5 Things I Learnt In High School

Sunday, January 8, 2012

1. Politics don't start at 21. No, they start when school begins.

From the very first day to the very last, who you please and what you say is a strong determining factor of your fate in the school.


Do you choose to join cheerleading in Form 1, which is the stepping stone to performances throughout your entire tenure at school?


Or do you choose to become a prefect, where expectations follow and responsibilities are given? Or maybe you'd decide to do both, and find yourself trying to juggle academics, performances, and duties.

But where's the politics?

That comes with who you work with and what you say to these people. Make friends with the right teachers and staff, and you're on your way to award ceremonies at the end of the year. As much as the school insists upon fairness and equality for awards and opportunities, how can they help it if the only people they see who qualify.. Are the only people who are seen?

So, just like in politics and in life, it's all about the people you know. School taught me that and for that, I am grateful.

2. Infatuation? Crushes? Love? Maybe, maybe not.

When I started secondary school, I remember how the (newly) hormone-raged boys would suddenly decide that their life was not complete without a girl. That year alone, I received over 13 Valentine day presents and numerous proposals. My friends received just as many, if not more. Left and right, girls and boys started coupling up, claiming love.

Now that's the thing about high school romance. Often, parents insist that love doesn't exist at that age, that it's impossible for teens like us to understand it. "Aiyo, you all fall in and out of love so fast, where can wan. Puppy love la," they'd say. "You're too young for a relationship anyway!"

From my experience in high school, I can confidently say that that isn't true. I've seen friends of mine fall in love, and make such mature sacrifices for their loved ones that it's impossible to disprove its existence.

Of course, the ratio of puppy love and true love still leans heavily against the latter, but the point is, are high school teenagers really capable of being in love and of handling relationships?

Not everyone, but yes. It's possible.

3. Lessons aren't only learnt during lessons.

History, Geography, Kemahiran Hidup.. They're all there for a purpose. However, school isn't just about the syllabus. In fact, you learn more from your experiences in school than during the lessons themselves.

You learn to be disciplined, to manage your time well. You learn to please your superiors and to lead your peers. You learn to accomplish things last minute and you learn that procrastination is your downfall.

You learn how it feels to be used when you're chosen as a group leader for a project because everyone else expects you to do it on your own. You learn what it's like to be bossed around for the greater good. You learn how to argue and when to shut up.

You learn about kindness and heartbreak. You learn how to get what you want. The art of cajoling and persuasion become second nature in the race for 'extra marks'.

These things you learn.. You don't get them from the syllabus. No, school teaches you life lessons from the experiences you have. No matter good or bad at that time.

Sitting in class for hours and hours teach you patience, being silent during speeches during assembly teaches you respect, and completing your homework on time teaches you discipline.


Sure you may forget all your moral nilais after high school and 'ax + 24c = y' won't be applicable in real life, but do they not help your memory.. And do they not teach you diligence?

No matter what, you learn something, even if it isn't what was intended.

4. Teachers are human too.

At the age of 13, teachers seemed untouchable. They loomed over us, their voices booming, their authority unquestionable. To me, at least.

As we aged throughout these 5 years, the teachers become our friends. We played games with them, we invited them to parties.. Heck, we even threw them parties! Teachers like Ms. L end up becoming people that make up an integral part of my high school life.

When we were younger, imagining teachers having a life outside of school seemed so foreign. Imagining them having siblings of their own, parents they have to answer to, and hobbies unrelated to academics was just weird.

But as we grow older, we realize that hey, they're human too. Surprise surprise, they're capable of more emotion than anger! They cry, they laugh, they joke, and they get tired.


And some teachers even end up buying you Chatime! Thanks, Mr. Sai Mun!

So, cut them some slack for our words and actions affect them too.

5. Take as many pictures as possible!


The thing about high school?

It’s fleeting.

Class Pictures 015

Each moment passes by in the blink of an eye and once you’re old and done with it, like I am now, you find yourself looking back at those days.. reminiscing.. smiling to yourself.. reliving the days again.

Some, like myself, have old blog posts to revisit in those moments of nostalgia, but many do not. Many (especially all you shy shy not vain vain people) do not have these pictures. And others, have delete syndrome. BUT REMEMBER, at the time you took them, they may have seemed hideous and horrible and cause you to immediately yell “DELETE!” but later on, you look back upon those beasts of pictures with a certain fondness.

Sometimes, you look at pictures that make you wonder, “WHY ARE MY FRIENDS SO WEIRD!?”

Class Pictures 140
Then you find pictures that help you realize it’s because you’re weird as well.

And somewhat of an annoying wannabe Hermione.

Ahh, high school.. Great lessons indeed. Open-mouthed smile

10 comments on "5 Things I Learnt In High School"

    and WOW 13 PROPOSALS, wow you so popular lah my friend! hahaha XD I forgot how Malaysians use Lah a lot! haha we use it too (when you're from Fujian China and you know Fookien). You're part Chinese right Tiff? Which dialect do u use? hahaha!

    NICE POST!! And yes high school is fleeting and you learn a LOT. A TON..

    But the years after are what test your relationships. College is a whole different world, a whole different experience and I can't wait for you to delve into that world. KEEP ME UPDATED ABOUT IT! :)

  2. @tiff k

    Haha I brought home a whole bag of stuff that year! They steadily declined throughout the years.. Hahha I'm Hokkien. All of Malaysians use lah! :D

    Haha yes it makes up such a huge part of our entire education! :P

    Hahha thanks Tiff! I will!!

  3. I also don't see any use for 'ax + 24c = y"

    but negative bee plus minus square root of bee squared minus four ay cee divided by two ay? yeah i see some real life applications there :p

  4. @Ihsan Khairir

    Hahaha cause you're a math teacher!!!! Lol how else does that apply?

  5. lots of application in kinematics and dynamics, anything that involves projectile motion, acceleration, rate of change, gravity, etc etc.

    ok maybe not so much for lawyers.

  6. I'm awe-waitforit-some !!!
    kidding. I like this post. It's hmmm i dunno what to say. Good i guess. :)

  7. @Ihsan Khairir

    Hahaha Fineee! But that's like quadratic equations.. It applies lah in concepts and all.. But (excluding mathematicians & teachers & scientists) is that still used? >.<

    Forgive me, I'm suffering under the wrath of A Levels quadratic equations. :(

  8. @your MALAY friend

    Hahaha MELAYU! :P
    You so random lah, but good to know you're still reading my blog. :) haha thanks! But I know you just like the tiny glimpses of your face!

  9. Hi! I'm a high school leaver and I found your blog just now as I randomly scrolled my way through insta and you know what, you're such a great writer! Love your blog and will continue to visit it for sure! Thanks for sharing the amazing life stories of yours with readers like me tho! :)

    1. Hi Nessa! Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I love writing and it's incredible how there are people like you who love reading. You've made my day, thanks so much! :)


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