When she got her ‘A’ Level examination results three years ago, Chew Yu Ying was at a crossroad. She obtained one pass at the national examination and had struggled to adapt to the teaching style in a junior college (JC).
Yu Ying decided to apply for a place at a polytechnic after one of her JC teachers suggested that she might do better with the polytechnic style of learning. With a strong interest in Biology, Yu Ying applied for the biotechnology courses at every polytechnic.
Fast forward to 2019, Yu Ying graduated in May from RP with a Diploma in Biotechnology with Merit and was awarded the Lee Kuan Yew Award for Mathematics and Science.
Despite achieving a GPA of 3.98, Yu Ying’s journey in RP was not always smooth sailing when she came down with a health issue during her first year. While she declined to go into the specifics of that episode, Yu Ying said it affected her greatly. “It made many complications in my social life, and I would be drained of all energy, becoming tired quickly,” the 21-year-old said.
Yu Ying pressed on with her work, both in and outside the classroom. She was in the Executive Committee of Deafining Interest Group and had organised the IG’s performance at Gambas National Day Carnival 2017.
“I wanted to understand the other side of the story,” Yu Ying said. “Being involved in my Choir and Guitar Ensemble IGs in my previous schools, I felt very curious about the other side of the story, which would be people who are unable to hear at all. My personal hardships and illness motivated me to help them as well, as I know what it feels like to be subjected to such hardships.”
Yu Ying was also in The Youth Choir outside of RP, where she rehearsed with the Singapore Girls Home choir to give them insight into good rehearsal etiquette and help them gain confidence.
Yu Ying credits her success in RP to the support given by her lecturers, course mates and family. Now, she has set her sights on pursuing her interest in Occupational Therapy at SIT, even though she has received letters of acceptance from NUS Life Sciences and NTU Biological Science.
Yu Ying says she wants to help people both mentally and physically. “I was doing internship in A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research), I felt this need, that I wanted to help people directly at the current moment, but doing the research track does not allow me to do that. I wish I could do both at the same time, but that is not possible,” she said.