As we congratulate the IB cohort from the class of 2021, Tanglin's Year 12 students may well be looking wistfully towards next year, imagining their last holiday before university takes them to locations across the world.
For one of our Year 12 students, Hannah Coulstock, who has attended Tanglin since Nursery it will be the end of an era. But she also hopes it will be the beginning of a long-held dream; to read Psychology at Cambridge University.
Hannah's recent success as a finalist in the New College of The Humanities (NCH) international essay competition 2021 brings her a step closer to this dream and completes a trio of Tanglin students to achieve such international recognition this year. Year 12 student, Shlok Singh, was runner-up in the Berkley Economic Review High School Essay Competition and Year 10 Tanglin student, Julia Massa, was a finalist in the Harvard International Economics Essay Contest (HIEEC).
"I think I first became interested in psychology after listening to a programme on BBC Radio 4," explains Hannah, "I'm Jewish, and I learnt that the social psychologists who pioneered their subject were directly impacted by the Holocaust. It quickly became my favourite subject."
Hannah's interest in humanities and "the way people work" is enriched by her multi-cultural perspective. Like many Tanglin students, her cultural influences are diverse; born in Abu Dhabi and a Singapore resident for the past 15 years, Hannah calls herself British but recognises her family's eastern European and German lineage as strong influences.
The psychology essay title, Discuss the sources of mental health issues in the modern world, gave Hannah the framework to discuss cultural aspects within her field of interest, "Being from western countries we tend to take western psychological theories as universally applicable, so it was interesting to consider a different perspective."
A keen MUN participant and Scholar, Hannah's latest achievement will provide more evidence to support her university application in her personal statement. Hannah encourages Year 12 students coming through next year to consider the benefits:
"You can get it done in Term 1 of Year 12, which is not as intense regarding coursework as later in the year. I was able to do preliminary research during term time and then wrote the essay in the first two weeks of the Christmas holiday. The competition gives valuable practice in writing an academic essay; ideal for the IB students' EE and A Level students' EPQ. It's also a great opportunity to do more research in a subject area of interest. There aren't any downsides – absolutely do it!"
We couldn't agree more. Congratulations Hannah, and what a great way to start Year 13!