Source: The Star Online
By Chua Jia Ying
It’s a brand new year, and yet I still cannot get over the fact that I’m now in college! I keep waking up every morning, fussing over whether or not I have my nails trimmed short enough – only to realize that I’m no longer waking up in my bedroom back home, but in a dormitory.
January means a brand new batch of students are coming to Sunway, and I’m sure that behind all that excitement of starting college, there’s a bit of nostalgia for high school, too. There’s not a single day I go by without missing my convent school back home. Here are 5 things only Malaysian Convent Girls would relate to.
- Attending Morning Mass With A Purpose.
Morning mass may sound like a bore, but would you rather go through two back-to-back hours of Physics? I didn’t think so. Sorry, Mr. Ngim, but we really couldn’t stand listening to another ramble about Sir Isaac Newton anymore than we had to. Despite the morning masses taking up 2 lessons worth of time, we loved it simply because it gave us a legitimate reason to sit out on the most boring classes in all of history, and have fun belting out gospel songs at the top of our lungs. And most importantly; free breakfast!
- Discipline and Punctuality.
Discipline and punctuality was stressed upon heavily during my time in school. Our hair always had to be neatly styled in a certain way (I kid you not, only a handful of hairstyles are permitted in my school; for example, french braids weren’t allowed, only dutch braids were), shoes had to be maintained in pristine condition at all times, nails had to be trimmed short and pinafores always had to be 5 centimetres below knee-length.
We’d always have to break into a dead sprint to the assembly point from the main entrance of the school because being late is simply intolerable, and disciplinary points would be deducted if we ever arrive in school even just a minute later.
Which brings us to the next item on our list;
- Conspiring Against the Rules.
With such a strict set of rules to abide by, you are bound to break at least one rule a week (or if you’re like me, with a bird’s’ nest for hair, then perhaps daily). More often than not, we always managed to be let off the hook just that one time by begging our way out of it. Of course, this only worked for trivial blunders like forgetting to trim your nails, or having a stray strand of bangs flying about. While this particular behavior wasn’t encouraged, we all deserve some slack, right? (But on a serious note, at least try to follow the rules, kids!)
- Changing? No Problem!
The changing rooms in our school is more of a nest for spiders and dust than an actual changing room – changing clothes is an issue when you are only surrounded by people of the same gender.
We convent girls sure aren’t shy when it comes to getting out of our PE uniforms and into our pinafores. We do so in the comfort of our own classrooms. In fact, someone changing into their PE uniform meant a free show for the rest of us. Don’t be surprised if you hear a chorus of ‘Oohs’ and ‘Ahs’ while we change – that would be us admiring our sporty friends’ toned bod!
- Boys = Do Not Even Think About It.
I bet you saw this coming! Convent schools tend to take academics seriously. That means there would be no tolerance for any hanky panky business. In layman’s terms, we were not encouraged to date while we were still in school.
My school was a stone’s throw away from two all-boys high schools. But that doesn’t mean that we could interact with the boys freely. We’d have spies planted all over the mall near our school just in case any of us happened to fall in love.
When I think about it, this actually kept distractions to a bare minimum, and it significantly raised our grades. But it makes going off to college quite a frightening thing to do, because you start thinking: how am I supposed to interact with boys? What are boys? Are they of the same species?
Now, once everything is said and done, although convent school was strict and uptight, I would say I had plenty of fun while I was in school. I have made lifelong friends who are willing to stick with me through thick and thin. I think you leave little pieces of yourself in the things, places and people you love; for me, there will always be a part of me back in my convent school. Convent school was a big part of my childhood (11 years!) and regardless of everything, I don’t regret having spent the past decade in a convent school. I am proud to say that I was, I am and I always will be, a convent girl.
Were you a convent girl, too? Leave us a comment to share with us your schooling experience.
IJC-ians are awesome. Class ’05-’11