinator muscles of my face have extended to accomodate my now slighlty more protruding cheekbones and slightly wider smile. Fine lines have formed around the corners of my mouth and eyes since they have been extensively exercised as I chortle with joy and beam at my fellow friends and family.
Aside from my physiognomy, I have developed greatly as a person in terms of my views, beliefs and outlook on life. I’ve gained much confidence and have learnt to love myself before loving others. I have learnt that life is undeniably full of impediments and that difficult journeys lead to beautiful destinations. I have learned that while family and friends are at the heart of everything that I do (which I am forever grateful for), life is so much more than that. Life is so much more than the box that I have put myself into. And I believe that Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar is able to aid me in extending my reach into this dynamic and highly-competitive world that we live in.
Over the course of my three years in KTJ, I have developed talents that I never had the courage to showcase. Singing and playing the guitar has always been a way of expressing of myself. As my fingers strum and pluck at the coarse, brass and bronze strings of the guitar, the velvety tune produced helps set me at ease and never fails to tug the corners of my mouth into a smile. At KTJ, I had the opportunity to perform in front of big crowds multiple times and despite the inevitable butterflies before each performance, I have become increasingly comfortable under the bright lights and keen eyes of the audience. Ever since 2016, I’ve performed for all three Snowball Dances, multiple Saturday night events, KTJ In-Concerts, Senior Talentime and the recent Prom. The supportive cheers of the crowd and reasurring waves of the bright flashlights from their mobile devices tell me to keep going. This relentless support from students and teachers is what sets KTJ apart. Thanks to the opportunities that the school has given me, I have mustered the confidence to perform at various private events and even in front of the judging eyes of my aunts and uncles. And for this, I’m extremely thankful for. Thank you.
In the month of November, 2016 I went on my first school trip (it’s the first time my father has allowed me to go on a school trip) for 3 days and 2 nights. As we arrived on site, I was greeted by welcoming faces and warm greetings . However, what instantly caught my eyes was the sheer vertical face of granodiorite rock that stared back at me. Zooming in to the steep cliff, I observed as a man worked his way up the wall, as he repeatedly attached and re-attached himself to the metal hooks on the wall. I later learned that that man wasn’t just “climbing” he was doing a “free solo” and that the “metal hooks” on the wall were called “carabiners”. I was instantly hooked. I was thrilled when I found out that one of the activities that we had for the day was to do some “top-roping”. To say that I was afraid was also very true but at the heart of it it was my willingness to try it that drove me on. Since KTJ has a climbing wall and the 9 other students in my group had been in KTJ much longer than I have, I was the only one in the group that has had zero experience in climbing before. That didn’t stop me. As I put on my harness and tied myself up to the singular piece of rope that will keep me from falling, I stared up the wall in awe. I braved through the pain as the sharp rocks dug into my finger and refused to stop until I reached the top. At the end, I was the only student that managed to complete the route that day. The feeling when I first topped the route was one that I would never forget. Quite literally, I felt as if I was on top of the world. In the moment, I felt powerful and liberated. Ever since then, I’ve participated in 6 ISAC climbing competitions and very recently my first ever FOBISEA rock climbing competition. Having won the silver and bronze medals multiple times for the ISAC climbing competitions, I am happy to have placed in the top 5 for FOBISEA as the singular KTJ representive those two days. Thanks to KTJ, I have found a sport that I never knew I loved.
I like to push my limits. Throughout the three years of school in KTJ, I’ve managed to maintain straight As/A*s throughout all my subjects. When I first started Form 4, I was rather taken aback by the step up that it had from Form 3. With consistent studying and constant support from my peers and parents I managed to obtain the “Overall Academic Excellence Award”. To this day, I remember vividly the tears that my mom shed as she held me tight in her embrace. From that point onwards, I knew to never give up and with enough effort, I could achieve anything.
I believe that I deserve this scholarship because I have a dedication to education and I realise the importance of quality education in achieving the aspirations that I have. I believe that with an excellent A-level from KTJ, I’ll be one step closer to changing the lives of people around the world for the better.