That time of their lives marked a coming of age for the couple, who are now both doctors. For Adrian, it was when he served national service before enrolling in medical school. “It was definitely a boy-to-man transition state for me. Physiologically, we were adults at that age – but there was plenty to develop on the psychological front! It was also the year I got my driving licence – the modern-day mark of adulthood,” he recalls.
For May-Han, it was the first of five years that she would spend in medical school at the National University of Singapore. “It was where both the science and the art of the practice of medicine fascinated me,” she shares. “It was about balancing all that academic with the softer side of dealing with people and emotions. At the same time, I also moved from my home to a hall of residence, where I learned independence and widened my social circle.”
What was the most memorable incident when you were 19?
May-Han: So many! I drew my first pay cheque working a temp job while waiting for my results, and was given a pager by the boss. That was also the year I learned to use the Internet and other useful life skills, such as canvassing for sponsorships, as I was on the marketing committee for my hall’s dinner and dance.
Adrian: I fired an M16 rifle for the first time. That was the year I realised how important it is to safeguard the security of our nation. I also had the privilege to disrupt national service to enter medical school and, well, let’s just say that I’ll never forget the first time I entered a dissection room full of cadavers.
Favourite song/band/singer that year?
May-Han: Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion. The song was used in the film Up Close & Personal, where Michelle Pfeiffer plays an ambitious aspiring news reporter. I was inspired by her character’s dedication to her job.
Adrian: One of my favourite bands that year was Boyz II Men! I loved their smooth, romantic ballads.
Life plan back then?
May-Han: Finish medical school and be the best doctor I can be, which I define as one who not only has sound knowledge, but is also always willing to learn new things and knows how to communicate with patients, families and fellow healthcare workers.
Adrian: To be a doctor and save the world, one life at a time.
Is there an item of clothing or accessory from that time that you still have today?
May-Han: A leotard I used during dance practices then, which I can still fit into today! I occasionally wear it for my pilates sessions.
Adrian: Actually, I think I can probably still wear most of the clothes that I have now from when I was 19 – I’m proud to say I have only gained a kilo or two since then.
Art direction: Audrey Chan
Photography: Joel Low
Hair: Christvian Goh & Zoel Tee, using Revlon Professional
Photography assistance: Alfie Pan