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Reflection by Probationary Cadet Inspector Agnes Aw
Best Unit Cadet (Female) Recipient and One of the Top scorers for the GCE N Level Examinations 2014.
In the recent ‘N’Level examinations, I had attained 11 points and I felt really happy and satisfied that my hard work over the past 4 years had paid off. To be honest, this set of results was not something that I had anticipated. Thinking back to the period during the ‘N’ Level examinations, I faced major family issues and was struggling to balance between studying and settling my family problems. That was why I was able to succeed both in my studies and Co-curricular Activity (CCA) and that was not something easy to achieve.
I was previously from Poi Ching School and I must say that I didn’t score well for my Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) and there were times when I was unable to be promoted to the next level due to my results. But, things started to change when I entered Springfield Secondary School. I had joined the National Police Cadet Corps Sea (NPCC) in 2011 and I must say that I had learned many new things ever since I started my journey in NPCC as a cadet. To be honest, I started my journey in NPCC as a selfish individual who did not spare much thought about the welfare of others. I still remember vividly that on my first training I was appointed as the squad in-charge(IC). During that training session, I was given many tasks which needed discussions with my squad mates. However, because of my unwillingness to listen to the opinions of my squad mates, I was not able to complete the tasks on that training itself because of the tensions in my squad. By the end of that training, I was reprimanded by my Ma’am who was a Cadet Inspector (CI). I felt very upset and angry with myself. I told myself that I had to stop being so selfish and to stop thinking that whatever suggestions that I gave was the best. Since then, I tried my best to change and open up to the opinions of others. I had anger management problems in Secondary 1 too. Due to this, I became a short-tempered individual. My squad instructor even had to talk to me many times just so that I will change to become a better person.
When I was in Secondary 3, I was appointed as the Chairperson of the Springfield NPCC Unit. Things were not easy for me especially when I had many family issues to tackle. Not only that, I had to balance my studies together with the tasks that I had on hand. I had very poor results at the start because of having poor time management. Soon after that, I was struggling with my studies and I felt like giving up on the position of the chairperson because of the excessive amount of stress that I had. But I decided to persevere on. At the end of the year, I had to tackle my Final Term examinations as well as taking up the coordinator role for the Orientation Camp in 2014. I had many preparations to do for that one camp. Those preparations that I needed to do included 25 proposals to be vetted and finalized by my instructors in NPCC. Other than that the planning process for the camp took about 5 months. But the actual camp load was something that I did not anticipate. The most difficult part of the camp preparation was the actual camp.
Other than the camp preparations, I had attended many competitions on behalf of Springfield NPCC unit. One of such competitions that I had attended was the Inter-Area Project Based Competition together with my area mates. During this competition, I had learned many things and we managed to achieve the position of 1st runner up for that competition.
After passing out in March 2014, I started to focus more on my preparations for the N Level Examinations. While preparing for the examinations ahead, I had family problems to tackle. I had to do housework after reaching home at 7pm because I usually stayed in school for long hours to study. Sometimes I had to stay up late till 3am just to revise for exams and wake up at 5am if I were to sleep. Those were the times that I felt like giving up on my studies. Not only that, I even had to skip meals just to complete homework and revision that I needed to have before examinations or lessons. I still remember that I actually suffered from a bone fracture relapse in 2014. During that period, I had to ask my table partner to help me jot down notes while he did his work. I felt really useless at that point in time. But if my table partner was not there to help me with the jotting down of notes, I would not be able to have sufficient notes to study for my N Levels. My teachers were there to support me. They allowed me to computerise my work and even helped me to print them out. Not only that, they were worried that I would not be able to sit for my N Level Examinations. Thankfully, I recovered just in time before the N levels started. This journey has not been easy for me especially when I had several medical conditions. There were times when I could not participate in certain events for NPCC due to my medical condition.
In mid-November 2014, I decided to attend a Cadet Inspector Basic Training Course (CIBTC) which is also known as CIBTC where I am trained to become a Cadet Inspector so that I can go back and serve my unit. During this course, I felt like giving up and getting out of the course but with the help of my squad mates, I managed to pull through the course. This was only possible with their motivation and support as they were kind and forgiving towards me even when I did anything wrong during the training. This course was a 3 week long programme that contains 2 weeks at the Home Team Academy and 1 week at NPCC Camp Resilience located in Pulau Ubin. This was a mentally and physically challenging experience for me since I was not prepared for this course. During this course, I learned new things such as managing the welfare of cadets and picked up certain debriefing techniques.
These things which I had learned will enable me to help me not only my squad mates but also others. On the last week of the CIBTC course, I had injured my kneecap therefore I had to attempt the land expedition with my injured knee. It was a 4 hour long, treacherous journey around the western part of Pulau Ubin and hiked up and down the slopes. It was a physical challenge for me because of my medical condition. On that very night itself, I had to conduct a Campfire and my role to be the emcee. Since I was injured, my movements were restricted but I tried my best to display a fun side of me so that my batch mates will enjoy the last night together as a batch.
This NPCC journey has been a very enriching experience. Without Springfield, there would not be NPCC and without NPCC, I would not be able to be who I am today, being confident to stand in front of people and being confident of what I am doing. NPCC has helped me in my journey from being a cadet to becoming the cadet inspector of NPCC.
Till today, I have never regretted joining NPCC as my CCA. I want to thank all of my teachers especially Mdm Zaleela, Ms Husna, Ms Selena, Mr Chew, Mr Chong, Ms Revathy and Ms Ponniah (who is no longer in Springfield) for helping me with my studies and aiding in my personal growth and development. No amount of thank you can truly explain how grateful I am to have you all as my teachers. I will continue to pass my knowledge on to my juniors and strive to make all of you proud.