I only joined the IP program in Year 3 after going through the stringent selection process of interviews and tests known as the Year 2 IP Selection. The IP years were interesting, but though I still talk to some of my Year 3/4 classmates, I missed Year 1 and 2 the most. I did okay in the end, enough to get into year 5. So here I am at the end of Year 5 writing this article about social changes that you’ll face.
I might as well start with the one that everyone talks about. Girls.
I’ve been in an all boys’ school all my life up until this year. Needless to say, the start of Year 5 was a noticeable transition. Girls enter and somehow things become different. Yeah, you can’t change in class anymore. Well… not unless you chase all the girls out first. Even then you still need a sentry. Your class will probably smell better than before, be it because there is now deodorant or because you don’t have time to play soccer anymore. Shipping also starts.
But it’s not all that bad. It’s still ACS and the environment is the same. You don’t have to change just because a new gender has appeared in your daily life. Sure, you have to be more considerate about the things you say, adding ladies instead of just saying gentlemen. You’ll have to get used to the fact that there are things you will never quite understand about girls.
There’s all the relationship stuff I could talk about but I don’t really know much about that so I’d rather skip it. I’d rather talk about friends.
When the girls come in, some people change. They act like someone they aren’t in order to get attention. Some become especially nice which is good, but others? They become annoying. They talk too loud about the weights they can lift in the gym, wearing colorful shoes even though they know they’ll get caught and saying stupid things that make you cringe.
You don’t recognize them anymore.
That’s okay. You don’t have to hold on to those that no longer fit your idea of a friend. You’ll make new ones that might last even longer than the ones that came before. You learn from every one of them and they teach you little things that impact who and what you are. You don’t notice it at first, but each of your friends provide a little dash of color to make you into a unique shade that no one else is.
Colors work funnily. You can get colors that match and compliment each other. But they can also contrast, creating vivid landscapes that catch the eye. Bright red against pure white, regal purple with gold or even blue with orange.
It doesn’t matter. As long as it works for you. So treasure your friends, no matter how short they stay with you.
Because some colors never fade.
Arthur Tan (6.18) is from the graduating batch of 2015.