She chooses to serve her nation
Temasek Polytechnic will be presenting 11 awards to its top students from next week during their graduation ceremonies
Given the hours she spends on water kayaking, windsurfing and sailing, it did not surprise Miss Andria Tan's parents that her choice of a full-time job was also sea-based.
Miss Tan, 19, will be receiving the Lee Kong Chian Award for All-Round Excellence from Temasek Polytechnic (TP) on May 6.
She will also be graduating with a Diploma with Merit in Psychology Studies on May 9.
And she has signed on with the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) as a Naval Officer.
Miss Tan started her Basic Military Training (BMT) on April 5 as part of the enhanced leadership batch.
After being at the Pulau Tekong camp for 18 days, she booked out for the first time last Friday night.
Miss Tan told The New Paper the next day that she was thinking about her career prospects and did not want a desk-bound job.
She said: "I prefer to be active, which is why I thought a career with the Navy would be ideal for me.
"I absolutely love being out at sea and by joining the Navy, I will be able to do what I love and explore beyond the horizon. Most importantly, I will also be able to serve my nation."
Miss Tan has always been a well-rounded student.
She was part of the national windsurfing team when she was at St Anthony's Canossian Secondary School.
She has tried swimming, kayaking, sailing, fencing and netball.
Her passion for water sports even affected the family's housing decisions.
Her parents, Mr Sandy Tan, 55, and Madam Rosalind Lim, 51, said it led them to buy their five-room flat in Marine Terrace five years ago.
The couple have another daughter, Teresa, 17.
For her windsurfing exploits, Miss Tan was featured in TNP's School Sports Star Award, which was presented by H-TWO-O, four years ago.
She was one of the 28 promising student-athletes nominated for the award.
Besides being passionate about sports, she was also involved in community service work at TP.
She joined their National Youth Achievement Award (NYAA) Challenge Interest Group, where she helped fellow students achieve the NYAA gold award.
Her parents are proud about their daughter's enlistment.
Mr Tan, a retired Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) pilot, said that being in the national windsurfing team proves she can overcome anything.
He said: "The training there is very tough so I think she should be able to adapt well to the navy's training.
"She told us the toughest part was the regimentation and the marching drills because she was not in any uniform groups in secondary school, so she wasn't used to that."
Madam Lim, a housewife, added: "She's a tough girl and we are used to her being away as she has gone for many overseas trips - San Francisco, Cambodia, Taiwan, Philippines, Australia - during her secondary and polytechnic school days.
"When she was in San Francisco for a windsurfing competition in 2011, the wind conditions were very strong there and the water was very cold.
"It was very challenging for her and she still pulled through.
"She's very independent, so we are not at all worried."
I absolutely love being out at sea and by joining the Navy, I will be able to do what I love and explore beyond the horizon. Most importantly, I will also be able to serve my nation.
- Miss Andria Tan
ABOUT THE AWARDS CEREMONY
Temasek Polytechnic (TP) has been hosting this ceremony for their graduates since 2005.
This year, a total of 11 awards will be given out on May 6 at TP's graduation ceremony.
The winners are mostly selected based on their academic achievements and their involvement in co-curricular activities.