Elite vs Neighbourhood JC | ZULA ChickChats | EP 92On February 29, 2020 by Raul Dinwiddie
My school ah, the track ah, only got two rounds around my track. My school don’t have space to build- – eight laps around the track.
– Oh no. Only got two rounds. Hi, I’m Kit Yee. I’m Jeanette. I’m Fauzi. Hi, I’m Leah and this is ZULA ChickChats! Okay hi guys. Welcome to- today’s episode of ChickChats, and today we’ll be talking about JC (Junior College) culture, mainly elite JCs versus neighbourhood JCs. I’ll use the term ‘neighbourhood JCs’ loosely. So first off, what JCs were you guys from? I’m from Raffles JC. I’m from ACJC (Anglo-Chinese JC). I was from what used to be Serangoon JC. Now it has been merged into Anderson Serangoon JC. I was from CJC (Catholic JC). Do y’all have any kind of- stereotypes of your own schools? I guess we have a rep (reputation) about being elitist. A lot of rich kids I guess. And that everyone’s nerdy and smart. A lot of my friends told me they think ACJC is like, a lot of good-looking people go there. From my understanding of when I was in JC, smart people is to RJC, good-looking people is to ACJC. – Then, something is to CJC.
– Oh yes. Okay. CJC is known as the pregnancy school lah. – Okay, I think-
– Yea! Yes! – Okay, my sister just went into CJC.
– Oh? Even before she went in, she was like, “Yea like, everybody say that it’s the pregnancy school.” Then I just like, “Until now?!” But there’s no one coming out that is pregnant. I don’t understand. Where are these babies coming from?! I don’t get it. – I mean CJC should be a catholic school right?
– I don’t get it either. – Amen.
– Practice abstinence! Mine is really, like, the neighbourhood JC right? We don’t necessarily have known kinds of stereotypes, but, like, people who cannot decide- – between JC and poly,
– Ahhh. if they decide to go to JC, it will usually just be to these (JCs). Okay so, with that out of the way, we’re able to get on to the second question, which is just basically sharing your JC experience. I came from SJI secondary school right? So, typically SJI boys usually go to CJC. But, I made the decision to go to Serangoon JC- ’cause I just felt like, I wanted to break out of that environment. It was really, like, an eye-opening experience- and I’ve met so many different people- from all different backgrounds and- some of them are still my friends till today. In terms of the type of education, I find it more holistic. There isn’t necessarily a very large focus on academics. There were also other things like, you know like, – your CCA, or you know, kind of like-
– Volunteering. Ya, kind of like, more fun, fun things lah. I was from the JAE (Joint Admissions Exercise) batch. So, I got in through O-Levels. The dynamics in the school is very interesting- because we have, like, one batch from RI, and one batch from RGS, and one batch from JAE. There was an obvious segregation at the start. We all came in wearing our own school uniforms- – on orientation day.
– Ah…Oh… Ya. But then I feel like, – it was easier for JAE kids to integrate-
– Okay, okay. because we came in with no prior reputation. So, no one knew us, – we could set a new name for ourselves.
– Oh. So, it was like a fresh start you know? You can literally meet people who like, get chauffeured to school every day. By mother, – or chauffeured to school by chauffeur?
– Chauffeur. Oh! Damn girl. You can tell they’re from different lifestyles- and you don’t go with those kinds of things. – But then, in school it’s, like, very chill.
– Okay. No one really like, “Eh, you JAE, don’t sit with me.” – That kind of thing lah. Ya.
– Oh, okay, okay. The people in AC are actually like- I’ve met a lot of nice people, but there are just a few things here and there. They have this thing where like- You know in the canteen? Then there’s this set table where- only the rugby players can sit at. Apparently, we had this poor freshman, who came in, didn’t know that table was their table, – Oh my.
– Obviously, right. and left his stuff there. And then apparently they threw it on the road. Ya. I’m not sure if it’s true, but I’ve heard it a lot of times lah. – CJ is SJI and IJ girls. Ya.
– All the IJ girls. – It’s kind of like, they end up going together.
– It happens organically. I think it’s also reputation. Maybe some people heard of this person last time. “Oh my God, this person is from…” And then they kind of have friends. It’s actually very scary lah. The fact that maybe- whatever you did in secondary school, you want to leave it behind, but you cannot because- – people remember and people talk. Ya!
