A Note to Y2s: Transitioning from Year 1 to 2

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To the Year 2s of 2023: Year 2 will be a year filled with countless new challenges and changes. Even though we are in Year 3 now, we have fond memories of our time in Year 2. Here are some advice from our own experiences to help you make the best of your second year in RI.

After enjoying an array of fun Start-Of-Year activities, it is time for the school year to start proper. An exciting new subject, Research Education, will be introduced to teach you basic research skills and, of course, when there is a new subject, there is bound to be homework. Your workload may increase drastically but planning ahead and managing your time by distributing work well amongst your Research Education teammates will help to make the transition smoother.  

And then, there is the PLD, which is a device we are now all-too familiar with. The PLD is a double edged sword on two fronts. Firstly, your worksheets are more organised online. Secondly, while the PLD is extremely helpful, it also serves as a distraction. In our checks with our schoolmates, Jeffery from Class 2C 2022 felt that he “was eager to explore the several functions that [his] PLD had” and indeed, apart from the various educational apps on our iPads, you will discover (if you have not) the messaging capabilities of Microsoft Teams and Zoom. While these messengers are helpful for project discussions, they can also be major distractions. One way to limit usage is to practice self-control. Constant reminders not to use these apps can help you to focus more during lessons. 

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On a non-academic front, Year 2s will be given the opportunity to shoulder more responsibilities than in Year 1. More leadership opportunities such as the Raffles Institution Prefectorial Board (RIPB), junior CCA or house EXCO will present themselves. The VIA project and Drama Challenge (a Literature WA in which we have to adapt William Shakespeare’s drama “Julius Caesar” into a play as a whole class) are also other fronts to potentially shoulder some responsibilities and leadership. 

For instance, one of the writers of this article, Kendrick from Class 2K’22, ran for a spot in the RIPB in April. He says, “When I started running, I had to set aside quite a lot of my free time to think about my campaign, edit my campaign video and communicate with fellow candidates. The election fell around the WA2 period and it did become hard to cope at times. However, it was a very enjoyable process and I am thankful for the voters that helped me earn a spot in the RIPB. Even after the election, work in the RIPB has not been easy as well. With added duties and responsibilities, I often have to sacrifice time with my friends. Despite that, I still thoroughly enjoyed my experience in the RIPB. When compared to Year 1, the leadership opportunities in Year 2 certainly posed new difficulties and tested my abilities to cope with the increased workload and duties, but I made it through, and many of you will too, perhaps unscathed, or perhaps scarred, but definitely stronger. Year 2 will be a tough year for everyone, but it is also the time when you get to learn more about who you are and what you stand for.” 

With all things considered, while the transition to Year 2 may be a rocky one, it will certainly give you a taste of what your next chapter in RI is like. We wish all Year 2s the best of luck this year.