We’re only days away from the end of SPM. And in the midst of preparing to break out your dancing shoes to celebrate, you might also be feeling bummed about leaving the place you called home for 5 long years!
As you’re preparing to move on to college or university, we’re here to help you reminisce (and chuckle) about some of the things that made your secondary school years the bane of your existence.
#1. Monday morning assemblies
Waking up for school on a Monday is bad enough, but having to sit through an hour-long perhimpunan packed to the brim with boring speeches puts the cherry on top.
Dragging yourself out of bed and into a cold shower for an 8 am lecture may sound like the thing of nightmares, but at least you won’t have to toil through the Rukun Negara and mumble your way through Negaraku before sunrise.
#2. Ungodly schooling hours
Remember forcing yourself to pay attention during the afternoon school session amidst the 3 pm heatwave, and then having to wake up at 6 am for 8 hours of back-to-back classes during the morning session?
Prepare to kiss wonky study times goodbye as you enter a new phase of life where you’re free to schedule your college classes according to your desired timetable. Look forward to having coffee alone, chill with friends in between classes or better yet — head home in between classes and take a cat nap.
#3. Boring school uniforms
Five years is more than enough time spent in a blue pinafore or baju kurung, or a pair of green camo pants. Worse still are the prefect and librarian uniforms that come in an array of ghastly colours, from maroon to various shades of green, depending on your school.
However, it’s time to rejoice because you’ll soon be free from strict rules against funky haircuts, piercings and even tattoos as most private universities and colleges are flexible with their dress code.
While you might miss the freedom of not having to care about your appearance every morning, going to university means plenty of fun opportunities to express yourself through your clothing or to dress as comfortably as you like (think sweatpants and sneakers).
#4. Weird school rules
No handphones. No folding the sleeves of your baju kurung. No coloured bras. No wearing your pants low.
Rules may be there for a reason, but many schools enforce a set of bizarre rules that leaves us wondering, “Why?”. While a ban on liquid paper may be understandable (table graffiti, anyone?), others such as coloured pens and sporting a fringe can seem harmless and nonsensical.
But don’t worry, the freedom you’ll soon enjoy in college will make you look back and chuckle at the absurdity of getting in trouble for wearing brightly coloured hair clips.
#5. Demerit points and detention
If you weren’t a goody-two-shoes, getting up to mischief with your mates probably made for some memorable school moments… although, breaking the rules usually led to a visit to the discipline teacher’s office, racking up demerit points or even a short stint in detention.
While college or university is by no means a free-for-all, there’s no risk of being blacklisted for forgetting your name tag or being 5 minutes late to class. After a long 5 years, it’s finally time to say goodbye to your second home — the principal’s office.
#6. Overzealous prefects
You might have thought school was the one place you could escape your parents’ watchful eyes, but lo and behold — you’ll often find yourself faced with overbearing prefects who are ready to scribble your name into their little 555 notebooks for every wrong step you make.
While you may love your prefect friends, the end of secondary school means bidding adieu to those who would breathe down your necks or rat you out to the discipline teacher because you didn’t cut your nails or for wearing the wrong coloured socks.
#7. Spot checks
Here’s one thing you won’t see again!
Remember how your stomach would do a somersault whenever there was a spot check? Or how you would negotiate with your prefect besties to hide your handphone or scrape off as much nail polish from your nails as physically possible?
Soon, the days of lining up outside your classroom while praying they won’t find your contraband will be but a memory.
#8. Learning things you won’t ever need again
Imagine a world where you’ll never have to cram another Sejarah fact, solve a single quadratic equation or saw wood to make a third-rate stationery holder for Kemahiran Hidup.
In college or university, you will likely be taking subjects only relevant to your desired course. Not only are you more likely to excel in subjects you are naturally suited for, but studying will be less of a chore when you’re genuinely interested in the material.
#9. Raising your hand for permission to use the loo
Gone are the days when you’ll need to ask the teacher’s permission to use the toilet, wrestle for the class pass to see your BFF in the neighbouring class or leave the class for any reason at all.
You’ll be pleased to note that in university, the lecture hall is generally big enough for you to slip in and out unnoticed by your lecturer.
#10. Compulsory sports activities
You might miss the pomp and ceremony surrounding sporting events such as Merentas Desa or Sports Day, but you probably won’t miss sweating it out in the sun or ploughing through a 5km run you weren’t physically prepared for.
Pendidikan Jasmani dan Kesihatan (PJK) lessons might have been fun for those who were athletically gifted, but jogging 7 rounds around the school field during the annual fitness test was nothing short of hell for the rest of us.
What’s worse? Having to change out of your sports clothes back into your uniforms in time for the next period.
#11. Canteen food every. single. day.
Your canteen nasi lemak might have been the best you’ve ever tasted but you could probably use some variety after noshing on the same thing every recess for 5 years.
In college or university, having a lunch break longer than 20 minutes means being able to do more than just cram a few chicken nuggets into your mouth in record time. Sometimes, with more than an hour to spare between classes, you’ll be free to expand your gastronomical quests beyond the four walls of your campus.
Despite all the things that make secondary school difficult, there’s no doubt that these 5 years will remain among the best times of your life. Even as a new chapter of your life is on the horizon, you’ll always have your closest friends and epic memories to cherish.