Ms. Jackeline once said, “To taste success you first have to pay a price.”

I am sure it is not easy to settle into a new school. Especially when you do not know anyone, as it is a whole new environment. It becomes even more challenging when you have to fit into a school, which accepts the top 5% of students in Singapore.

After my Primary School Leaving Examination, I was accepted into Raffles Girls School. Today I am going to tell you about three things that will help you in a similar situation to the one I faced. First I will tell you what were the problems I faced, followed by how I tackled the problems and finally other solutions you can use to adapt quicker to a new environment.

When I started the first week of school, I thought I would be able to adjust to the school system easily. However, I was so wrong.

Although I had come into RGS through Direct School Admissions, I thought I would be able to cope easily as my PSLE score was very close to the cut-off point for the school. However, I soon felt that the teachers were teaching too fast and I could not seem to understand what was going on in class. My chemistry teacher announced that we would be having an assessment in the fourth week of school itself.

I was finding it extremely difficult to balance everything. I had CCA three times per week and each session was two hours, I had private training once a week which was two and a half hours long and I had third language every Friday and it was three hours per each session. I spent Saturdays and Sundays trying to complete my homework. I just could not seem to find the time to study or revise anything. I always felt that there was never enough time and struggled to complete my assignments. On certain occasions, I even stayed up till 2.30am to complete my projects, I was very tired every day in school and could not pay attention in class, and I even fell asleep sometimes. By mid-term I had failed almost half my subjects and barely passed the others. Going to school started to become a nightmare for me and I came home crying almost every day.

My mother had discussed with me about changing schools. But, I did not want to throw away all the hard work it had taken to get into this school. I had always excelled in primary school and I did not want secondary school to defeat me. Math is my strongest subject and when I failed my math assessment I realized I really needed help with my studies.

I started off by taking tuition for maths, physics and mother tongue. I sacrificed my weekends, which was the only time I had to relax during the week. I stopped watching television for two months until I caught up with what was happening in class. I pre-read most of the topics before the teacher went through them, and when she started it, I felt like I could understand the topics so much more. I asked my seniors for their past year notes and studied it at home. I went for math supplementary lessons every Thursday morning and met some teachers after school to clarify my doubts. I printed out past year examination papers from the library and had my teachers mark them for me. My grades rose gradually. I studied hard for my end of year assessment. By the end of the year, I had improved by 200% for math.

I had achieved a GPA of 3.31 which was a vast improvement compared to the 2.91 I received for my mid-term exams.

The answer to achieving any goal is ‘discipline’. This is what I learnt from my experience.

If you put your mind to it, it is not hard to be disciplined and to manage your time. You must be willing enough to sacrifice some things you like even if you do not want to. The feeling of accomplishment you get at the end is well worth it.

If you ever faced the same problem I did, I suggest you sort out your priorities first. Always do what you need to do before what you want to do. Even if there are shows you want to watch, you should always complete your homework first. You could set aside thirty minutes to an hour before you sleep to relax. However you should use the time before that to study. Even if you have completed your homework for the day, start on projects or homework, which are due on the following days. This will ensure that you do not do it at the last minute. During weekends it is good to set aside two to three hours for revision and to get a head start on other topics. If you are ever unclear about anything you could always ask your teacher or your seniors to clarify. However, do not forget to take a break after long hours of work. Your mind needs to relax. If you follow these steps, I am sure that you will be able to do well in your studies.

Remember all work and no rest makes Jill a dull girl. Do not forget to have enough sleep to recharge your body and brain for a new day,

It is natural to feel that stress is unmanageable at times. However, you should never let it lead you to a state of depression. There are always people you can approach should you need help such as your family, friends and teachers. Nothing is impossible if you try your best and put your heart and soul into what you do.

Success is a difficult journey that requires hard work and perseverance. However, when you reach your journey’s end you will realize you have become a much stronger person.

Lakshana Kumar

Grade 5 – Trinity Communication Skills

A message from Ms. Jackeline:

Lakshana, thank you for quoting me in your speech. I am very happy that you were able to write such a wonderful and inspiring speech. By sharing it with others, I hope it will help all those students who are facing some difficulty in school to not give up. Your final statement is so true and I know that you will become a very strong and successful person one day. Remember to always believe in yourself. 


Published by J Carter Centre

Latest news from our enrichment centre will be posted on this blog. Check back often for updates.


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