Oftentimes, many students find it stressing having to juggle both sports and academic expectations. Many sports talents currently still studying in a primary or secondary school or any other educational institution eventually abandon their passion for their respective sports in order to cope with their studies.
Kip McGrath is pleased to have had the opportunity to spend some time with GuoGuang Chang, a talented footballer who has represented Singapore several times in the ASEAN university games.
We hope that by sharing his story, it gives you hope and strength to pursue your passion for sports and to know that it is possible to excel in both your sports and studies at the same time.
Pre-University Education: Meridian Junior College 2007
National Service: Naval Officer. Played for Singapore Armed Forces Sports Association (SAFSA) football team in 2009 and won the Bogaars Cup.
Tertiary Education: Entered Singapore Management University (SMU) in 2010.
University: SMU (Lee Kong Chian School of Business)
Soccer Facts: GuoGuang was a former soccer player who represented Singapore in the ASEAN University Games. He also played in the S-League where his team, Warriors FC won, and also with Geylang International Football Club, where his team won the Prime League. He did all these while still studying in SMU.
Occupation: Currently, he is an analyst at BNP Paribas, pursuing a career in banking. When he is not at work, he does some voluntary coaching for little boys aged 5-6 at the Singapore Cricket Club.
Kip: How has your journey with soccer been ever since you picked it up?
GuoGuang: I picked up the sport when I was in nursery. Of course, it was fun. Always meeting new people as well, be it in a competitive game or a leisure game, in Singapore or overseas. We are all friends off the pitch after the game. That’s the beauty of it.
Kip: How has your journey been so far academically? How have you managed to juggle the two?
GuoGuang: To be honest, it’s not going to be easy, it is not going to be rosy, but no one said it cannot be done. Time management is really important. It helped me a lot.
GuoGuang: My trick? Whenever stress from deadlines and exams start creeping in, I have a habit of drawing up plans on a piece of paper. A detailed weekly/monthly plan that will tell me what to do on which day and at what time. Stick to it strictly and all will be well. Friends call me a machine and that I would feel lost if I don’t have this piece of hardcopy plan, which might be true.
Kip: What would you say is the highlight of your football career so far?
GuoGuang: I guess if there has to be one highlight it would be getting the opportunity to play with some of the greatest players and train under some of the greatest coaches over the years.
Kip: Were there any points in time when you thought that it was too tough to handle? How did you handle that?
GuoGuang: Well, I guess at times we all face obstacles. No matter how tough or bleak things may look, keep believing in yourself, have faith and work hard.
Kip: What would you say are some things that students can do to juggle studies and yet pursue their sporting interests at the same time?
GuoGuang: Education is important without a doubt. It helps to shape one in many ways and more often than not, it could well be one of the keys that will unlock a brighter future in today’s paper-chasing society.
GuoGuang: However, on top of that we should not forget that we live life once and the world is not only about that paper. If you have a passion for something, follow your heart, believe in yourself and work hard! No one said you cannot do both (studies and soccer for my case), no one said you cannot do more.
GuoGuang: The difference between what you are and what you wanna be is what you are going to do.
Kip McGrath would like to thank GuoGuang Chang for sharing his academic and soccer journey with us and wishes him the best in his career and life.
We hope his story inspires yourself and many of your friends who are considering a future in sports and lets you know that it is possible to excel in both sports and academics at the same time.
Do you know of any stories of inspirational persons? Hit us up here.
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