Bright and early this morning, I was awaken and dragged out of bed by my beloved aunt who has started on a packing campaign in preparation of welcoming my new workdesk which would be arriving tomorrow. And, unfortunately, she has decided that I shall have the honour of embarking on this campaign with her. We started on the bookshevles in the bedroom which has stacks of stuff collecting dust like books and notes from my secondary school and junior college days.

Going through the old books and notes has brought back memories of my secondary school and junior college days. In secondary school, school was quite a breeze for me. Secondary 1 and 2 were no problem. Good results, good testimonials from teachers… I was practically one of the model students! (Ermm, that is a personal opinion. You can beg to differ, no problem.) The only source of pressure and stress then came mostly from the dumb educational system which decreeds that secondary 2 students were to be streamed into pure science, sub-science and arts streams. Being egoistic, being competitive and simply just for pride’s sake, I made it a personal goal to be streamed into the top pure science stream (Triple pure science). And, I was grateful that I’ve gotten my wish. Secondary 3 and 4 were slightly tougher with a minor turning point in my life. I’m not too sure when, where or how. Maybe it was the fad, maybe it was under the influence of some not-so-goody-2-shoes-friends that I started to change. From a somewhat nerdish student, I become more and more Ah-Lian-ish*. Yes, laugh ALL you want. Ah-Lians* were the IN thing then okay! But learning from my Ah-Lian* seniors in school who mostly didn’t make it to junior college, I guess I was wise enough to keep up my school work. And I wasn’t alone on this journey. My good friend from secondary school, Yvonne (Von for short), was dragged into this too. Partially by me, partially her own wish. We made a pact. A pact to be smart Ah-Lians*. Thinking back, this is DAMN corny. Alas, the days of youth.

Junior college was a whole lot tougher than secondary school days. I had to leave all my friends behind and embarked on that journey alone initially. I had to admit it was difficult, lonely and scary at first. Being in a slightly insecure emotional state, my schoolwork suffered especially Maths (my weakest subject ever!). I was initally sent to a computing class because of my supposedly glowing grades in my science subjects in ‘O’s but that class was full of geekish nerds (boys) and only 3 other girls which are absolute snobs. I didn’t fit in. How is a reformed-ex-Ah-Lian* supposed to fit in that type of environment? You tell me lah. Aside from hostile environment, I had to face another challenge – Computing module. I had absolutely NO idea what the hell computing encompassed and to learn it from scratch when I had no interest in it was just killing me.

Feeling thoroughly miserable, I could only hold out for 2 weeks after which I run all the way to the HODs’ office and requested for a change of modules and class. After enduring alot of lectures, negotiations and nagging, I was finally allowed to switch class. Hallelujah! The thought of getting away from that class put me in an euphoric state of mind.

I got transferred to another class with fantastic classmates. Although people were still different, we got along extremely well as everyone was open-minded and friendly. Slowly, I forged close friendships with some of my classmates and teachers. Finally, I could start to enjoy my days as a Saint**.

Memories of school days, memories of friends and the times we spent together are what that has formed an integral part of my teenage life. Although I’ve thrown out most of my books, these memories will always stay with me. I wouldn’t dare to say that all these relationships formed would be able to stand the test of time but as long as I have and cherish past memories, I know I have been blessed.

Because they have made me into what I am today. Because they have given me joy and tears. Or simply, because they are mine to keep…forever.

*Ah Lians – A true blue Singaporean bad kid (female version). The male version was named

**Saints – Students and alumni from the St. Andrew’s Schools were named as such. As it happens, I was from St. Andrew’s Junior College.

Disclaimer: The author of this post is NO longer an Ah-Lian*. She has since reformed and is no longer associated with any likes of Ah-Bengs* and Ah Lians*. Just FYI, she has never swore like one too. That’s just eeksss.


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