St. Patrick's School
A Ghanaian author wrote, “All great men had critics but they still believe in the beauty of their dreams, fully persuaded to stay focused and determined for the realisation of their dream.”
Aloysius Clement had that belief. He was admitted to St. Patrick’s School and had wanted to achieve various goals in life, one of which was to be promoted to the Normal Academic Stream, when he transited to Secondary Two. Unfortunately, he was not successful in making this transition, and started to ponder whether he was able to be useful one day. He reflected on his motivation, his parents and how he did not want to let them down. Ultimately, he wanted to prove himself that he was going to succeed one day even with “hiccups here and there”.
He was actively involved in Scouts. It was the best days of his life in St Patrick’s as he cherished the moments he spent engaging in scouting activities with his fellow friends. He realised there were no shortcuts in life, for one must be willing to make sacrifices in order to succeed, regardless of status or standards, a valuable life lesson which can be applied to any aspects of life.
“I remember an instance in which Mr Soh Piah Tat was lecturing the entire class on behaviour. He told us very bluntly that we were the NT students of the school and we were at the lowest level. That made me reflect whether I want to continue to be sub-standard NT students for the rest of our lives or change that perception and be the best NT student there is in school. I realise the choice was in my hands.”
He started improving himself by building his confidence over the four years. He set small but cumulative goals throughout his four years in school. The more he achieved his small goals, the more he started to believe in himself and how he conducted his life. To him, he always sets realistic goals, so that he will not put unnecessary pressure on himself. He understood not everyone was born with the best genes; therefore, he needed to explore his strengths and weaknesses and use it to his fullest potential.
“Peers who are as motivated as you did help, as everyone will remind each other to be the best for themselves. And, remember, you are the one who needs to study; therefore, it is not your friends, your parents, your teachers, but you, who determines the most effective study strategy that works for you. Aloysius started adopting learning strategies to continue striving for better grades. He determined conducive places or spots for learning, and discovered how he learnt best, either through writing down notes or even talking to one another about content. However, whenever he had doubts or any concern regarding either academic or nonacademic maters, he would immediately seek proper advice from his teachers.
“Life has no end; even with obstacles and difficulties, there is always constant hope and opportunities, enough for all of us.”
Aloysius Clement is now pursuing a Bachelor of Computing degree in the National University of Singapore, and is on the School of Computing’s Dean’s List.