And then she was telling me that- she wants to lose her virginity to her boyfriend, who was 18 at the time, and I’m just like, “Girl, huh?!” People haven’t even get puberty yet and you want to lose your virginity? Ohhh! Hi, I’m Kim. Hi, I’m Dana. Hello, I’m Chow. Hi, I’m Leah and this is ZULA ChickChats! Okay guys, welcome to this episode of ZULA ChickChats, and today we’ll be talking about girls’ school and girls’ school culture. So what schools were you from? I was from SCGS. I was from CHIJ in primary school, and then I went to RGS in secondary- – school.
– Woah. Oh I’m from CHIJ Katong Convent. Nice. The only one- The one that everyone doesn’t like is it? Yeah yeah! We’re the most hated school. – Oh my god lah.
– Who said? Really? Everyone hates us. What?! Alongside SJC I think. That’s me. Oh my, shit that’s me. So my secondary school is CHIJ St. Joseph’s Convent. Okay so- we’ll move on to talking about the girls’ school experience. Maybe Chow, you wanna start right? Since you came from a co-ed school? How would you feel like, when you went- – The change is it?
– Yeah. The first thing I noticed was that girls’ school girls had very little awareness of how guys are like. They’re more curious about interacting with boys. So every time it came to CCA exchanges, then you can see the girls get visibly damn nervous, like- got boy. Then any boy, no matter he’s cute or ugly right, it’s like- – everyone’s a cute boy lah.
– Oh god. Oh my god I’m cringing! Was that you? That was me in JC. – Oh my god.
– But- I totally get that. Yeah. Dana! It’s understandable because a lot of the 10-year girls’ school girls, in primary school they don’t learn how to interact with boys lah, they don’t even know how non-relative boys are really like lor. Unless you go to church. In my secondary school, there were these girls who went to church just to socialise with boys. It’s so true. – So true lah.
-Yes yes yes, I mean- – I think is-
– You must- savour any interaction with boys you can have right? Yeah yeah yeah! Every time we would walk past a boys’ school, we’d be very self-aware that boys might be looking at us. And then we’re also a bit awkward, like don’t know how to react in front of them,
like, oh my god. That kind of thing. Because my primary school friends that I still kept in contact with who were guys, my classmate would know about these guys. So then they would try to like, add on Facebook. Message. Give love letter that sort of thing. I had a classmate who would write these little love notes to my band conductor. – Yeah.
– Why? But I never really bothered about that too much lor. But I feel like girls ‘ school girls, they crush on their teachers like- Very often right? 24/7. Yeah. Is it just… No? We only had one good-looking teacher and he was the PE teacher. The rest all like, CMI so- Did people crush on that PE teacher? Yes, yes a lot! But it wasn’t to the point where we would write him love notes, it was a very lowkey sort of, “I like. Woah, he’s hot.” I feel, like, for my school or whatever extent it was right, the teachers they know the students are crushing on them right, but they will never do anything about it. So last time back in school right, or at least in my time, we used to call the more masculine females ‘butches’. But no offence, like, that was just the term that even they used on themselves you know, to sort of term themselves as more masculine. Yeah. Yeah got quite a lot. Oh your schools had a lot? Have! A lot. When I was Secondary 2 that time, Secondary 4 population was like- half of them the popular clique are all, like, butches. Oh really? Your school leh? Eh RGS I curious. You could count them on one hand. – Okay.
– There were like, maybe around three to four people who were visibly more masculine- and you could tell that they had an interest in girls lah. At that time I think it wasn’t as open as today. – Yeah.
– True. My sister is telling me like, “Oh you know, like, there are people actually talking about this.” It’s like an open conversation but last time during my time, it was still quite taboo and people were gossiping about these things. I think for- I don’t know for you, but I think for my school definitely it was not really taboo. It wasn’t taboo in the IJ schools. Maybe because like your school has a reputation to- – uphold.
– Yup. Yeah. Which is why they feel they need to be more, like, conservative, but CHIJ schools quite like- 随便 (easy-going) one right. – Anyhow. Yeah yeah!
– Yeah! We do whatever we want. And then they forever dating in the canteen, I’m just like- Correct correct. And then can make out in- – school.
– PDA! Like PDA! – Ah they make out in school, you know?
– Yeah! – And then the gossip-
– It’s so normal. is like high-level gossip. – Correct correct.
– Like they do- They do sexual things in certain rooms. Yeah yeah! And then everybody knows. Yeah. Wow! Can I just say that I think RGS girls are quite repressed. You’re expected to behave a certain way. We take sewing classes and all that shit. It was more like a supplementary- – thing that-
– Ah, supplementary thing. Ohhh. That we were meant to take lah. I see, I see. I see what you mean. During that time when I was in school, I also felt repressed. I felt like I couldn’t express myself the way I wanted to. There was a year I wanted to do Hair For Hope. My school didn’t want me to do it, because they felt that this wasn’t the way that girls should present themselves. Okay but speaking of the different experiences, what is your best girls’ school experience? I think the community that I had. Just girls all around and being able to sit how I want. Like don’t need to be so self-aware lor. Like don’t need to think about how I look. Like you could talk about periods all the time. You talk about period cramps. People were always checking their skirts whether got stain. Like you stand up and like, “Eh got stain or not?” You know, that kind of thing? Yeah. I don’t think I have one single experience that I liked or that I took away from it, but I just really enjoyed being myself and not having to worry about- like what the other sex would think of me. Because you’re just all around girls, so you are who you are all the time. There’s no need to pretend, or to act nice- or just to be pretty or whatever. You can be like, the ugliest state that you are right, and your friends just think it’s normal. The most vivid one was during Valentines’ Day, like how we would always like- make things for each other, and there were people who would give cookies. I remember one of my friends did this for one of the years. They wrote notes and then they just stood at the entrance of the canteen, and whoever like- whether it’s a stranger or someone they knew, they just gave out a nice note to them- – saying “Happy-
– Aw! – Valentines’ Day!”
