Of School Years

I know I’m not really in a place to write about a blogpost concerning “School Years” since I am still technically in school. But just the other day, I was passing by the Form 1 block, observing the thirteen-year-olds of my school, and a stray thought automatically popped into my head.

You people still have a long way to go.

It was an automatic reflex. Not a well-thought-out thought.

I then pressed the rewind button on my life, back to when I was thirteen, scared and confused as I made my first step into this school. For those who didn’t know, I was a late entry into Asma, transferred here after two to three weeks of schooling in Keat Hwa. I was supposed to be in the Asma registration list since all the Pumpong girls who got straight As for the past few years were automatically put into Asma. But it was different during my year. So my mum took some pretty extraordinary measures to get me into the school, and in the end I did, but I admit, during the first few weeks, I really wished she hadn’t. I was a loner you see, because I didn’t have any “primary school friends” with me as opposed to everyone else. Don’t get me wrong, some people were friendly, but as I wasn’t part of their “groups”, I didn’t have anyone else to rely on. It was worse than just being “the new kid in school” because technically, everyone’s a new kid, so being singled out made me feel like a freak. Like I said, not everyone treated me with animosity, but let’s just say I looked forward to the last ringing bell signaling the end of school every single day.

That is, until I got back my first test results.

That’s when I started making friends…and enemies. I won’t go into that part because it’s probably too personal for my liking but I guess I can say my life in school improved immensely after that. It’s really sad that my test results appeal to people much, much more than my personality.

Anyway, back to the topic. I was placing myself in their shoes, and seeing through my thirteen-year-old eyes, back when I thought, man, secondary school sure as hell is going to be one hell of a ride. Five years. Five years! And that’s not counting two major examinations to be sat for! Mountains and mountains of homework! Extra-curricular activities to join! Friends! Rivals! Oh the drama! It sounded really, really tiring and exhausting to me, but naturally, as a thirteen-year-old, I didn’t ruminate as much as I do now. Thus, quite surprisingly, Form 1, 2 and 3 passed by in a flash. I swear, I didn’t know time could pass by that fast. I swear, it just seemed like yesterday that I first stepped into Sultanah Asma School.

Now, I am in Form 4. And I am thinking of the one last year I have left in this school (well, this year is pretty much already coming to an end so I’m not taking into the account the remaining 5 months and 22 days of this year). To think that I had actually thought that my journey through secondary school would be a sluggish one. And now I only have a year left in this school. I don’t think you understand how shocking this was to me right there at that moment, as I stood before 1 Kedah, looking in at the noisy students who were in a rush to pass up their homework. That was me just three years ago. Boy, did those three years pass by in the blink of an eye. Full of both wonderful and horrible memories. And soon, I will be leaving this place. In a year’s time. A year’s time might seem very long, but judging by how fast time passed by in the previous three years, I would disagree.

So I took back my words, because they didn’t need my “advice” anyway. Because before they know it, they will be seniors themselves soon enough, and it won’t be a long way to go for them, like it actually wasn’t for me. I know, I know, I’m not a graduating senior yet, but perhaps I’m glad that I didn’t have to wait until the day of my graduation to realise this. Perhaps I’m glad that I know I still have a year to appreciate the memories I had and will have in this school, as cheesy as it sounds, because I know, once I leave this nest, I’ll never be able to return to the comforts of it again.

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Michelle Teoh

26-year-old cynical Asian, book enthusiast and purveyor of fine sarcasm.

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