Greendale where I learn to fly high

November 24, 2014

Call me slow but I just found out about the recent PSLE results release. Six years ago, I received my PSLE results in my school hall. I remember crying badly, sobbing my hearts out. I remember the whole school hall staring at me because most of my peers did well. I, on the other hand, did so much worse than expected that I couldn't make it to any of the secondary schools I marked out.

Then I made a silly decision. That I would go to the school that my then-crush was choosing. That I would follow all my friends since that was also the school most of them chose. That I would put Greendale Secondary School as my first choice. Damn, best decision ever.

When I chose Greendale, the cut off point was a mere 189. Nothing impressive at all but meh, my score wasn't anything impressive either. I entered knowing that I would be placed in the best class with my t-score a lot higher than the COP.

But what I didn't know is that at the end of my first year, I would drop to the third class and then to the last class in Sec 3. I wasn't even allowed to choose my subject combinations; they chose me and I was in a class with people I didn't like and the combinations I hate. Of course, I didn't do well and almost had to repeat a year.

But if I could turn back in time, would I have studied harder during PSLE and get into a better secondary school? No, definitely not. I don't regret any bit of my secondary school life and I can say that those experiences made me a much better person than I was.

So what if I get into the best secondary school and get great results but I don't know how to treat my friends or have never fallen in love? The experiences I gained from Greendale are life lessons no teacher could teach. I have friends from relatively good schools but they don't know the value of life.

The things they know revolve around scoring good results, getting high GPA, studying for tests. Never skipped a lesson in their life, never done well for practical tests. But life after school is all about applying what you learn; nobody cares if you scored a 4.0.

The teachers you have can't teach you how to keep people in your life or get over an heartbreak. They can teach you every subject possible but they can't teach you how to date or how to enjoy your youth.

How many times have I faked an MC to catch a movie, get suspended for my hair colour and go shopping instead? I don't regret these because it's part of growing up and finding myself. I was a rebellious teen and I learned things through the hard way.

If I had put dating aside, and focused on school, I wouldn't be so sure of the guys I want. I would have still been awkward around guys. I wouldn't be as open-minded as I am now. I would still be that frog in my own little well.

If I gave it my all during my secondary school years, would my teachers be worried about me? No, but I wouldn't be so close to any of them either because they wouldn't have a reason to pull me aside to talk to me. But today, I'm still close to most of the teachers because they were the ones who were there when I was weak.

If I put my studies first instead of my friends then, would I know the pain of losing a friend? Would I learn that pushing people away isn't going to make them stay? Would anyone tell me that the people I cherish would not be there forever?

If I had all the time in the world (aka 4 years but 4 years is a long period of time), would I have known how to study smart instead of hard? If I did things the "nerd" way, I would have gotten a single digit for O levels but will I cherish my place at Mass Comm this much? No, because I wouldn't have fought so hard for what I want.

I'm not saying that studies isn't important - it is. But what I'm saying is that there's more to life than just getting A(s) for your every test, and getting a good GPA. You are young, you should enjoy your teenage years before they end.

Therefore, let go of getting an A1 for everything, forget it if you didn't get into a good school. Do what you should, fail a little tests sometimes, don't do what you don't like, and most importantly, have fun.

Your secondary school years are going to be one of the best years of your life.

Good luck :-)

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