Hey! I'm Shayna, 17 and I love to write. 

For the longest time, I have wondered how to come across as genuine to future UWC hopefuls and be true to them about an experience I haven't even tasted yet. Then, I realised that we are somehow coincidentally floating on the same boat: both waiting for a dream to happen. And I pray that it does for you too. It is funny that I should be sitting here, pitching an attempt at a micro-biography about the best parts of me, when I was so sure a few months ago that I would be receiving a rejection email. I spent weeks and even months trying to prepare myself for rejection. I guess I am sharing this because excitement always has its downs and perhaps, it is always best not to travel on a one-way wonderland to nowhere.

I can honestly say that my best accomplishment was not the end result (ie. getting awarded the scholarship), but the journey that truly spoke so much more to me. I am rather simple-minded, so I would probably say that the greatest celebration I can host is the fact that I managed to steer clear of false farces and was truly my boring self throughout the application process. It was an eye-opener and a humbling experience to realise how much I do not know and how arduous substantial change is to accomplish. 

I am blessed with many gifts in life, some of the greatest are which my family, friends and home. I like to be grounded in faith, hopefully optimistic and charitable with my time and talents. I love reading, with my interest constantly piqued in law, crime and social issues. I am an aspiring history buff and a beginner debater, a poetry hobbit and a sweet tooth. I love current affairs, global politics and traditional cultures. I love martial arts and gymming regularly. As much as traditional sports do not entice me, I actively watch football, Formula One and wrestling. 

Many of my friends have asked me if I would migrate overseas in the future. I would like to think not, given that this is where my home and family is. I am going overseas now, rather, to gain a greater appreciation of what I already have because of a global and broader perspective that I would gain by being at a UWC. I miss my friends and family, a local Singaporean spirit that is quite unshakeable, in good times or in bad. And that can never be retrieved overseas, especially the hawker food and greenery that I have come to enjoy. I greatly respect and admire my country, especially certain ideals that mean a lot to me. For example, as an individual from a minority race, I love that my ideas and identity is respected too and that there is rightfully no tolerance against racism, bigotry or discrimination. I have been insulted for the colour of my skin or my huge eyes and sharp nose, but I found it gratifying that others from different races would not hesitate to stand up for me and speak up against racism. I see that as the success of a country to have its ideals practiced and not simply preached. I love sightseeing in my own country, how the old is not lost amidst the new, and the respect for architecture and heritage in our country. Nonetheless, I actually do not have very high expectations going into UWC because I believe that you can only expect after you have given your time and effort to building first. I am now embarking on a journey to discover the inner Chinese girl in me. Living for two years in China is sure to change me, and I can't wait. 

With love,

(P.S. That is the way I end every sms to every friend or acquaintance I send a sms to. No kidding. Why not spread a little love? :)

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