I am Susan Soh, President of the Student Council. Thank you for the opportunity to shortlist two locations for a day-long culture and orientation programme called “Beyond Borders”. The group of visiting student delegates from South Africa who we are hosting will be in Singapore to learn more about how Singapore harnesses technology for educational purposes. I have discussed the options with members of the Student Council and decided that the Enriching Digital Journey and National Gallery are the best options.

I had never been to Universal Studios Singapore. Although I had heard many recounts of wonderful experiences at the place, I has never set foot there myself. I expected myself to enjoy the calm rides and reject the thrilling ones because of my fears but little did I know that I would display a great deal of courage there.

The clock struck noon and I grew more irritated. I had been searching for my school notebook that I needed for my assignments for the past two hours, but my efforts were in vain. As I reached the back of my desk drawer in frustration, I pulled out a slightly tattered dusty book that contained the photographs that I had taken since I was young. As I was flipping the pages of the book I saw a picture that caught my attention – it was a photograph of myself with an old friend, Joe, whose advice for me to eat healthily had changed my life for the better.

“Let’s go home!” John exclaimed as he waved at Tom. Grabbing their schoolbags, the brothers rushed out of the school together. Tom, the elder one, was thoughtful and mature. He was also a tall, lean and athletic boy. John was the polar opposite; he was a short, scrawny and bespectacled child. Although slightly immature, he was a sympathetic child. Nevertheless, they were like two peas in a pod. They were finally dismissed after a tiring day at school and the two could not wait to get home.

“Remember, you are grounded! No skateboarding or leaving the house no matter what!” Dio, the school bully, groaned upon hearing his parents repeat his punishment. He was so disobedient and mischievous that he had been suspended and forced to stay home while his parents went to work. Dio rifled through the pages of his book mindlessly. He would usually ride on his skateboard when he was free but his parents had kept it concealed from him.

Jason hesitated to walk into the elevator that his friends were taking to get to the top floor of the school building. Feeling frustrated, his friends urged him to get on the elevator with them and Jason gingerly stepped inside. While the elevator was moving up, Jason was so overwhelmed with anxiety that he wanted to let his tears flow freely from his eyes. However, he decided to hold his tears back and he recalled the events of the fateful day when he had been stuck in an elevator and learnt a valuable lesson.

"Tom! Clean your room at this instant, young man!" My mother screeched, forcing me to turn off the television. I muttered something incoherently about free will under my breath as I unwillingly trudged into my room, that had clothes strewn all over the floor, toys in every nook and cranny and a musty, dusty smell that hung in the air. I took a few toy cars and haphazardly stuffed them into the shelf.

        Boom!        The sound of thunder that resonated outdoors startled me as I rushed into my house. Another bolt of lightning flashed across the sky followed by another peal of thunder. It was the start of the June holidays and there was a slight drizzle that afternoon. I had just returned home from school just in time before the drizzle turned into a torrential downpour.

“Pass the ball to me!” Vivian hollered at us. Hearing her calls, I quickly threw the ball to Vivian and she swiftly threw the ball to another player who was nearer to our goal. It was the school holiday and I was at the beach with my friends Janice, Jane and Vivian. We were engrossed in playing with the beach ball as the sun smiled down on us and the salty breeze caressed our cheeks.

“Finally, it’s time for recess! I have been waiting for it since the start of the day!” I exclaimed as soon as I heard the bell chime its melodious tune. My two best friends, Tim and Jane, laughed at my proclamation and just like our classmates, we made a beeline for the canteen. After we had devoured our food in the bustling canteen, we immediately dashed to the library to meet our friend, John.