Welcome to the world of flying chairs and awkward Biology lessons.
Putting boys and girls together for five days a week in a classroom, for more than six hours at a time, sounds like a recipe for disaster. Especially if these students are in their adolescent years, with puberty ruling their heads.
Here are five things neighbourhood students can relate to.
1. “Can I have your number?”
Unlike students in single sex schools, the best thing about being in a neighbourhood school is being able to interact with the opposite gender every day. Although we get to grow up feeling comfortable in the presence of the opposite gender, it also means that the environment is generally charged with hormones.
At the start of every academic year, the senior male students tend to scan the assembly hall, waiting to call dibs on an unsuspecting prey among the new lower secondary female students in the cohort.
In fact, every neighbourhood school student knows that the most frequently asked question between a guy and a girl is: “Can I have your number?”
2. Students “patrolling” the hallway
Although one would expect a mixed school to have fewer fights, as compared to a testosterone-filled atmosphere in a boys’ school, somehow being in a mixed school makes guys much more inspired to pick fights with each other.
Over the course of a one-hour lesson, one can expect to see at least three different groups of male students “patrolling” the hallways. Although some guys are just scanning for a particular female student, others are roaming about, waiting for a chance to pick fights.
If you are lucky, some fights end with a loud shattering of glass and a flying chair from the fourth floor. Most of us barely glance at the window when that happens.
3. Smoking in the toilets? No big deal.
If you are really unlucky and your classroom for the year is right beside the toilet, you know that you are automatically in for 365 days of haze. It is a known fact amongst students that the toilets at the end of the hallways are used for smoking.
Most times, the smell of cigarette smoke can be pretty strong. However, we keep mum. We fear that ratting out on the smokers would make our secondary school years become a living hell.
4. Biology lessons are always hilariously awkward
Yes, biology lessons can be awkward, especially when the whole class is filled with curious, hormonal teenagers. Our teachers tend to save the most interesting chapter for the last – “Reproduction in Humans”.
The class always cracks inappropriate jokes and comments about having “practical tutorials” as we near the end of the chapter. Although we are mostly 16-year-olds (who are supposedly mature), listening about our body parts in a mixed gender classroom somehow draws sniggers and awkward coughs from everyone.
5. You will meet people from all walks of life
Although being in a neighbourhood school can seem like a rollercoaster ride of a journey, it will be the best four years of your life. The people you will meet may come from different backgrounds, but you find yourself in the company of non-judgemental friends who accept you for who you are.
Most importantly, these are people you would remember years down the road.
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