The mission of CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School is to create a catholic centred school community with the promotion of truth, justice, freedom, and love. To get there you can take Bus 265. The Nearest MRT stations are Yio Chu Kang MRT Station & Ang Mo Kio MRT Station.
CHIJ St Nicholas Girls School
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This place gave me some of the best years of my life and I know that I will keep saying this over and over again in time to come. It's been almost 6 years but I still miss the times I had there very much. I had wanted to go to another school but it was located in town, so my mum refused to let me go there even though it is considered a 'better school'. I was 'forced' to go SN instead. I was extremely reluctant but gave in anyway, and eventually I decided that I've never been more glad to have gone St Nicks instead.
It is about everything - the fellow peers, the teachers, our CCAs, our multi-coloured clasrooms floors - everything added to the vibrant school life I had there. Of course, there was an uncountable number of both ups and downs - there were times of conflict and multiple issues, but these are the stuff that you will look back at nostalgically, then feel goosebumps creeping up your skin at your immaturity (& your peers') at that time. It's a girl school, afterall, so you'd expect bitch fits to be more common than necessary. Not gonna lie about that.
When I look back at my nerdy self during those years, I always am amazed at how I still managed to have an amazing bunch of friends who'd surrounded me and provided so much comfort & support through everything. They say that any friendship that survives past the 7 years mark means that it will possibly sustain through the future. The bestest bunch of amazing ladies I know are all my SN friends :)
I miss the ever so kind and helpful teachers there as well, our super awesome canteen, and everything else - including the rather annoyingly long morning assemblies we had, the weekly morning jogs the entire cohort did together, the family dance, and stressing during CCA crunch periods. The plenty of opportunities we were given to grow as a person definitely helped too, and I had so much fun getting myself actively involved in school life.
I'd do secondary school through and through again, but only at SN. Being an SN old girl is one thing you should be so darn proud of if you're from the SN family :')
Recently, I have this serious craving for Orange bowl. Orange bowl is actually just a nickname for this super awesome noodle stall in my secondary school, CHIJ St Nicholas' Girls School. And it was called "orange bowl" for a very simple reason, because the serving bowl is orange!
Anyway, this is easily the best noodle I have ever eaten in my entire life, and I believe 98% of my school mates can hi-five me for that. At one time, orange bowl is even trending on twitter, how cool is that?
Orange bowl comes in soup and dry versions. What I love about orange bowl is the huge serving of savory minced meat because I love to eat meat. The noodles are tender, i usually choose beehoon, and the soup is yummy. Even the sauce for the dry version is done so perfectly. The mixture of the minced meat, fishballs and noodles is seriously, heavenly. Even writing about it now makes me hungry.
My friends always tell me how good the orange bowl chilli is, but I do not take spicy food which is such a pity. However, it just shows that it is delicious either ways.
I hope the Uncle and Auntie cooking this Orange Bowl noodles will never retire or it will almost seem like they are taking away a memory of my secondary school life with them. I always remember running out of my classroom when the moment recess bell ring so I can get to the
front of the Orange Bowl queue because there is always so many people queuing for this, sitting down in the colourfully painted canteen, laughing away with my friends. I guess I do miss my secondary school life.
If you have friends from CHIJ St Nicholas, you may have heard them talk about 'orange bowl'. And that left you wondering, "what on earth is this orange bowl?!"
Well, it's just... Fishball noodles served in orange bowls.
Now wait, don't scroll away! Give me a chance to explain! There's something about these orange bowl of noodles that left all of us craving for more, even after years. (We just don't know what, yet. Though most of us suspect it's the chilli that is specially made by the owner)
Trust me, you could ask a friend or anyone that have graduated 10 years ago and she would be like, "oh yes orange bowl, i miss it so much!"
Staying just 10 minutes away from my secondary school means i can drop by for lunch frequently. (Yay for me!) Good news for you is, anyone can enter the school. Just register at the security guard and viola!
I think it would be appropriate to say that orange bowl is legendary.
