Here’s the thing about High School — it means the most once it’s over. You go 5 years dreading the 6.00 am alarm, or 5.00 am for the Geng Bas Sekolah, hoping to hear, “Esok cuti.” Yet, all it takes is to get up one morning post-graduation and realise that our group of friends is neither getting together for another gossip session during perhimpunan (assembly), nor piling around the same table during recess, and all of a sudden we wish we could go back. It is no secret that those of us adulting miss hanging out with the gang. From the rebels to the prefects, all of us belonged to at least one infamous clique. Here’s a SMK student’s guide to High School Stereotypes.

1. Geng Ponteng

“Kamilah Geng, Geng, Geng Ponteng Sekolah!”

We can all agree that we have played truant before but there will always be that group of students (usually boys) who just loved it a little more than the rest of us. They are none other than the infamous Geng Ponteng Sekolah. Their ninja-like abilities of jumping fences or better known as lompat pagar would often leave a lot of us rule-abiding students in disbelief at their fence-jumping dexterity. Yet somehow, they almost always got away with it. Despite the school’s many efforts to put an end to it, nothing could stop this rebellious bunch from hitting up the nearest mamak or cyber cafe. They truly live up to the phase, ‘When there’s a will, there’s a way’.

2. The Prefects

“You either hate them or you are them.”

Responsible for upholding the Law & Order within the school walls, this group of students patrolled the hallways, donning a blazer with their head held high as they were always on the lookout for crime. All exaggeration aside, prefects were deemed to be model students with a squeaky clean track record. While some of them ran the school with an iron fist, there were a few that had your back whenever faced with a conundrum. From warning you about spot checks or letting you off without a warning, this bunch misused their privileges in the best of ways. Despite our love-hate relationship with prefects, they made life in high-school so much more exciting and memorable.

3. The Kiasu Kids

“Cikgu SALAH!”

The kiasu student. We have all had that one classmate that was all about getting good grades and probably spent free periods revising while the rest of us were either gossiping amongst our friends or chasing one another with the class broom. More often than not, they are always the first person to answer a question or hand in their homework but their kiasu-ness is at its peak during exam season, specifically when discussing exam results. They would break out their scientific calculators and pay attention, as they wait for the teacher to make a mistake, like a lion waiting to prey on a helpless gazelle. That’s when you are most likely to see them spring out of their chairs and yell, “Cikgu SALAH!”. They will not compromise in obtaining anything less of an A (A+ is preferred). While they might have been difficult to keep up with, you could always learn a thing or two from these students. 

4. The Cool Kids

“Alexa, play ‘Cool Kids’ by Echosmith.”

Last but not least, there are the students that we all wanted to be, the Haley Dunphys and Troy Boltons of Malaysian public school, the cool kids. They were either known for their good looks or for being the resident athlete. They would often be the talk of the school, even amongst the Form 1 students. Everyone just knew them. While their fame may seem intimidating, they were just like the rest of us, just trying to navigate the challenges of being a teenager. Either way, they were imperative to the true high school experience.

You might be thinking, “Well, I was none of those things.” In fact, the list of cliques and tribes is endless, and each school had its unique superstars. Be it the marching band, athletes, Sahibba Squad, or the choir kids, all public schools across the nation have one thing in common — all of them are haunted. I’m kidding. No, the real common thread is the reason why we are willing to go back and do it all over again. Memories. From the rumah sukan rivalries to the ride-or-dies and frenemies, the sheer nostalgia from our high school days kept us coming back to reminisce about them. If nothing else, I hope this article serves as a reminder to cherish the present. School’s out for most of us, but university isn’t. Make a bucket list and go make some memories. Aight, I’m out.

By Karran Kumar

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