Coco, a Japanese teenager who journeyed halfway across the globe, from the Land of the Rising Sun to our Little Red Dot, has let us into her secret world.
Cocolele reports this enchanting tale of learning and growth.
The Journey Begins
Thrust into Singapore’s education cauldron at the tender age of six, Coco’s tale began in an international school.
Surrounded by fellow Nihonjins, her English became stagnant and her disillusionment with Singapore’s academic rigour was yet far away.
Then, on her parents’ prudent foresight, she found herself among merlions and skylines learning English in a local school.
The shift felt like moving from cherry blossoms to durian groves, but young Coco, full of surprises and courage, dove right into it.
Into the Fire of Singapore’s Education
She found herself enrolled in a local school, taking the same daunting bus ride as the rest of us.
The bell tolls; homework, examinations, mimicked the tune of a looming storm, embodying the tremendous ‘cannot cope’ feelings.
Like adding flavours to kaya toast, she found balance amidst the rigour.
Her life wasn’t just assignments.
The school reveal a stage to dance, sing, engage beyond books.
And she revelled in it, but the winds of change were swirling.
The Taste of Culture: Sweet and Bitter
Coco’s palette was introduced to the spice of diversity.
The classroom was a melting pot, rich with flavours of different races, cultures.
She sipped the teh tarik of integration, learning to love duality of ‘leh’ and ‘lah’.
In a twist of bitter-sweet irony, she found out about the Japanese Occupation through a local lens, an epoch in Singapore’s past, and her Japanese lineage.
It was the equivalent of eating chilli crab without a bib – messy, painful yet strangely liberating.
The ‘City that Never Sleeps’ to the School of the Arts
The familiar rhythm of local schools led her to the School of the Arts (SOTA).
With its broad brush of creativity, it seemed the perfect escape from the relentless treadmill of traditional learning.
Yet, even within the colourful halls of SOTA, her feather-light dreams began to feel as burdensome as textbooks.
She said in her video, “I realised that it was just completely doing work, completing work for the sake of completing it.”
Saying Sayonara to Singapore
That was the chrysalis to Coco’s decision to transfer schools overseas, echoing the saying, “when one door closes, another opens”.
Embracing this, she packed her school memories to embark upon a fresh adventure.
“Upon my acceptance into this overseas school I realised that this concludes my 10 years under Singapore education and it’s crazy man like I spend most of my childhood here,” Coco disclosed, wearing nostalgia on her sleeves.
- Reflect on your own educational journey, seeking balance between academic pursuit and personal passions.
- Find strength in diverse friendships and cultural understanding. They might just be the ‘kopi’ to your ‘teh’!
- Follow your dreams; for they bring the winds of change, guiding you closer to your true aspirations.
The Last Lego in the Tower
“I do feel a little insecure about my decision to transfer school because my friends from Singapore’s Local Schools they’re all so freaking talented, they’re so caring, they’re so thoughtful and they’re just so hardworking as well,” Coco expressed, her raw sentiment echoing many a student’s apprehension.
Leaving the comforts of familiarity, Coco has waved adieu to our Lion City, but the indomitable spirit continues to burn bright.
Her tale serves as a poignant reminder – the journey indeed shapes the destination.
What are your experiences with Singapore’s education system like?
Do you, too, have a tale to tell?