When a teenager wakes up to the business of meeting demanding work schedules and expectations in school, it is a realization that the carefree years and days of ‘youth’ (so relative a term, depending on which part of the age-scale you are looking back from) are soon to be – if not already – memories, and adulthood is not too far away. Teenager Meenakshi Venkatraman reflects from a very personal threshold …
I don’t know about local schools, but the long summer holiday has almost ended for international schools. For some reason, all my schoolmates from the higher grades are telling me to enjoy the summer while I can.
From SAT preparations to coursework due just a week into the new semester, they give the impression (and complain) that the workload over the supposed summer ‘holiday’ seems to increase as one ascends the grades, in schools in general. I saw proof of this myself when my neighbour, a girl who used to come out to play almost every day, slowly retreated into her pile of homework as she got older. She ended up disappearing off the face of the playground, and sadly, I realized that I had too, by the time we reached middle school. Now I can only really enjoy myself on public or school holidays, but older students have (while frightening me) given me advice to get things done over high school summers.
Things like: do background reading on subjects, memorize vocabulary lists for the SAT’s, do coursework as soon as you get it, don’t leave it until the end of summer. Before high school, all that summer holidays meant to to me were sleeping in and going out, but it appears that all that is about to change.
This holiday has gone past too quickly for me, and only now, with the end in sight do I try to desperately grasp onto the fragments of it that are still left.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy school in general, and I’m looking forward to the tenth grade – but the thought of studying kind of gets me down. That, and of course, the fact that I have to start getting up every morning at 6 a.m. I’m sure students all over Singapore – whether in international schools or local schools, whether they enjoy school or not – are at least slightly apprehensive when they find themselves thinking, towards the end of the holiday: Oh, right, I have to go back to school …
I have to admit something though: even though I don’t want school to start, and even though I’ve complained to myself about how little time I had when school was in session – I haven’t exactly been spending my sweet summer days productively. When I was in school I was itching to paint a picture, write a novel, sew a unique bag for myself – but all that somehow went out the window when summer really started.
All good things must come to an end, so remember to actually do something while you can. There’s lots of stuff to do in Singapore during the holidays, if only you know where to look, so here’s a list of some things I did, as well as some things I would like to have done:
- Have a picnic – for some reason this was an increasingly popular idea among my friends and myself and I think we planned at least three this summer !
- Watch a movie – this is an obvious one, really. Who wouldn’t want to watch a movie?
- Go biking – something I used to love doing with my family, especially in the extensive parks in the East Coast. It’s healthy too !
- Visit a garden – whether Gardens by the Bay, the Botanical Gardens or the Chinese Gardens, these areas in Singapore are some of the prettiest, and you might be surprised at our metropolitan city’s natural beauty.
IN THE HOUSE
- Read – something my generation seems to enjoy less and less, what with all the new technology that is barging into our lives. But it’s a classic thing to do, and a good book never fails to entertain, even more so than a movie or TV show.
- Draw – anything that inspires you. It’s a great way to let out your feelings and vent your boredom on a piece of paper. It doesn’t matter how good you are – art is subjective !
- Dance – perfect if you feel as if you’ve been sitting in one place for too long, but don’t feel like taking a walk outside. Dancing is fun and it’s also a workout, and you don’t even have to go to a party to do it – your room can also be your dance floor.
- Do some DIY – an increasingly popular way to get unique clothing and accessories; just make or embellish them yourself! Also a great way to save the environment if you choose to use old clothes or ornaments to make something new.
SingaporeforKids knows exactly how it feels, both from a parent’s and a child’s point of view. Which is why we have extensive, interesting and varied options based on interests and aptitudes on things to see and do in Singapore – both outdoors and indoors, rather than mere ‘lists’. Browse, scroll and read through, and if you feel you would like to see something special included, write to us @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope your summer was good !
Photographs borrowed from http://free-best-hd-wallpapers.blogspot.sg/2011/07/summer-wallpapers-part-2.html, http://moodle.richardlander.cornwall.sch.uk/, http://www.edudemic.com, Singapore Tourism Board, http://www.brainworldmagazine and http://www.worksmartlivesmart.com.