– Ya. Ya, rumours. I think one of the big differences is academics. The perception of elite JCs are very, very, very, hardworking. For neighbourhood JCs right, it’s a little bit more chill. – It is still rigourous training in a sense.
– Yes. It’s two years of your life- where you have to finish studying a lot of things. – It is not as competitive as I would imagine it to be lah.
– Yes. There isn’t that legacy that- you have to do fantastic for your school you know? – Like, there is no embarrassing your school.
– Right, right, right. We have a lot of night study sessions. – There was a parent group that kind of-
– Right. They always give supper to us during night study. There was a culture of, like, everybody learn together, – everybody tahan (endure) together right,
– That’s fantastic. everybody survive this together kind of thing. Ya. For me personally right, – I remember skipping a lot of classes.
– Ah. – And then right, no matter whether you skip or not right,
– Yes, yes, yes. your friends will be damn willing- – to share notes with you eh.
– Yes. I think the teachers are more nurturing in that sense. They are, they are. They don’t instruct, but more so like, they will mentor. I went to arts stream. Ya. I was a humans kid. So, not a lot of people like to share their notes. Ya. There’s also a certain template to kind of like, write your essay what right? Mmm, I guess, – but that’s a very basic level you know what I mean?
– Ya. You don’t want to interpret your, let’s say your literature book- in one way- and then have someone literally plagiarise your words. – Wah! I cannot relate eh.
-Ya. – I was an arts student and I-
– Huh?! – and Lit was my pet-
– You share all your notes? – Ya!
– You share your notes?! I share my notes eh. But, it’s like your brain baby you know? You want to come out of the exam saying, “Eh, I thought of something that- no one else would have thought of, like, – that will get me the A.”
– Wow. You know that kind of feeling. – No, I go inside exam is,
– Wah! – “Pass this paper.”
– Cannot relate. Not everyone gets the same set of notes. – They make their own,
– Ya. and then, they want to write it that way because- they know that it will get them better grades.
– Wah. People can sell their notes on Carousell- for a lot of cash. In ACJC, it’s like, super pressurising ‘cause half of them are like, “We want to be doctors.” And I’m like, “I just want to get into uni.” They have this thing called ‘SSP’. People used to call it the ‘Stupid Students Programme’. It was- It stood for something else ah. – It’s something else.
– So it’s like remedial? Ya, it’s like remedial. – Oh…
– Oh my God. Okay. Dude, I went for every single SSP. Jeanette! You talk about SSP right, we have the opposite. It’s for the above people. Ya. – The one percentile going to Cambridge.
– Ya. There is this programme called ‘The Raffles Academy’. So, people call it RAs. Stop, stop, stop, ahhh! – Even the name right?
– Even the word. It’s just the name. You know when I came in right, I was like, “What the heck is this thing?” People were like RA RA here, RA RA there. It’s basically H3, but they do more. Okay so, moving on to an iconic part of our JC lives, Project Work. – Every PW group, there’s this one asshole.
– Yes. So basically, he will always, like, never turn up for any project. Right before the, like, you know the presentation? – Then everyone was super stressed.
– Yes. And then, we were calling him, we were like, “Where are you?!” He was in the gym. – Oh.
– He went to the gym? He went to the gym for two hours, came back, and then we, like, don’t want to see him. And then, he got up- and went back to the gym. I have zero patience for people who- don’t want to help [to] do the project. I have better things to do in my life so, I might as well finish his stuff. I also had this one guy in my group- who didn’t do anything. Literally asked him, “Can you do this one part of the report?” right, he typed two fucking sentences ah. Me and my friend just like, “Nani (what) is this eh?” The results come out. He got a B. And then, in front of us, he got the results, he, “Yes!” Then I like- For results right, it’s a huge scam. You know all the other schools, like, on average, maybe- How many percent As? I don’t know but, – definitely not 100 percent As lah.
– Ya. We have, like, every year consistently, around 90 or 80 percent. Like 80 percent As. – 80 percent As for PW.
