A reluctance to return to reality – this was the sentiment shared by the newly-inducted JC1 batch of students on the night of their Orientation Campfire. Still reeling from nearly two weeks of exhilarating Orientation activities, many JC1 students lamented their “Post-Orientation Blues”, and for good reason too.
From 29 January to 12 February 2016, over a thousand of us immersed ourselves in the Orientation programme organised and facilitated by the 42nd Students’ Council to bond more closely with our batchmates and Orientation Groups (OGs). On top of icebreakers, we were introduced to the school’s “Song, Dance and Cheer” (SODACHE) culture and grooved to the beat of old tunes whilst learning the uniquely-Hwa Chong songs. With pride and gusto, we cheered for the school.
For those who did not revel in energetic SODACHE sessions, the OG Games came as a welcome relief. The 36 OGs pitted themselves against one another in a mix of quirky and exciting games, with their sights firmly set on the prize –a spot in the famed Slippery Slope challenge, awarded only to the top six OGs.
To the despair of these six best-performing OGs, it rained on the last day of the OG Games, and the much-anticipated Slippery Slope had to be cancelled. Nevertheless, the OGs made the most of what little time they had left together by having dinners and outings before the Lunar New Year break.
Painful as it may have been for some OGs to part, the New Year presented the students with new beginnings. On the morning of 10 February, they eagerly awaited the release of their Civics Tutorial (CT) group allocation results.
If their CT classmates seemed foreign to them at first, the CT Games – a modest version of the OG Games – ensured that would no longer be the case. Through fun-filled games with their CTs, the JC1 students began to warm up to their new classmates, who would accompany them on the next 2 years of their Hwa Chong journey.
The various CTs were also divided into four faculties – Apollo, Ares, Artemis, and Athena. To inculcate a sense of faculty pride within the students, the Faculty Committees drilled their juniors on the various faculty cheers. More importantly, the JC1 students were taught their faculty dances in preparation for the Post-Orientation Party (POP) that would be held the following week.
As fleeting as the Orientation activities were, they culminated into the Orientation Campfire and a passionate SODACHE session on 12 February despite the rainy weather. With that, the JC1 students become the captains of their own ships and the masters of their own fate. They set sail.
Written by: Wong Yang (16A14)