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Top Nursing Graduate Turns Pain into Purpose

Tiffany Wong left junior college and found her calling in the healthcare sector after her own experience with depression.

Tiffany Wong (centre) with her supportive parents by her side, beaming with joy as
valedictorian of 2019’s Nursing cohort | Photo courtesy of Tiffany Wong

By VICTORIA QUEK

Winning the SingHealth Gold Medal & Prize, National University Hospital Prize and a Diploma with Merit, Tiffany Wong, 21, stood beaming on stage as she received recognition for her outstanding performance in Ngee Ann Polytechnic. 

In the eyes of the audience and her peers, Tiffany is the valedictorian of the School of Health Sciences (Nursing). However, few know the difficult journey to success.

When she was in upper secondary school, Tiffany experienced constant mental stress from falling ill and missing out on lessons. In junior college, Tiffany was diagnosed with depression after a major depressive episode.

“The moods I was in, the thoughts and feelings that I were having despite trying to control myself…it was quite a vicious cycle,” Tiffany says. 

After seeking help from a psychiatrist, Tiffany was put on medication for half a year and found hope in the healing process that she would be able to enjoy “an abundant life of joy and peace”.

Tiffany received comfort and support from her family to push through. “Even in the toughest of times, they have never failed to walk with me and lift me to my feet,” she says.

While most people think of depression as a negative state, Tiffany believes that her darkest days helped her to discover her calling in life.

“After my depression, I learned the importance of living a healthy life.I knew that I wanted to help and serve others with the love and support given to me, especially having known how helpless it feels to be sick and wanting to recover,” she explains.

Tiffany took a leap of faith and enrolled in the Nursing course at Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Health Sciences after leaving junior college. 

Daunting as it was to step into a whole new environment, Tiffany embarked on a journey that brought her strength and purpose.

Looking back, her three years in Ngee Ann were “amazing and unforgettable”. She fondly remembers inspiring experiences while on overseas clinical attachment in Chennai and her immersion programme in Manipal, India, where she learned to be “better equipped to serve others”.

She says: “I was really put to the test – to persevere and not give up, to push myself harder and further and to discover more about myself and learning to believe in [myself].”

Through the highs and lows, Tiffany always keeps her purpose and calling close to her heart. As she enters a new season of her life, she hopes to make the most of her time before furthering her nursing education in university.

Currently interning at Youth With A Mission, an international charitable organisation, Tiffany looks forward to learning more about “serving, loving and giving hope to others who are less noticed in society”.

“I hope to be a beacon of hope the same way I received love in the darkest of times,” Tiffany says.


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