– Are you kidding? Any interesting tea to talk about in JC? Ooh, sis! I have this one story which I will never ever forget- ‘cause it’s hilarious. First of all, it was, like, early in the morning. So, fourth story toilet. Boys’ toilet. So, a girl and a guy were getting at it lah. So you know the toilet door, when you go to the toilet, you push in right? – They were having sex against the door.
– Yea. I think it was the cleaner who wanted to go to the toilet. – So, she decided to push the door.
– No… Of course, it’s shock. It is the guy- who ran into the cubicle- and left the girl outside obviously in the male toilet. Why would the girl be in the male toilet?! My school also got the sex scandal. Boys’ toilet, fourth floor also. Couple go there but, this one is girl giving guy blowjob or something. – In the cubicle leh. The cubicle.
– Oh, okay, okay, okay. – So, the rugby team,
– Huh? – on the fourth floor-
– Huh? Ya. So, one of the guys walked there. Then you know rugby’s known for being like, – “Ehhh.” Like,
– Ya. very popular or whatever that kind. So, one of the guys, I think he went there then he saw- two pairs of feet on the floor. Then, one kneeling down, right? The whole rugby team, or something like that, confronted them at the toilet. Then everybody spread this story. It was-
– Oh my God. – There’s a lot of OG couples. Ya.
– Oh yea. – What couples?
– OG? OG couples. It’s, like, orientation group couples. Ohhhh. Fau! OG couples like, – the original couples from, like, their secondary school?
– Ya, ya, ya, ya. No, no, no, no, ya. – Orientation group couples.
– Okay, okay. Okay, got it got it. They’re really high key. You know, they got all the, like, very, damn notorious couples. Apparently right- ‘cause they will go to the squash courts to make out. – ‘Cause I was the squash captain.
– Oh dear. Girl! Never found, like, used condoms or anything? Lucky all I find is a piece of- is a bread only ah. Not in the plastic bag. It’s just- Oh my God! They were squashing that bread- – if you know what I mean.
– Ew. Okay so, what about your CCAs? The CCA culture in my school is really strong, ‘cause a lot of people are passionate about it. So like, for huge competitions, – there’s always a lot of team cheering.
– Oh. Each class gets allocated a sport. Oh dear. And then you get to go like, “Oh on Thursday afternoon, you can skip some lessons because- you’re going for match support.” Were you guys really on about it- – or because it’s scheduled then you just like,
– Ya, then you just go. – “Ya must go. Must then go.”
– I think right, you go there, you will feel it. Ya because you’ll just feel the ferventness right, – like, school spirit and then you see like,
– But then, that’s cute. the whole bench of AC kids then you’re like, “We must cheer louder than them.” You know that kind of thing? Ya. I’m sure many people have stereotypes about JC kids. So, we actually asked on ZULA, for people to say all these particular stereotypes. So, I’ll read them out- – and you can tell me whether you think it’s true or not.
– Okay. Okay, the most obvious one. “Elite school students look down on others.” If you ask me now right, I will be like, “No la!” But, like, if I really think back right, to when I was in JC, it was more of, like, a very subtle like, – you know in your head?
– Ah. You don’t mean to be whatever about it. I think it was built from people’s opinions- and it’s such a touchy thing sometimes- when people from different schools mix. They don’t approach people wearing our uniform. They, like, are intimidated or something like that. We like to joke that, “Oh, we Marymount JC lah. Eh, nothing la, Marymount JC.” Someone wrote here, “My sister told me that elites are super cocky- and exclusive. I hate them.” Again, going back to, like, it could be created from other people’s opinions of you. And then, oh like, you enter a competition- and everyone’s like, “Eh, that’s the Raffles kids.” You know what I mean? Everyone’s eyes are on you and then like, you know that- people already have those opinions of you. – I do feel, like, statistics have to play a part in this.
– Yup, yup. It’s just in a sense, like, elite schools tend to have a higher percentage- – of the more privileged kind of people.
