Humans of KR: Yong Qing

Part-time dancer and full time architecture student, Ong Yong Qing, is one of the rare members of Kent Ridge (KR) Hall who has managed to master-list all three years of his hall stay. With his only commitment in hall being dance, many have wondered how he’s even back for his third year.

Coming to KR was no question, especially for a dancer like Yong Qing, who wanted to ensure his dance journey continued on in his university life. Plus, with the encouragement of his fellow KR Dance seniors, the strong culture of KR Dance appealed to him even then. However, as an architecture student, the most intense five years of his life had only just begun, and when asked his secret to being an architecture student in hall, Yong Qing had this to say:

“Understand your own limits as an individual and set your expectations and commitments accordingly. Understand that if you spread your attention and energy across multiple things, you won't be able to compete with those that only focus on one thing”

Thus Yong Qing ended his first year as a Kent Ridgean with less than 10 points, a stark difference to the average 47 points of that year. He then master-listed as KR’s 2016 Rag Choreographer, before master-listing again the next year as KR’s 2017 Rag Vice President.

We’ve always had this running gag that if Yong Qing managed to command, his command poster (which will list all his commitments in his four years of KR), will only say “Rag | Dance”. Yet this year, was different. This year, Yong Qing decided to not just re-join KR Dance, but he also tried out for Badminton, TSU and ARU (a big shocker to those who know him). This phantom has even poked his head out of his cave-- others know it as the archi studio, to make an appearance at various block events, such as A block Day.

Usually as time goes by, seniors will tend to take up less commitments in hall and attend less events because they are “too old for this s**t”, choosing to buckle down and focus more on their academics. But Yong Qing, never the one to follow the crowd, has done more in these past seven weeks than he has in his first two years in hall.

So what changed?

It was the people.

The strong social bonds that gave him the additional boost during the semester when archi was slowly draining the life out of him. The hall mates whom he finally opened up to, and have now become his friends and pillars of support. The desire to be there for them, and spend their final year of university together before everyone inevitably goes their separate ways in life.

This article is not to boast Yong Qing’s amazing feat of master-listing twice, nor is it to encourage others to consider and rely on it as a way to stay. This article shows that whether it be the rose-coloured glasses of one’s upcoming graduating year or just a desire to stay in close proximity to one’s friends, there is no doubt that Yong Qing is a case that shows how people do change to choose to want to stay in KR because of its people.

When thrown into a new environment, not everyone is going to fit in immediately. But you’ll find your people, and when you do, your hall life will only get so much more colourful because of them.

I’m sure most of you have gotten this question from non-hall stayers, “Isn’t it super tiring always having to be sociable and going for so many activities?”

Yet we are united in our answer that yes, it is tiring. It is even an obligation at times. But we do it for our friends, and because you’re with them it doesn’t seem so much like a chore after a while.

While we all know that hall life is temporal and none of these activities nor points that we accumulate will truly matter in the end, it matters to us now. And maybe that’s enough.

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Kent Ridge Hall Reporters 2019