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Natalie Khoo: Keeping ‘Khool’ Under Pressure

by Joshua Ho (Sec 4B), Abel Foo (Sec 2D) and Ang Jan Tsi (Sec 4F) 

Natalie Khoo was a consistently hardworking student who achieved holistic excellence. In recognition of her outstanding academic achievement, Natalie was awarded the Ministry of Education Edusave Scholarship in 2018, 2019 and 2020 for being placed among the top 10% of students in overall academic performance for her level and stream. An all-rounder, she was awarded the prestigious Mdm Sally Chan Swee Peng Memorial Scholarship in 2020 and the Mr ST Liu Memorial Scholarship in 2021 for being the most deserving girl who was proficient in her studies, active in her Co-Curricular Activity and of good character. As a role model who demonstrated good character and values, she received the Ministry of Education Edusave Character Award in 2018 and 2020. As a student who consistently displayed strength of character based on the school's core values such as respect, purity and honesty, Natalie was presented with the Bishop Eveland Character Award in 2021. As the Head of the Peer Support Board from 2020 to 2021, she actively contributed to initiatives to promote mental and social wellness in the school. Natalie also helped Fairfield Dance to clinch the Certificate of Distinction at the Singapore Youth Festival Arts Presentation for Dances in 2019 and 2021.

At the 2021 GCE O-Level examinations, Natalie emerged as one of the outstanding all round students. 

“Natalie!” My form teacher’s familiar voice rang in my ears. Glancing up, it seemed like the whole world was watching me. Hopeful eyes and pats on the back greeted me as I strode to the front. My heart slammed against my ribs, but the encouraging smiles of my teachers eased my nerves. “Here are your results. Great job, Natalie!” I took a deep breath, received the slip of paper from my teacher, and flipped it over. I caught sight of the numerous ‘1’s on my result slip! My eyes widened while I gratefully blurted out a “thanks” to my teachers. There’s no way… It did not feel real. As I sat back down, I slowly recounted my memorable journey in Fairfield Secondary.

In Secondary 3, I was appointed as the Head of the Peer Support Board (PSB). I became busier as much time was spent planning numerous events for PSB. Helping others in need was my passion and hence my priority! With my teachers’ blessings, I enthusiastically started various campaigns to boost my schoolmates’ mental health, so as to create a harmonious and cohesive environment in school. In the same year, students from all over Singapore had to engage in Home Based Learning. This period of time was difficult as many students felt really stressed learning from home. My team and I thus decided to encourage Fairsians to spend quality time with their family members and learn a new hobby at home. We were really happy that we helped many students to emerge stronger from the pandemic!

However, the numerous heavy responsibilities that accompanied my leadership of the Peer Support Board started to weigh on me and my studies! Furthermore, my academic workload increased exponentially when I was in Secondary 4 as I had to prepare for my O-Level examinations. Mentoring my successor in the Peer Support Board was also important, while  I spent much time and effort at dance training sessions in preparation for the Singapore Youth Festival Arts Presentation for Dances. My phone was also a constant disturbance to my routine, as I had to cope with countless notifications and text messages. As a result, I went to bed later at night.

Despite all these, I was delighted that I did not crumble under such immense pressure! Instead, I calmly came up with a detailed timetable that I could easily adapt under different circumstances, so that I could spend enough quality time on my studies, CCA, PSB, friends and family members. I also made sure that I remained composed and disciplined to excel in all aspects of my life in Fairfield Secondary.

With the passing of this phase of my life, I cannot help but nostalgically reminisce about the great support, love and care that my family, friends and teachers showered me throughout these four years. Truly, we are stronger together as one big family!