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Having A Positive Mindset

As part of the Voice Of A Fairsian Programme, Ashton Ang from Secondary 3B spoke on how we should always have a positive mindset especially in times of crisis. We can harness the opportunities resulting from the COVID-19 situation if we shift our mindset. The Circuit Breaker had resulted in more frequent disagreements between family members as everyone was confined in the same space for a prolonged period. However, Ashton saw this as a chance for him to build stronger ties with his family. Ashton advised, “We have the choice to focus on the positives arising from this unprecedented situation to keep our spirits up.” (This speech was delivered in August 2020 during morning assembly.)

Ashton’s Speech

Good morning Ms Chen, Vice-Principals, Teachers and fellow Fairsians! I’m Ashton Ang from Secondary 3B.

We have come a long way since the Circuit Breaker in April. Through the collective efforts of many, especially the frontline workers, the number of reported cases has been falling steadily.

The COVID-19 infection does not only impact our health. Our ways of life have indeed been greatly disrupted by the pandemic. We can no longer hang out with more than four other friends. We can no longer sit wherever we wish in the canteen during recess. We can no longer intermingle with friends from other classes. We can no longer participate in major school activities. These are just a few of the things that we had taken for granted before COVID-19. I have to admit that these restrictions have been frustrating. However, we could view the situation positively. As Kristen Butler, CEO of Power of Positivity said, “Instead of looking at what is depressing, look at our blessings.” Thus, I would like to share some of my personal experiences, and how they have spurred me to count my blessings in these uncertain times.

For example, when I first learnt that all CCAs were suspended, I was devastated. This was because I was looking forward to fulfilling my responsibilities as a CCA leader. There were a lot of things I wanted to do, such as planning the Mid-Year camp and conducting drills. Yet, all these came to naught due to COVID-19. This made me really upset and resentful towards the situation as I constantly thought about the opportunities that I would have had without COVID-19.

Nevertheless, life goes on. Thanks to the multiple encouragements from my peers, seniors and teachers, I realised that it’s fruitless being bitter as doing so wouldn’t change anything. From there, I decided to adopt a more positive outlook and learnt to embrace and adapt to the new normal. The safe-distancing measures have accelerated the digitalisation of our interactions. We started to meet our friends virtually! This has not only allowed us to catch up with our friends more often, but we were also prompted to innovate and experiment with different ways in which we can connect with one another.

Moreover, a lot of things that we had previously thought could never become virtual became virtual. Much like how our school’s National Day Parade Celebrations this year was conducted in a totally different format, I never would have imagined myself conducting CCA meetings and games through Google Meet. This gave me the chance to learn new ways of engaging my peers, in contrast to the past where only Kahoot was used. Instead of being a participant, I was also the one designing and administering the quizzes. This new normal has challenged me to think out of the box, approach situations in a new light and never say never just because it has never been done before.

On another note, during the Circuit Breaker when all of us were stuck at home all the time with our families for two months, we naturally had little disputes and tensions. However, we have made it through! Throughout the two months of Working From Home and Home Based Learning, my parents, siblings and I have come to understand one another better and become more tolerant of each other’s habits. We even started doing things we don’t often do! For example, we started playing board games, planning our daily meals together and playing online games. I managed to get my parents hooked on playing the online game: skrbble.io!

If not for this pandemic, we would never have this chance to establish stronger ties as a family! I am glad that this situation has helped me to cherish such time spent together.

There is no doubt COVID-19 is going to continue to disrupt our lives for a long time, but I believe we should always look out for the silver lining. All of us will have to learn to adapt and make things work to our advantage. We have the power to act even in difficult circumstances. Honestly, I could have given up at any point and refused to learn new ways to engage with my CCA peers, but I chose to adopt a positive mindset and view this as a new opportunity to learn and grow. Most importantly, I could not have done this without the support from my family, friends and teachers in school. Let us influence each other positively and show our support for one another in today’s new normal.

Thank you for listening to me!