– Yes. Ya. Alright? They would tend to hang around- with the people they’re familiar with. It’s not like, if you throw them into- – a neighbourhood school or whatever,
– Correct, correct. they won’t change their ways- to be more like the people around them. So, the students from elite JCs right, tend to be more book smart. You know you would see, like, on the outward, they always say like, – “Oh, we got this many As, this many-”
– Ya, right. And then you go in right, oh my God, it’s a battlefield. Everyone failing the exam left, right and centre. You know that kind of thing? And then you’re like, “Are we really that smart?” I feel a lot of it is just desperation towards the end. I feel that you could be from, like, a whatever JC, it’s just how hard you work. You know what I mean? – It’s up to the person.
– Okay. But, street smarts-wise, based on experience and interacting with people, JC students tend to still be- – a bit more sheltered than poly students.
– Yea. Yup. – Right?
– Oh, absolutely. 100 percent agree. So, so, I feel that the term ‘street smart’ for- neighbourhood school JCs right, – I don’t think it applies 100 percent.
– Ya. I think JC has that whole culture of, like, people need to teach you and- handhold you through the whole process right, so you just naturally are not street smart- – ‘cause you don’t ever figure it out on your own.
– Ya. Okay so, one question is- whether balancing CCA as well as studies- is very difficult. I was in student council. What I did was basically- – read announcements every morning.
– Organise things. It’s okay lah. It wasn’t too crazy. I’ve seen friends who like, would stay in school until 10pm. Just doing council things. For CCA-wise, I would say that it’s manageable- – depending on your CCA.
– Okay. ‘Cause we have a lot of super athletic people- and they’re usually in [the] national team. So, sometimes they’re just always absent from class. I was a sports person lah. Then you miss how many freaking lessons- ‘cause of competitions. Then, when you come back, you’re like, – “Simi tai ji? (What’s the problem?)”
– Ya. And then, during season, all the sports people are always sleeping in class. Yes! And the last one is, someone asked, “Do you regret going to JC?” – Yes!
– Really? Wah. – All my memories are, like, studying for A-Levels.
– Oh dear. Ya. I somehow ended up in the science stream- all the way to uni until I jumped ship to arts lah. I feel like, if I didn’t go to JC right, I would have figured out what I wanted to do- with my life earlier. Honestly, if I were to make the decision now, – I’d probably choose poly.
– Ya. I just feel, like, the education is a little bit more- – you don’t feel super stressed out.
– Like, pressurised. Ya, and pressured. If it was me, I’ll still make the choice to go to JC. It wasn’t enjoy studying like, “Oh my God, I’m doing my notes. Yay!” Like, “I love studying.” You know what I mean? But- it wasn’t a painful process to me, like, I enjoyed night study, I enjoyed doing my essays- and getting good feedback about it. When I ended secondary school, – I was adamant about going to poly. Ya.
– Oh… But then, one of the reasons why I did not choose poly was- because I was unsure of whether I could do well there. Like, secondary school has worked for you so well, you know, thus far. I felt that if I go to JC- and I just carried on the same kind of- academic lifestyle, like, mugging and stuff like that, there’s always a surefire way to get the results I want. Any wise words to people- who are going to JC or currently in JC now? I think it’s important to know what you want. Make compromises for yourself. If you enjoy the arts, don’t just go with the flow and then, take science. Because it will really change your whole outlook- on studying. Like, you can really hate it and then you can just like, “I don’t want to go uni. I don’t want to do anything anymore.” – I would say don’t overachieve in JC actually.
– Okay. – Because I think a lot of people see like,
– Why? “Wah, four H2, so elite. Wah, take one H3, oh my God, even better.” If you know you cannot cope right, there’s nothing wrong with dropping subjects. I would say, like, don’t ignore your aptitude. If you’re an artistic person, just go and pursue something related to it lah. Don’t just assume that- JC is the one choice that will- bring you to your life’s goals. Really just focus on doing the best you can. It’s really your own journey- and your own path to take. Essentially, what I’m trying to say is, and I always say this. – You do you!
– Ya. That’s all! Okay so, in today’s episode, we talked about elite JCs versus neighbourhood JCs. Fauzi wanted me to say that. But, ya. The conclusion is that: aiyah, everybody is the same lah, you know? Like, just choose your own path. Stereotypes are stereotypes, but at the same time, you know, there’s always a reason behind them. – It’s not necessarily a negative thing.
– Ya. If you guys want us to talk about anything else, leave it in the comments down below and also, don’t forget to like, share and subscribe. – Bye bye!