At 19, Karen couldn’t decide whether she wanted to read law or business management, so she made the arduous choice of doing both courses concurrently from two different universities after her father encouraged her to follow her heart. Despite the heavy workload, she says she enjoyed the experience, adding: “I’m immensely grateful to my dad for his encouragement and faith in me.”
What was the most memorable incident when you were 19?
I recall forgoing the opportunity to learn how to drive so I could work as a relief teacher in a secondary school for a few months before my A-level results were released. That was how I discovered my passion for teaching and nurturing children. And guess what? I still don’t have a driving licence.
Favourite song/band/singer that year?
Angels by Robbie Williams. My then‑boyfriend, now husband, Samuel, played this song in the car when he drove me home for the very first time. The lyrics remain precious to me because they perfectly describe what my husband is to me: my angel, my rock, my first love.
If you were to relive your teenage years, what would you change?
I loved my teenage years, thanks to the love and support of my family, so I cannot think of anything I would change. But if I had the opportunity to travel back in time, I’d spend more time with loved ones who have since passed on. You can never have too much time with your loved ones.
Is there an item of clothing or accessory from that time that you still have today?
Yes! My Chanel collection, including the suit I’m wearing for this shoot! I was into the preppy look during my teenage years, and Chanel captured it perfectly.
Art direction: Audrey Chan
Photography: Joel Low
Hair: Christvian Goh & Zoel Tee, using Revlon Professional
Photography assistance: Alfie Pan