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t r i b u n e . o n l i n e
the students' voice


Back to School Blues by Tan Sin Yan

Fresh out of the December vacations with the wondrous tan from Hawaii, most of us find it difficult to slip out of 'rest' mode when back at school. Surely, most students must have gone through the experience of listening to the teacher bleary-eyed while she drones on about class values and repeats the school rules "in case you forget", and then jolts you out of your reverie when she reminds you of the test you had forgotten. When the bell for recess rings, everyone bolts through the door and down to the canteen, where masses of friends celebrate their reunions and exchange blessings amidst a crowd of new Secondary Ones. Out of the canteen, familiar banners from last year wave at you once again, proclaiming their respective CCAs best in the world, with juniors busy taking notes and making decisions standing all around them. Such is the typical first day back at school.

After the first day, CCAs and houses recall their numbers, discussing official matters (a.k.a. recruitment and promotions), while subject teachers make their expectations and rules known (talk about stress). Classmates pass notes of the same content to each other ("I can't wait for school to end" "What do you think of the new teacher" etc.) and the class committee is elected (in which the first hint of life is restored to the class as friends enthusiastically carry out cruel plans of sabotage). The Secondary Twos are reminded that they are now sisters in the school and must set good examples to their juniors (to groans and moans), and they are at the same time assigned "mortals" from their junior classes (to much noise and excitement). The average RGS girl starts to feel the strain as the teachers gain a renewed streak of menace; and start to issue assignments by the pile. Dreams of a reunion party during the weekend are dashed. Lockers are filled with Math textbooks and Literature texts that will no longer fit into bags. The habit of staying up late, characteristic of the typical RGS girl, slowly yet surely resurfaces. It is a problem, what with most of us here buckling under the work load and fighting to keep afloat (I speak for myself). Then again, it is not a choice of many to come to school laden with unsightly eyebags.

The seniors, once again, reminisce their very first year in RGS as they pass the "name-tagless" Secondary Ones in the foyer: pondering over which CCAs to join as seniors tackle them on their way to the hall, roping them into their respective CCAs; planning their performances for Orientation Nite; learning their way around the huge school premises. As a Secondary Two pupil, I have, much to my surprise, felt such surges of envy too. The pressures of being a senior are always deterring. Yet did not we yearn to return to school during the holidays? I guess nothing can satisfy everyone at the same time. Adjusting to school life fresh out of the December vacation is always difficult, and for all the procrastinators out there, my advice is to change your ways.