September marks the end of the long summer holiday. Teachers and parents would say “A new school year has started.” Students would scream “The apocalypse is here!”

As a working class who’s away from school for years, today is just the same as any Thursday. Nonetheless, it reminds me of the old memories I have as a student. When my colleagues and I talked about our own school lives, they all shared their hilarious and remarkable moments, except me.

Looking at my school life in retrospect, I hate to say that it was really nothing but study. It was painfully dull and boring.

When I was young, my parents kept telling me that the only thing that I should be doing now is study because my academic result dictates my future. Now that I am a grown-up, I can say without a doubt that it is NOT true. Here’s what I’ll tell my children, “Kids, study only occupies 10% of your school life, so don’t spend 90% of your time on that.”

I have missed the chance to do some of the following things, and screwed up the rest. And to this day, I still regret not doing them (at all/well enough). Therefore, kids, I want you to read this, and seize the opportunity to live a truly fun and fruitful school life.

Enjoy the wonderful memories and privileges of being a student.

sports team

1.Join a sports team

When I was at secondary school, my female classmates liked to sit on the stairs for the whole P.E. lesson instead of exercising. Although I was never one of them, I never worked up my guts to join a sports team either. Your energy, stamina and free time are at their peak in your teens. Needless to say, it’s the best time for sports training. And I wasted mine in studying subjects that I hated. Although it’s never too late to exercise, it takes up much more effort now than when you’re young.

Furthermore, you will only have the win-together-lose-together kind of bonding with your teammates in school. At work, it might even be easier to find a good boyfriend/girlfriend than a good teammate.

hall

2.Live in a residential hall

Do you know that Hong Kong has the most expensive housing market in the world? To Hongkongers, buying property is a dream, not a stage of life. Young people here still live with their parents in their 20s or even 30s. Not only do they overly rely on the care of their parents, they lack the chance to develop independence. Living in a residential hall offers youngsters a chance to be on their own while being partially taken care of by the school. It’s the perfect opportunity to prep themselves for living alone when they grow up.

Frankly speaking, who’d say no to a wonderful free time away from your parents?

take a language course

3.Take a language course

At university, students can take a language course at an affordable price, or simply enrol an elective course. After completing all elective courses of the language, students can even claim it as their minor subject. This will be especially useful during job-hunting because knowing a foreign language gives you an absolute advantage.

Some students who are already advanced in that language will take an elementary course at school so that they can easily secure an A grade. I’ve been there, done that, and I don’t recommend anyone to do this because by doing it, you’re simply wasting a chance to learn. Be warned. It causes you a fortune to learn a foreign language outside school!

home E

4.Study home economics

Home economics is probably the most practical subject amongst all. Trust me. Everything you learn in home economics, be it cooking, stitching or any household matters, will remain useful for the rest of your life! Once you nail it, you will instantly become a great wife/husband material. A keeper, they say.

uniform

5.Like wearing uniform

Students might think wearing a school uniform deprives their rights to express individuality (that’s what I thought when I was a student). But now, I actually miss those days where I didn’t have to think what to wear.

Once you become an adult in society, people judge you based on your outfit, sometimes even without getting to know you. The society is indeed full of prejudice. And that’s exactly why I miss those innocent days.

fall in love

6.Fall in love

Provided that it doesn’t cause harm to the body or seriously affect academic performance, I agree that students should try dating. Relationship with the opposite sex or even dating itself is a subject that even the cleverest student can’t master. Therefore, it’s good to accumulate some experience when you’re young, so that you are well prepared to handle much more complicated circumstances in the future.

skip lessons

7.Skip lessons

I can say without a doubt that skipping lessons is one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life (too bad I haven’t done enough). In school, missing a lecture or even all lectures of the day isn’t a big deal. All you have to do is copy your classmate’s notes then you can easily catch up.

At work, calling in sick is never that simple. Whether you are genuinely sick or merely getting lazy, you must bare all consequences caused by a sick leave, which is a doubled workload on the next day. I have seen some awful bosses blaming their employees for taking a sick leave, as if they have made an uncorrectable mistake.

So kids, don’t be scared, go skip a few lessons and enjoy your day off!

interest club

8.Join an interest club

Here’s a lesson learned for you: A graduate certificate is really nothing more than a piece of paper.

Frankly speaking, you will probably only use 10% of school-taught knowledge in your everyday life. On the other hand, if you develop an interest so that it becomes a professional skill, it could even become your career. Some people just aren’t born to be a scholar. So why not spend your time on things that could really get you somewhere? Joining interest clubs such as cookery, photography or dance clubs can kickstart your development at an early stage. Once you work in the industry, your rich experience will be your strength.

learning

9.Enjoy learning

Learning itself is enjoyable, if not addictive; it’s the assignments and examinations that are boring and tiresome. Don’t let those mundane school systems take away the fun of it. Bear in mind that schools are not the only source of knowledge. Through reading, internship and peer mentorship, you will learn just as much.

Some subjects, assignments and exams aside, are actually worth to study. I especially like economics because it helps me make a better investment in the future and explain some social phenomena. Unfortunately, I didn’t study hard enough and hence scored a D grade in A Level exam.

friends

10.Hang out with friends

When we were all students, asking friends out was easy because we had so much free time. Being spontaneous was more of a habit rather than a trait.

Now as we get older, coming up with a date for a gathering takes up to two months. There are friends who ditch you in the last minute because they need to work over time. There are also friends that are so occupied with work that they’ve gone “invisible” before they finally show up again five years later.

So kids, seize the moment and meet as many friends as you can. Have fun!

 

Published by Sherry Chou