I’m going through a phase in my life right now that some would call a quarter life crisis. This is me being optimistic that I’m going to live to a hundred by the way, but I guess one can hope.
It sounds a lot more dramatic than it is and I’m sure many of you can relate to feeling like this, either now or at one point before. I’ve started thinking a lot about life in Singapore and can’t help but feel a little nostalgic about how things used to be when I was younger.
I always think: there are so many things I know now that I wish I knew then. If ever I could turn back the clock, here are ten things I wish I could say to my 12-year-old self:
Oh, how I took for granted the wonders of stopping by the mama shop before and after school. I know we’ve still got a few old school ones left, but the mama shops of today are never the same. Not reallllly anyway.
I mean just the other day I walked past one — that I guess could pass as a mama shop — and the Uncle was selling Hello Panda, Super Rings and… portable chargers. Where’s my pushpop, Uncle? 🙁
I guess by now we’ve all established that the education system in Singapore is no joke. Whether you agree with it or not, we’ve all been through it.
I still remember worrying so much about my PSLE that I skipped out on so many hopscotch games (see what I did there) and spent way too many of my recesses studying. Chill out Marissa, no one will care about your PSLE results in 13 years.
Getting consent forms signed, going to the science centre, basically spending an afternoon of fun-learning… YES. I don’t think I had ever fully appreciated getting on a bus with my friends to visit the most random places.
Anyone remember the Road Safety Park? All the feels.
A lot of time was wasted feeling stressed about petty arguments with friends that I guess are normal to have growing up. It’s surprising though just how much your circle of friends end up changing over the years.
I wish I knew then that if someone didn’t sit with me at recess, it really wasn’t the end of the world.
Speaking of recess, how insane is it that $1.50 could get us a full meal! 70 cents for chicken rice, 30 cents for a pink guava drink. I could still save that 50 cents or go be cheeky and spend it on country flag erasers at the tuck shop.
Now, $1.50… can get me an extra portion of chicken. To add to my $4 chicken rice.
Wow, BIGGEST REGRET EVER. I have no idea why I had to be one of those to whine about P.E! It was practically a weekly free personal training session with someone yelling at me to do sit ups and run around the basketball court.
Now I have to yell at myself to stay disciplined at exercising, which is honestly proving to be a lot less effective.
I hope I’m not alone when I reminisce the unspoken agreed upon timing of 5pm to 7pm that meant communal playtime at the playground. My neighbours and I would all meet there and decide that it was socially acceptable to run up and down hundreds of stairs, chasing each other in our block.
I never thought I would miss it but imagine that happening now, we’d all probably get Stomped.
12 was a strange transition year for me because that’s when my parents decided that it was okay for me to go hang out at the mall after school. Whaattt? There’s more to life than just tuition and talking on my home phone to my friends?
I guess I wish I could tell myself then that life really does pick up and evolve past movies and malls. Then again, this is Singapore, so does it ever really?
Okay THIS I think is important. I was so miffed that I had to wait till 12 to get my first mobile phone (Nokia 3310 what uppp), but thinking about it now, I’m glad I did.
That means that I had 11 years of growing up and finding other forms of entertainment before getting lost in the world of Snake and Snake II. Now, my three-year-old cousin has a phone and a better candy crush high score than me.
It really gets a little crazy when you think about how fast we have progressed as a nation. I spent so much time wanting to get older and now that I am, I can’t remember why.
Singapore is constantly changing and upgrading and it’s easy to get caught up in it all. If I could go back, I’d tell lil’ old me to relax, grab an ice pop and enjoy the fact that my biggest worry back then was who was going to be on my block catching team.
What are some of the things you’d tell your younger self now?
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