When I stepped out of the car that I had grabbed to this place, the sound of the low and soft humming of the car radio, a song by a musical artist whom I did not recognise, faded out and almost instantaneously morphed to that of enthusiastic, excited and euphoric waves of buzzing chatter which seemed to radiate off every student whom I saw.
I looked up and saw it – the banner streaked with dashes of orange, yellow, purple and pink, positioned in the middle of two tall inflatable tubes, one red and one yellow – VJC Open House 2018.
Immediately when I entered the junior college, still a little groggy and dazed from having just alighted the long car ride, I was greeted by many friendly and warm student hosts – one of them handed me a cardboard bag which had the words “Victoria Junior College” printed on it, filled with goodies and food vouchers. A nice student host then stepped forward and asked me if I would like a guided tour around the school; her voice was passionate and cheerful, reassurance washing over me as I realised how approachable she was and how I was in good hands – I had been half worried that I would end up getting lost in the school had I not been offered a guided tour. With a polite smile, I nodded my head yes, telling her that that would be lovely.
The student host introduced me to various places in VJC – the canteen, the concourse, the cafe, just to name a few. The tour was not at all tense or awkward – she made effort to engage me in light-hearted and idle chatter and conversation, telling me about how good the banmian in VJC was and how it was a definite must try (made even more perfect with a topping of chicken meat and a sunny side up egg), how the milo add pearl in VJC was also a peculiar yet an effective combination and a rather humorous story of how her and her friend had narrowly avoided coming in late for school. She truly made me feel comfortable and at home, giving me a good impression on VJC students as warm, welcoming and passionate individuals.
As we walked, she talked to me as well, asking me about which secondary school I was from, which other schools I have visited, which subject combination I was considering to take and which CCAs I was interested in. She was truly a patient and accommodating host – when I told her that I was interested in doing an arts combination. Although she was in the science stream and did not have much knowledge in regards to the arts subjects, she asked me which arts combination I was interested in and told me that she could take me to the arts subjects booths if I wanted to.
I then replied that I was set on doing History, Economics, Literature and Mathematics as my core subjects – she then took me down to the respective subject booths so that I could enquire more about matters concerning the various subjects to the various stationed subject tutors at the booth, such as what the syllabus for H2 History was like and how would it be different from ‘O’ Level History, how many and which texts would be covered in H2 Literature and so on. As I highlighted my many queries and concerns, the student host waited for me patiently as she stood by my side. All of the tutors at the booths were also very approachable and open to questions – it was clear that they had all been listening intently to the concerns and queries which I had posed and took much time and effort into answering and responding to every single one that they can to the best that they can. It was truly heartening to see such overflowing passion and warmth in the tutors as they explained and guided me down their responses to my queries, ensuring that I understood every single one of their replies so that my concerns may be reassured and I would be clearly informed about the subjects that I would be getting myself into.
After that, she then walked me throughout the various CCA booths – every booth seemed to be lively and loud, an ambience of zest and euphoria relentlessly emanating from every single of them like warmth from a fireplace. All the sights and sounds of the passionate and eccentric individuals, united in a community and a common interest engaging in what they do best and what they love to do the most together really demonstrated and let me witness firsthand the famous Victorian spirit – from the dance club members gathering together to perform a light-hearted rendition of “Likey” and “TT” by the famous South Korean girl group ‘Twice’, to a taekwondo member performing an outstanding 360 degree high kick on the target pad with the rest of the taekwondo team members cheering him on and applauding him, to the melodious voices of the choir members together merging together, accommodating one another to craft and create an intricate and perfect symphony – it was really all these incredible, wonderful and beautiful sights and sounds which illustrated to me, right before my eyes, how the reputable Victorian spirit was very much real, very much burning, very much alive. I really cannot think of any other school which I had visited that day which could match up to the strong sense of unity and bonding strongly displayed and demonstrated by the students of VJC.
After exploring the school for a while more after the very much enriching and helpful principal’s talk at the performance theatre, it was time for me to leave the school – the whole experience that I had at VJ had created an unexplainable buzzing and warm feeling at the bottom of my heart that I was unable to decipher or interpret at that moment. The cheers of joy and enthusiasm, the eager and sincere voices conversing with one another idly and casually, the lively atmosphere of the school – everything was still pulsating in my veins, throbbing in my head, swelling in my heart. I had so many questions to just what these feelings were.
Right before I stepped out of the school, I got my answer.
I had looked up to where treehouses were and read the colourful banners lining the connecting bridges:
“VJ: Make It Your Own!”
It was at that very moment that I knew:
I was going to make VJ my own.
And that, was the answer to my question.
An amazing cinematic roundup of Openhouse 2018
Open House 2018 was an amazing experience for all those who were unfamiliar with VJ and what it stands for. My first steps into VJC were filled with happiness and excitement for the days to come. I have the awesome Students’ Council planning committee to thank for that! Their sacrifices and attention to details resulted in a transformative experience for all those present on 17 Jan. This was an experience I will always hold close to my heart despite all the trials and tribulations I have to go through in VJ. There is unity, zest and life at every corner in VJ and truly that is my #WhyVJ 🙂
Gwyneth Low Xiao Fern, 18A13