Becoming a Teen Comes with a Tall Order

23 December 2013, Monday

Three days ago, we received the much-awaited news. An SMS from the Singapore Ministry of Education informing me of the outcome of A1’s secondary school application. … Success! She got into our (and her) first-choice school.

Right of Passage
into Secondary School

This morning, one month and a day after the release of her results in the major Primary School Leaving Examination, we reported as required to the secondary school. Official registration in the school hall, the Principal’s address in the auditorium, purchase of Sec 1 books near the bookshop (interestingly set-up with two queues to serve those buying complete versus incomplete sets), fitting and purchase of PE attire in one classroom at the other end of that same block, and finally fitting and purchase of school uniform in two adjacent classrooms somewhere in the middle of that block but on Level 2. (hindsight: should have gotten all the lighter clothing before books)

Still, it was an exciting day for A1 and me. Another step nearer towards a whole new adventure in a different (although affiliated) school.

Romance of
Becoming a Teen

Another exciting aspect is that A1 officially becomes a teen the year she begins Secondary School (that is 2014).

The barrage of Disney-teens sitcoms and movies has upped the ante of being a teenager, what with all their romantic notion of teens enjoying almost all adult freedom and independence.

Reality Dropped
Like a Ton of Bricks

So, becoming a teen is a big deal for A1. But how does life reward her for reaching this milestone? …

Almost 3x the number of subjects to study in school. (A1 was horrified at the thickness of her Maths textbook)

These aren’t all there is. There is yet loads of other materials and stationery for Art, Home Economics, Design & Technology, etc that I have not photographed to post!

School books, materials and stationery that cost 2x that of either of her brothers’ in primary school.

We had to call for reinforcement (in the form of “mom’s / grandma’s taxi”) to lug the 4 bulky bags of books and stuff that weigh a ton (plus 2 bags of PE attire and uniform) home … despite staying practically a mere 5-minute walk away!

Trapped in
History’s Loop

I am reliving the same shock I experienced all those years ago! Transitioning from 4 subjects in primary school to 11 in secondary.

11 … Though my favourite number in multiplication, it has so traumatised me that it has never left my mind since I officially became a teen myself!

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