Choosing a university to attend can be a daunting decision. Serene was torn between heading to the US and staying in Singapore to do her bachelor’s degree. To convince her to consider a local university, Serene’s parents bought her a car, a Honda Integra. “The choice of car was influenced by my ex-boyfriend, who was driving a bright green Honda S2000 when we started dating. It was so cool, and he’d always drive it with the top down so we could feel the wind in our faces.” She laughs as she recalls this – on hindsight, a car of her own hardly seemed necessary, as her ex-boyfriend lived just a five‑minute walk from her place. “When our relationship ended, my parents sold the car,” she reveals.
Favourite song/band/singer that year?
Jay Chou’s debut album came out that year! I thought he was the most talented singer and songwriter ever. I spent so many weekends belting out his songs at karaoke outlets. I was such a fan that I wanted to fly to Taiwan to attend his concert, which I did a few years later.
Life plan back then?
I wanted to be either a backup singer or personal assistant to Jay Chou, failing which, I’d have tried my hand at being a newscaster, art teacher or another profession in the creative field.
Tell us your advice for your teenage self.
Study less and play more! I was a brilliant student, but had a really boring routine: school, library, home, sleep, repeat. I only started clubbing when I was working!
Is there an item of clothing or accessory from that time that you still have today?
Unfortunately, there isn’t. I misplaced a TAG Heuer Alter Ego with a magnificent cobalt blue dial my ex-boyfriend had given me as a birthday gift. He had bought it as he had seen me admiring it in a window display and I will always treasure that precious memory.
Art direction: Audrey Chan
Photography: Joel Low
Hair: Christvian Goh & Zoel Tee, using Revlon Professional
Photography assistance: Alfie Pan