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College Orientation 2024

Updated: May 6

Written by: Megan Lim (24S6E)

Edited by: Wayne Tan (23S66)

Photographs by: Studio Ardent, Wang Jixiang Jason (24S67)


JC may be a short yet daunting two years, but Orientation definitely serves as a cherished memory for every C1 to fondly look back on in their #whyHC. As a junior, here is my take on College Orientation 2024, as a reminder of the Hwa Chong spirit of tenacity and camaraderie.


Photograph taken by Studio Ardent


OG Orientation

I distinctly remember blindly following other students to the Auditorium on the first day of school, feeling lost as I tried to navigate through the seemingly giant school campus. Everything seemed so overwhelming and unfamiliar, and I felt some anxiety over making new friends, or if the upcoming activities would feel forced or awkward. Thankfully, Orientation turned out to be a much more positive experience than expected.

 

My initial worries quickly dissipated within the first day, as the time spent in our Orientation Groups (OGs) were jam-packed with games, icebreakers, and SODACHE sessions. The main highlight would have to be the water games at the Astroturf. The heat was so intense that we could barely stand still with the scorching ground burning our bare feet. Although we regretted not bringing extra slippers, we did not let it stop us from having fun, as we gleefully splashed each other with the ice cool water. It was fun-filled chaos and definitely an unforgettable memory of OG Orientation!


Water Games at the Astroturf (Photograph taken by Studio Ardent)


In addition, my OG leaders were really friendly to talk to and they took the initiative to help my OG bond quickly in a short span of time. We resumed a pre-Covid “tradition” of having an OG dinner together — something many other OGs did as well. Despite having had a long, exhausting day of orientation activities, everyone was in high spirits as we got to know each other better over dinner.


OG Dinner at The Star Vista (Photograph taken by Wang Jixiang Jason of 24S67)


Although the next two years may not present many opportunities for OGs to come together as one again, I believe OG Orientation was a heartwarming experience for many of us. Personally, I am thankful to have met many new people and forged new friendships during this time. As OG allocations are random, I also enjoyed getting to know my peers with vastly different personalities and interests.

 

After the confirmation of subject combinations, Orientation resumed in our Civic Groups (CGs) with more exhilarating activities lined up for us.


CG Orientation

CG Orientation consisted of numerous activities to break the ice, including making a class time capsule, completing challenges around the campus, and participating in bonding games. As anticipated, this was followed by the yearly tradition of the War Games between the four faculties, Campfire, and Post-Orientation Party (POP).

 

Unfortunately, the War Games could not take place as planned at the High School Terraces due to the rain. Hence, we had to do without the element of being chased and getting eliminated as we tried to throw as many balls as possible into other Faculties’ two-meter tall towers. Despite our spirits being slightly diminished, I was pleasantly surprised to see all of us actively participating and cheering our Faculty on. All four Faculties tried to come up with the best strategy and form alliances to target those in the lead. After four intense rounds of eagerly vying for victory, Athena was ultimately declared the winner. 


War Games at the Indoor Sports Hall (Photograph taken by Studio Ardent)


The last day of Orientation ended on a heartfelt note with the long-awaited Campfire. Seeing everyone energetically dancing and singing together as one Hwa Chong family really touched me, and I felt that the timeless school culture of SODACHE truly brought us together. At last, the night came to a close with everyone jumping and chanting the lyrics of Taylor Swift’s You Belong With Me a memory I believe many will fondly look back on.

 

Finally, POP on 21 February officially marked the end of the programme. Every Faculty’s spectacular performance showcased everyone’s utmost effort to practise their dance. Not to mention, the hard work and dedication of the CGLs and Dance ICs to choreograph and master the dance as well. As we all proudly cheered for our respective Faculties, Ares was announced as the winner of POP just like the past several years!

 

Towards the end, the SODACHE component really captured the spirit of #4facs1hwach.


Everyone came together, shoulder to shoulder, while singing along to 钟声依旧 and 细水长流.



End Note

In all, the Orientation programme was a great way to kick off my JC journey in Hwa Chong. I believe many C1s like myself would have felt some uncertainty as to what to expect in the next two years to come, but the programme was helpful for us to be gradually accustomed to JC life. I am grateful to have forged many fond memories with my OG and CG, which will be a stepping stone towards more good times together in Hwa Chong. This is especially so for our newly formed CGs, as we embark on our journey as a class for the next two years together.

 

I hope Orientation was full of fun and exciting memories for everyone as well. I was really awed by how much effort was put into the programme, and I can’t fathom how much preparation had to be done months in advance. Thank you to the C1 Orientation 2024 Organising Committee, OGLs, CGLs, and everyone who was involved in the execution of the programme!

 

Side note: Contrary to what I expected, the food at the College canteen is honestly not as terrible as some may make it out to be. Admittedly, the snaking long queues at more popular stalls can be a deterrence, but the canteen does offer several appealing options. I’d recommend the Chicken Teriyaki ($4) from the Japanese stall, one of my go-tos unless it has sold out for the day.


First meal at College canteen

 

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