By Ang Jing Han
It has been more than four years since the Year Fives first stepped into NUS High School. Since then, we have been introduced to new environments and people, a rigorous curriculum, and collected four years of knowledge and friendships. It was a surreal moment as we realised that four of our six years in NUSH had already flown by.
On the first day of Orientation, the cohort participated in an Amazing Race around the school to chart the course for Nova16’s maiden voyage. Part of the Race featured moments and memories from 2012, the year most of us began our journey in NUSH. We took to the tasks quickly, recalling fond memories of how we completed it four years ago with different classmates then. One such activity was to assume the exact same positions as the ones in a class photo from 2012. We were amused by the pictures of our “younger selves”, and it made us realise how much we have grown and matured.
We also engaged in other games to encourage class bonding, such as taking our own class photos and piecing together a puzzle of 25 pieces for each class. The puzzle turned out to be the map that was needed to chart the course of Nova16.
Then, there was a session of mass dance, which participating Year Fives learned very seriously from members of the Spirit Committee. There was also plenty of room for fun and jokes before the day ended with the successful launch of Nova16.
The second day of Orientation began with the Nova16 experiencing an engine failure, and the Year Fives were to find oil to re-start the engine. Hence, a series of inter-class wet games unfolded on the track and field area. Taking on a life-sized pacman board in four-men-teams as pacmen or ghosts, classes raced to pick up mission balls on the ground that could either freeze the ghosts or eliminate a member of the pacmen. The activity had to be completed in teams as a class, encouraging bonding between classmates as they had to work closely together.
A wet obstacle course was the next activity as classes held on to half-open pipes filled with “oil” and traveled halfway around the track, hopping over obstacles like chairs while the facilitators sprayed and splashed water with water guns and buckets.
A rendition of Dog and Bone with water bombs ensued next, and barely anyone escaped the water games completely dry as the inter-level activities of the day came to a close. For Day Two’s mass dance session, the Year Five level-head Mrs Grace Chui joined the students in learning the movements from the councilors. Then, the students split up to their respective houses to prepare for Day 3’s finale night.
The highlight of Orientation for the Year Fives is the outbound trip to Sentosa Island, for another day of wet games at the beach. This year, it was an inter-house Capture-The-Flag as each house tried to take down the other houses’ newspaper and human flags by throwing water at them. It soon turned into a free-for-all as students in the water, mixing among classes and houses. The tricky part of the day was cleaning up and drying off in the limited toilet space, and some of the students who did not bring sufficient clothes ended up frantically trying to dry off in the sun.
After another afternoon of mass dance and house time, the three days’ sessions culminated during the evening’s finale.