The end of the schooling year usually denotes one-and-a-half months of freedom from all things school-related for Malaysian students. For Form Five and Upper Six students, however, the time has come to bid adieu to school itself.

Our schooling years are usually a tumultuous time, what more with the pressure of scoring good grades in public exams and trying to maintain some semblance of a social life.

I have been in school for the past 13 years (has it really been that long?) and for me, being in Form Six was a particularly rough time. From failing physics to barely making it out of bed some mornings, it was mostly horrible, especially with most of my close friends being college-bound. I loathed the fact that here I was, stuck in my school uniform and seemingly chained to my hometown.

Oh, and who can forget being thrown into a completely different social circle, eh?

In Form Six, most of my classmates were Chinese-educated. Being a “banana” (a Chinese person who can’t speak any Chinese) jokes were lost in translation, so I couldn’t even use my incredible sense of humour on them!

I jest, but I was definitely thrown on this huge learning curve, trying to befriend people who didn’t quite speak my language – literally.

In the grand scheme of things though, these are quite unimportant. Yes, having to comply to some silly school rules and whining like a typical teenager on a regular basis may have been my modus operandi for a good part of the year, but I won’t forget the many opportunities I’ve been blessed with.

Heading the school magazine? Check. Flying off to Australia for an international summer school programme? Check! Also, getting to write for The Star’s Starstruck! and BRATs programmes? Check, and check! Truthfully, I have learnt a great deal from the online casino people I’ve met and from my time in secondary school, and I am eternally grateful for this.

At the same time, while our time in school may have ended, our journey has really only just begun. But life after secondary school isn’t going to be smooth sailing either. Think about it – everything you’ve been dealing with in school will be magnified, simply because it comes with this whole idea that you’re an adult now.

That’s pretty much the only reason you need to appreciate your time in school, in spite of how painful it can be. Having come to the end of my time school, I only hope that those who are still in there will remember to have fun while they can. As for those who are set to graduate, look fondly on the good times and be thankful for everything that has shaped you into the person you are today.

The writer is a member of the BRATs, a young journalist programme organised by R.AGE. For more information, go to And to find out how you can be part of the programme, email the BRATs at

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