Focusing On One’s Goals


At 21 years old, Nasreen Bahnu has had her fair share of challenges. During her primary school days, she fared below her expectations for her examinations. Having understood the significance of doing well at national examinations from her parents, Nasreen turned to STEP tuition to improve her grades.

In Secondary 1, she enrolled in STEP for English and Mathematics. After several lessons, Nasreen found herself gaining a better understanding of the subjects. “Given the one-to-one approach during STEP lessons, the syllabus became gradually easier for me to understand. The tutors allowed us to ask as many questions as we wanted. This wouldn’t be the case in school, where you’d end up frustrating your classmates if you kept asking questions.”

Nasreen attributes her academic achievements in Secondary Three and Four to STEP. “At the upper secondary levels, I was ranked in the top 3 positions in class. STEP was a key boost for me, and I was spurred to study harder and maintain my grades.”

“For my semestral examinations, I would study till early morning. If I encountered difficult questions, I would clarify them with my friends. For English, I read through sample compositions. I analysed how they were written, in terms of sentence structures and vocabulary,” Nasreen explains.

However, Nasreen’s grades were not sufficient to get her onto a path of her choice, and so she went on to pursue further education in the Institute of Technical Education (ITE). With encouragement and assistance from her lecturers, she scored a GPA of 4 made the School Director’s List in March 2018. Currently, she is in her first year at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, studying for a Diploma in Network Systems and Security.

“I’m currently in my first year of studying macro-systems and security systems in Ngee Ann Polytechnic. It’s early days, so I’m going with the flow, but I am quick to seize any opportunities I can get to learn.”

All work and no play makes for an unfulfilling lifestyle, so Nasreen runs in her free time – a hobby she’s had since 5. “At a Sports Day event in pre-school, the teachers sent my name in for the running events. From then on, I continued participating in running events in primary school, and through to ITE. In ITE, I joined the Extreme Runners Club and represented the school in competitions. In 2016 and 2017, I ran the 10-kilometre Standard Chartered Marathon. Currently, I’m planning to join Track-and-Field in polytechnic.”

What’s next for this determined individual? “I aspire to join the Ministry of Home Affairs. That’s my goal for now, and then I’ll work upwards from there,” affirms Nasreen. When asked about her inspirations in life, she mentioned her family, particularly her late grandmother. “They keep me going. Even if I’m struggling, I keep them in mind and push myself to progress to the next level. To those who are working hard; don’t give up. Study hard, and don’t let any distractions get to you. Even if you meet obstacles, believe that you are capable of overcoming them.”