Popular culture nowadays has numbed the public’s senses over vices like drug abuse, gambling and the joining of gangs. Impressionable individuals such as teenagers have often been lured by the underlying fun and excitement into the commission of such activities. They are often left regretful, but only after a long period of time, when they are well into their mid-30s. The purpose of RELAC is thus to warn them of the consequences of such acts.
My first taste of what RELAC was about was during Law School Freshman Orientation. A short introductory session was carried out at Northlight School, whereby a team of freshmen were tasked to prepare a short RELAC-like session to share about the legal consequences of drug abuse. Initially, I was doubtful of how the activity will go. I was afraid that the students would not be receptive to what we have for them. Coming from a school where students place higher emphasis on personal achievement than indulgence, such preventive talks on drug abuse and gangs are often not well-received, for they knew better than to commit such offences. However, as the day went by, I was proven wrong on my judgment: the students were very receptive to such topics. Perhaps it was the relevance it had on their life – many of them came from families with members who are involved in such activities – they paid utmost attention to the team. Their inquisitive and fun-loving nature made the session informative and fulfilling both for them and us.
The students left me a lasting impression, and this further reinforced my belief that what we do have an impact on their lives. I was keen to share my personal encounters in the Army to help reiterate the ideas presented, and to aid them in understanding the gravity of such mistakes. As the sessions went by, the students participated actively in discussions, clearing their doubts, sharing their dreams for the future, and taking away the various learning points from each session. I look forward to returning to the school as each session ends, to just have a little more time to share, and hope such little effort will make a big difference in their lives.
It was not just the students who took away valuable lessons from the programme. Personally, my experience taught me something about the simplicities of life. Through interactions with the students at Northlight, I realised that one’s life can be fulfilling while simple. One need not always be at the top of the world, but just need to always give a sincere and honest effort, for that is what matters. As we strive to be the very best in law school, I believe RELAC helped me stay strong in face of adversity, to know that the end is not what is important; it is the means that counts.
This positive impact on both their lives and ours motivates my every endeavour in the programme.
Chan Yi Cheng
NUS Law School Year 1
Pro Bono Group (RELAC)