Agony Aunt Agatha #12

I am already tired of eating school’s food. How do I survive the next one year and 3 terms eating the same food?

The most logical solution would be to go to Ghim Moh Food Market, where there are a variety of different stalls that are tailored to particular tastes. However, I’m assuming the reason you are writing in is because your timetable does not allow you sufficient time to make your way down to the food market to enjoy the food there. In which case, I can relate to a lot. However, keep in mind that the canteen store owners put in a lot of effort preparing the food for the whole school, so once in a while, it is good to reciprocate the effort and give canteen food another shot!

That being said, if you would like a break from the canteen food you could make an effort to pack your own food to school. For long days in school you could maybe pack some leftovers from last night’s dinner. For small breaks in between you could make a simple sandwich or bring along a couple of cookies or fruits for healthy living. I have observed that some people store sweets and biscuits in their lockers for easy access when they need a quick bite between lessons. An innovative class initiative would be to start a mini class pantry in a locker and this can be a collaborative effort that involves the entire class. Do remember to take good care of your lockers because being allowed to have lockers is a privilege, not a right, so poor maintenance of the lockers will force the school to revoke locker privileges. If you follow our advice, and store food in the locker, you must carry out periodic cleaning of the locker and purging of old or unwanted food. Food will attract uninvited pests and affect not just you but your locker neighbours as well.

If you do have any one hour breaks from 1 p.m. onwards, you could try to walk briskly to Ghim Moh Food Market, using the trusty backgate, and queue up for one of the stalls that does not have an insanely long line. From my own experience, one hour is in fact sufficient time to go to Ghim Moh for lunch. As long as you factor in time to walk back to school, which will not take as long as five minutes, you will be able to enjoy all the food the hawker centre has to offer. I hope my reply is an answer to your question!

I feel like my personality is hindering me from getting closer to my CG. I tend to shut myself out, and over-residing in my personal bubble. I do want to get to know more of my classmates but I can’t seem to feel comfortable with them. I feel left out…

Do not let this stress you out too much, I’m pretty sure you are not the only one who has ever felt this way. It’s only been a month since you have gotten to know your CG, and you still have two years to bond and get to know them better. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t click well with them right from the start. Establishing close ties with classmates take time and like I said this is merely the start of a very long journey with your civic group.

Perhaps you can step up and actively participate in CG activities. In fact, you can even plan CG bonding activities with your chairperson. I’m sure your class will appreciate you for your initiative and effort and your CG will be bonded in no time! On a more personal level, you can try to set goals for yourself. For example, you can begin by setting a  personal target of saying at least one nice thing to one or more of your classmates a week. Complimenting someone else sincerely can actually build trust between the two of you and trust is the basis of any functioning and healthy friendship.

I’m positive that many more opportunities will arise and give you a chance to better understand your classmates and for them to better understand you! As many teachers have said: OG mates will be with you through the fun times, but CG mates will get you through the hard times. Step out of your comfort zone and don’t be shy or scared to make new friends because they will be the ones who will make or break your junior college experience. It is not possible for you to be able to mesh well with everyone you meet and personalities may clash but don’t let that discourage you. There’s got to be some people out there who you can find common ground with. So the main point would be that friendships take time to develop so hang in there and good luck!

I don’t like my CCA. I was not put into my first choice and although I appealed, I still didn’t get in. I’m so upset.

I’m sorry you feel down, but just know that you gave it your best shot because that’s all that matters. Despite how bad this might seem now, you’ve got to come to terms with it at some point. As corny as it may seem, every grey cloud has a silver lining. Thinking about this positively and taking things into stride is better than feeling disappointed and unhappy for the next two years. Think of this as an opportunity for you to step out of your comfort zone and be exposed to learn new things. Developing new skills will make you a more well- rounded person so do not be afraid to stretch yourself.

There has got to be a reason that you were put into this CCA in the first place. Accept what life throws at you and find joy in what seems to be a hopeless situation. Happiness can come to you when you least expect it and you could find yourself loving the CCA you’re assigned to now. In some cases, the results of the CCA selection are not telling of one’s capabilities so do not be disheartened and give up on your interests. You can definitely continue to pursue your interests outside of school! Instead of solely focusing on what the school can do for you, think about what you can do for the school. You should consider starting an interest group with others who share the same interests as you, propose a new CCA, or even hold a class during Unconference Day.  

Apart from this being an excellent learning experience, it also allows you to meet new people and widen your social circle. Your CCA batchmates play an important role in making CCA sessions more enjoyable because you can bond over common experiences in each session. So don’t be shy to approach your CCA mates first and initiate conversations. Making new friends will give you something to look forward to in CCA!

I hope this lifts your spirits and you can learn to love your new CCA. All the best!

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