Tuesday, 14 January 2014

by Tai Kai Xin, Senior 1 Cempaka, Class of 2015 

Photo Credit: En Syariz Amir Sharji

As the new school year commences, we warmly welcome the youngest members of the secondary school, now donning the green striped blazers instead of the yellow pinafores we are accustomed to seeing them in, and begin settling ourselves in for yet another challenging year. But carefully hidden behind those smiles and eager looks, (I believe) are anxiety, fear and doubt. Let’s face it, it’s a whole new year and you’re anticipating a jam-packed one with more assignments when you could barely finish your work last year, more challenging tests when you could never pass an Additional Mathematics test last semester and now you’re a society president? Not only that, but your parents expect 9 A+’s on your report card this semester, a distinction in your next music exam and 2400 for your SATs? 

As a Cempakan, you’re probably among the busiest students in the country, keeping on the forefront of everything that’s going on. In times like these, you just want to escape from reality and wish you didn't have to participate in the entire line of activities your parents have chosen for you. However, is just focusing on your academics only really the way to go? Personally, I had to juggle between IB and SPM last semester, which meant going back and forth for classes, keeping up with everything that was going on in the 20 courses I was in, working to meet each of my teacher’s expectations and on top of that holding multiple leadership roles. Call it stress, call it peer pressure, call it having too many things to juggle, call it anything you want. Well, I say declutter your life. It is crucial to prioritise on the important things, manage your time well, and you’ll soon find that there’s always time for everything. If you find that you’re falling behind in your studies, your teachers are always there to pull you back on track. The best thing about a Cempakan education is the myriad of things open to be explored.

After you’ve figured out your academic plan for the year, find something you’re passionate about by involving yourself in as many activities as you can be it in school, or out of school. You will always be able to find something to do around campus and along the way, meet new friends, not only learning more about them but also more about yourself. If you can’t find anything you’re interested in within school, then start your own club, create a project, or organize a campaign! Don’t just read about inventions, be the inventor. Don’t just know about problems, find solutions to them. My point here is that the voice of the youth has never been more significant. If you’re thinking “Aiyaaa, those people who can do everything are overachievers.”, “I’m only a small fish in a big pond, what change can I even make?” or the common “No time to care…. exam year!”. You’re terribly mistaken. You are never too young to take a stand, propagate change and be involved in society.

Photo credit: En Syariz Amir Sharji

To the new freshman students, welcome to the secondary school. We are all equals no matter what age, and don’t be intimidated in any way by your seniors who you feel are more capable than you. School is a place where we learn from each other, to discover that we have no limits and to build memories we will treasure for a lifetime. If at all you find that you need to seek advice, the prefects are always ready to lend a helping hand as your older brothers and sisters. No house can win the First House Cup without their freshmen and no society is complete without their young talent.


Learning is not confined to the classroom. The only barriers you face are the ones you build for yourself. Challenge yourself to take your skills to a whole new level, explore something out of your comfort zone and look at things from different perspectives. Take a leap of faith and make the impossible, possible.

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” - Robert F. Kennedy

by Kai Xin Tai 16:48 44 comments | in , , , , ,

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