PIC HERE TO BE SCREENSHOT FROM VIDEO?
For most girls in Singapore, the next step after graduating from junior college would usually be to enter university the following year. Sandra, however, chose the more unconventional path of taking a gap year*, deciding to start university a year later than her peers.
Sandra shares that one of the reasons she made this decision was her realisation of how fragile life is. She reflected that, if she were to die in a year’s time, she certainly wouldn’t have wanted to have spent her last year on earth just going through the motions of school. She continues, “I think Covid-19 also raised a lot of awareness of the less fortunate side of society: the elderly, the hawker Aunties and Uncles etc. I realised how blessed I was and that there was so much more in my community beyond studies and school. So, I wanted to slow down and step out to be present in these communities. I also wanted to spend more time with my family and grandparents!”
I realised how blessed I was and that there was so much more in my community beyond studies and school. So, I wanted to slow down and step out to be present in these communities.
Sandra definitely covered a lot during her gap year — from teaching piano, giving tuition, teaching at her primary school and student care centres, to even working at a vaccine centre and as a clinic assistant for a Christian doctor.
Besides work opportunities, God also gave Sandra opportunities to develop and use her passions for worship and music. “I was a student with Awaken Generation for a year, and I’m back for another year as a student mentor now,” she shares.
And there were other occasions when Sandra volunteered her time and energy to help those in need, such as providing freelance home nursing for a paralysed man, helping the intellectually-handicapped at Touch Community Services, and conducting enrichment programs for the youths at Youth Guidance Outreach Services (YGOS).
She also spent time growing her mini art business (@sandraws_and_letters) and doing commission work. Last but not least, big congratulations to Sandra for passing her driving test!
Looking back, Sandra reflects on how God has worked in and through her life throughout her gap year.
“God has opened so many doors for me. Just when I was worried that I had no plans for the next month, an opportunity would open! I’ve had many opportunities to exercise my faith simply by saying ‘yes’ and letting God use me in all these areas.”
She continues, “On hindsight I’m so so grateful for all the experiences I’ve gone through. I’ve come to see how God is really preparing me for something greater than I can imagine. Many times, others have just approached me and offered me different avenues of work and service, and saying ‘yes’ has led to so much more than I expected.”
Sandra has no regrets about taking this gap year, except that she wishes she had slept more and taken more photos and videos along the way to remember this very meaningful year!
With new beginnings in sight, Sandra is continuing to trust God as she starts university this July.
She shares “I’m trusting God to guard my heart and praying for a community of new friends from school that I can journey with, while keeping the faith! I’ve heard and seen a lot of hall-culture stories, but I really want to be firm and courageous, rooted in His love. And I’m also trusting God to protect me from the NTU monkeys** 😫!”
~ 18 May 2022
* gap year – a period, typically an academic year, taken by a student as a break between school and university or college education
** Macaque monkeys living in the forest next to Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
[Students, please note that taking a gap year is not a choice you should make lightly, but is a decision that should involve much deliberation, prayer and discussion with your parents.]
Serving does not make us an acceptable Christian. Instead, being a Christian saved by God’s grace makes our serving acceptable.