ENGLISH novelist George Meredith once said: “Don’t just count your years, make your years count.” Find out what these Malaysian teens have in mind for making this year more meaningful than the one they just had.
“My wish for this year is to get very good grades for my Cambridge English A2 Key examination in May. Last year wasn’t a good year for me academics-wise but I’m hoping to put it all behind me and make this year memorable.” – Darren Daniel Yap, 19
“My New Year’s resolution is to read 100 books from a variety of genres. I read 50 books last year in the months after the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), so I hope I can push myself further this year. What’s great about reading is that the books are becoming more accessible, seen through the rise of ereaders, ebooks and audiobooks. It’s important to read not only for knowledge, but also for stress reduction and mental stimulation.” – Aina Alyssa Sazali, 19
“Other than wanting to score well for my International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) examinations, I’d like to continue with my goals to treat people well, retain good health, read more books, do a few push-ups every day, waste minimal foodstuffs, arrange my timetable more efficiently, and maybe get a pet. I’d also like to take part in more competitions than last year.” – Hayley Poh, 16
“Last year went by too quickly and I felt like I didn’t achieve much. This year, I hope to notch up more achievements, especially in my examinations and co-curricular activities. Since I haven’t tried having a peer study group, I would like to do it with my friends so that we can work towards the SPM together. I also hope to overcome my habit of procrastinating since it’s been dragging me backwards. In addition, I want to keep my health in check instead of getting sick often like I did last year. I missed out on a lot last year and hope to make up for it this year.” – Pieng Ee Chee, 17
“Last year, I was the chief editor of my school’s annual English magazine. I worked closely with over 70 people, namely, English language teachers, student writers, photographers, artists, proofreaders and typesetters, in coming up with design and content ideas. Despite various setbacks along the way, we managed to come up with our final draft within five months of operation. Another feat I take pride in is bagging two prizes – first prize in an international essay writing competition which was centred around marine heritage, and third prize in a local essay competition which gave me the opportunity of meeting British High Commissioner to Malaysia Charles Hay at his residence last month. This year, I hope I’ll be able to make new friends and create fond memories in college. I also hope to improve my writing skills by composing more articles and stories, and to learn to play more classical pieces on the piano. I look forward to furthering my knowledge in the science field too through my foundation programme, as well as being involved in volunteer activities.” – Goh Li Lian, 18
“Last year, I could have been more ambitious with my New Year’s resolutions, so this year I went all out and made a list of the things I had wanted to do but kept putting off such as applying better habits to my life, growing more plants for my garden, and baking a cake for someone. Hopefully, I’ll be able to step out of my comfort zone a bit more this year and keep these resolutions.” – Maryam Tik Khaleilah, 15
All students featured here are participants of the BRATs Young Journalist Programme run by The Star’s Newspaper-in-Education (Star-NiE) team. To join Star-NiE’s online youth community, go to facebook.com/niebrats.