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


Stress by Cherie Yang

School has reopened. It's not just a whole new studying environment, complete with new teachers, new classmates, and new faces - it's a whole new studying system. After the dreaded PSLE, I was fortunate enough to have been able to enter into one of the top schools in Singapore, RGS. Being in the premier girls' school, it is inevitable that the teachers would have made the necessary preparations during the holidays to bombard us with work, work and more work. The cream of the crop is all here - competition is very tough. Having to keep up with the rocket-paced studying system here is tough as well. And I dare suggest that almost everyone would be, at one point or another, engulfed by something so common in this busy and bustling city. Stress.

Imagine… there is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening this bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out all of it, of course! Each of us has such a bank. Its name is none other than time. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose. If you fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours.

Everyone has 24 hours each day, no more, no less. Yet I simply do not understand why some people are simply so free, yet some, like me, are slaving away at our work, busy withdrawing everything in our 'bank' to the maximum, yet still needing more time. I would fervently hope that by some miracle I could have an extra twenty-four hours, if not for the fact that it is a ludicrous idea.

CCA, house practice, homework, assignments, projects… you name it, and some poor soul in RGS is saddled with it, and more. Having to juggle all these is definitely not easy. Some say that Secondary 1 life is very carefree, yet I feel extremely busy. Stress is everywhere in our daily lives. Having to rush to finish assignments, compositions; preparing for tests, quizzes; attending house practices and CCAs, and making sure you fulfill the expected percentage attendance; keeping updated with this digital age; staying in touch with our primary school friends; and living up to other's expectations. Sometimes, I really feel suffocated. The times I cried, the tear stains left in my schoolbooks; how can I ever forget about the stress that is waiting to suffocate me?

I still remember last August when I decided to put RGS as my first choice of school; I thought that I would be able to manage my time wisely. I suppose it was another piece of wishful thinking on my part. For from what I see now, I cannot. (Although I still hope I will!)

The word 'stress' simply makes me cringe. There is not a moment of tranquility or peace. Everywhere I go, I heard noises, chit-chat; even when going up a bus, there is jostling and pushing. This world has become too fast paced; I really wish that it would slow down for a couple of minutes. (Another absurd idea, I would say) Every minute, every second, somehow, somewhere, something is going on. Ok, perhaps, the only time I get peace is when I sleep. As I lie on my bed, a strange sense of calm blankets me…

I make a silent vow to try and make the most of today. Yet as I am typing this, the clock is ticking. Time is being lost, and much to my dismay, it will not come back. Never...