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CCA Assault by Lim Zhiyi

The start of school. Amidst the furrowed brows of the teachers and the nervous gazes of the Secondary Ones, the older students, aka 'seniors', also have their own problems to contend with.

It's not just the Secondary Fours worrying about their '0' Levels, Secondary Threes preparing for their OBS, or Secondary Twos adjusting to their new position higher up the food chain. It's something entirely different. And no, I'm not just talking about the returning to school blues.

It's everywhere. Apparent in the subtle glances that 'seniors' shoot to the dazed, na´ve and innocent Secondary Ones. Obvious in the not-so-subtle assault of posters on blank walls.

Yes, I'm talking about CCA recruitment. Where new members of the school ( and sometimes even the not-so-new members ) are pressured into joining after school activities, ranging from playing musical instruments to climbing rock walls. Where 'seniors' horde these new members by the tens into their respective CCA orientations.

In fact, this annual recruitment drive is so important that a day ( Saturday ) is set aside for it, for the Secondary Ones to be led mindlessly around various venues in the school for the CCAs to start their respective brainwashings ( we've even heard someone talking about free coffee at Starbucks and Coffee Bean ). So what do the Secondary Ones think about all this?

I was just a Secondary One not too long ago, and I remember all too well how bored I was, looking at CCAs I had absolutely no interest in ( I am not a sporty person - I'd die before I get persuaded to join NCC or ODAC or all the various other outdoor CCAs which tried to convince me that I needed the exercise ). And in the end, it just took me even longer to decide on a CCA, before I ended up here in Tribune ( one of the few CCAs that didn't go all out to get attention ). Which goes to show that all this CCA blitz and publicity is absolutely useless.

Why not just let the bewildered Secondary Ones have a little peace of mind? Sure, have the CCA fair, but let them choose where they want to go, instead of bringing them around and forcing to them to look at things they have absolutely zero interest in. And for all the different CCAs - jumping onto students and dragging them forcefully to your exhibit does, indeed, make your CCA stand out. In a bad way.