The secondary school phase is so important to all of us since that happens in our formative years and I'm so glad I went through those years of mine in St Nicks.
I sometimes wish I had entered the school slightly earlier to experience being under Mrs Hwang's care, but I still found myself with an excellent Vice-Principal, especially in my 'O' Levels year, as well as supportive teachers throughout. I had teachers reaching out to encourage me when I was stressed, and dedicated teachers who patiently nagged at me instead of giving up on me after I'd spent over a year slacking and flunking Math. My teachers and VP really helped to instill self-belief in me and their affirmation helped to guide us all the way.
Besides the teachers, there are so many other special things about the school culture, like "orange bowl", Uncle Mobeen the drinks stall uncle, family dances etc. There's always a special bond that sparks when you find out that someone is a fellow "sister" from St Nicks.
St Nicks will always be a home to me.
I definitely do remember the shock that I had when I first came into the school. Having been from a neighbourhood primary school that didn't even have a field, the huge school compound in Ang Mo Kio wasn't exactly what I was used to.
The culture is another thing - it took be a while to get used to it, but after I did, I never went back. I love how evident it is that a person is a St Nick's girl. It isn't simply about the 'girl's school' thing, or the 'bimbo' thing but rather... The unique experience that the school provides that shapes us into who we are.
While it can be stressful a lot of the time, the people around me were great pillars of support and lifelong friends. It is a place that changed my life with the people and experiences, and I'd never choose anywhere else.
I was the average one. And being average meant you didn't quite fit. I neither stuck out enough to be a head prefect or made mistakes enough to be gossiped about. I was just there, passing through. Processed with textbook answers and possessing courage like a grain of rice, I felt imperfect and for the most part, blank.
I followed because I didn't know I could lead and I regurgitated because I didn't know I could think.
Until one day, I scored an A for Art. Underneath all the repetition and fear, I found my escape in being creative. Through creating, I learnt how to lead myself to think. Through looking at other people's works, I found myself discovering life.
And through art, I had finally found a place I'd fit.
I'm loud. I'm bitchy. I'm giggly. I'm unabashed. But I'm also fiercely independent, intellectual and oh-so-hungry for life! Yes, I'm a convent girl. Not just any convent girl, but a St. Nicks Old Girl.
As popular folklore would dictate, St Nicks is home to our famously warm and loving Principal Mrs Hwang-Lee Poh See, who addresses us all as her "bao bei" (treasures, in mandarin), and she is not a myth. She's worked hard to foster a loving environment for all her treasures to mature and grow - our blazing red sisters bridge, our iconic family dance, and our commitment to "never forgeting our roots" bears testament to her efforts and heart. Because she loves us, we never felt the need to pander, to conform, to seek acceptance.
Under her tutelage and occasional warm hugs, I've been empowered to always be who I am, but better. Sisterly bonds we've forged, sweet memories we've created, strength and character we've built - all these would not have been possible without our biggest treasure of all, Mrs Hwang-Lee Poh See. This is why, whenever someone asks me about the best time I've ever had, my heart automatically flutters to this geeky, specky and lovely period of my life.
To be honest, I disliked the school the moment I stepped through the gates of St Nicholas four years back. Yes, St Nicholas is a reputable school and many probably desired to be where I was then-- but every school has its culture and the culture of St Nicholas and my primary school was, well, different. I couldn't get used to it.
I remember first speaking to someone in mandarin (the language I was most comfortable with back then) to break the ice, only to be faced with an awkward silence followed by a brief response in English. Communication itself was a problem.
Soon enough, though, I began to settle in the "St nicks culture" and reveled in the sisterly love my school emphasized on. I made friends and got used to conversing in English. I liked how there were occasional screams of elation from around the school, how everyone would rush to the canteen to queue for "orange bowl" and how everyone would treat each other like sisters.
Now as I am about to graduate, I am grateful for not only the holistic education I was blessed with, but also the four years of memories that I would not, and never want to, forget.