– That is so sweet! Here’s a Hershey’s Kisses! – So nice!
– Yeah that kind of very wholesome shit. That’s so nice. We did have that culture of giving gifts also. Like Valentines’ Day, any special events. There’s always people giving like, presents. – Yeah!
– Notes. Yeah! Writing to each other and stuff. Yeah! Very open about our emotions. A lot of hugs. There were so many hugs in my school. My school almost banned hugs by the way. Oh my gosh. Yeah okay, like, I don’t know why, my school is known for having a lot of lesbian couples and relationships. It was just to the point where I think my school cannot control anymore and they were like, “Y’all cannot hug each other!” Then we’re all just like, “What is going on?” But obviously nobody listened to it because cannot be like, the teacher go and point out at you, “You hugging, go for detention!” You know? How can you ban hugs? Yeah so after a while it was a very redundant rule and nobody listened to it. Okay, I have a very memorable experience because my school took part in NDP. Turns out it’s conducted at army base camps. Oh wow. So erm- us being 14 -to 16-year-old girls, went to an army camp full of 18-year-old guys. Oh my god! And then after that it was so funny because we are assigned groups. And 1 army guy is in charge of each group. Wow! Think about it. I’m blushing already thinking about it. And then hor- Why are you blushing?! – I don’t know!
– She’s excited. It’s hilarious, the girls trying to talk to them and get their number- and all sorts of things. I had to once send a message to a guy, “By the way can you add my friend, she’s really interested in you.” So how were these guys reacting? They love it lah, fuck! Walao eh! So many girls clamouring over them, of course they love lah! I never interacted with any of them, because I look like some fucking ugly person. It was just rabak times with rabak hair and rabak glasses, and like, zero self-esteem or confidence. So I was just like, “Nope! Not for me!” But all my very much prettier friends were- Please go ahead. I totally know what you mean. I was 12 years old right, and then I had my very good friend. And then she was telling me that she wanted to lose her virginity- to her boyfriend who was 18 at the time. And I’m just like, “Girl, huh?!” People haven’t even get puberty yet and you want to lose your virginity. Ohhhh. Like I don’t think a lot of people had their periods at 12 years old, so most of us were like, “Wow. What the hell is going on man? This girl got some issues. Should we tell anybody about it?” But then after that I don’t really know what happened, whether she really went to have sex with the guy at 12 years old. God I hope not. I’ll move to talk about some of the common misconceptions- that people have about girls’ school girls, and whether they are really misconceptions or they’re true. Okay so first of all, the biggest one. Girls’ school girls are bitchy. I think that’s true, to a certain extent. We seem bitchier because we have grown up with girls in, like, very very close contact. They are very emotional creatures, and they bear a lot of grudges. So you have to, like, navigate the stormy seas of all these emotions. There was a lot of drama back in my school. One day I’ll come to school and I’ll find that my closest friends, they all are ignoring me. For some strange reason. – Yeah you also?
– I kena also! You too? Yeah I kena also. Like why ah? I also kena before eh. What’s this going on? We were just best friends, then today you don’t even want to look at me. The worst part is right, even when they’re angry with you, they will not tell you what you did wrong. I feel like it doesn’t mean that just because you’re in a girls’ school, you are going to be bitchy. Correct. Can I just say that I should just change it to ‘girls are bitchy’, rather than ‘girls’ school girls’ are bitchy. Like the reason why I’ve been so quiet right, is because I’m very hesitant to generalise that girls’ school girls are bitchy. Because I haven’t had any experiences. Maybe because my friends are all wholesome? That’s great leh. Good friends! So another one is that there are rival schools. Yeah so certain girls’ school girls don’t like other girls’ school girls? And then there’s also, like, pairing schools. So certain girls’ school girls are paired with certain boys’ school boys. In the East, there is CHIJ Katong Convent and there is Saint Patrick’s. And so nicely we are joined by this bridge. Yes! Oh are you serious? I remember this! Everybody terms “The Love Bridge”. – I remember this!
– Are you serious? But a lot of KC and Saint Patrick’s couples, some even go on to get married so it’s quite sweet. What about your schools? RI lah. Obviously RI. All the popular girls in our school would always have relationships with RI boys. That’s a thing. Also their CCA. Like sometimes if they’re in a sport like judo for example, they would train together. So on that basis they would always see each other a lot then from there the relationship blooms lah. Yeah and- That makes sense. I feel like the rivalry is based on like, how good we are at sports. – Ohhh.
– Yeah I was thinking that also. Our school is quite big on this um- supporting your fellow sisters. So we get very competitive, always go down then must cheer cheer all like- “Rafflesians unite” that kind of stuff. Yeah. Wow Rafflesians. It’s very cringy now that I think about it. It’s like, “Oh my god, no.” I feel like I’m similar. For me I was in the band right, so it was competitive based on SYF that sort of thing. Yeah but when we have school exchanges, it’s still all warm and friendly. Next misconception. Are girls’ school girls more angmoh pai? Like English-speaking vibes. My school definitely yes. In fact the way that I carry myself and the way that I speak right, is largely based on what I learnt in secondary school. Oh okay. Because all the girls behaved and spoke like this. Y’all definitely more proper. I think my school is, like, more Singlish vibes. I think I speak English because I’m also brought up in an English-speaking family. But my school got a lot of Chinese-speaking people as well. Ah okay. So it’s not necessarily true that all girls’ school girls are like angmoh pai one. For Katong Convent right, convent schools pride themselves on you know, speaking good English. Ah okay. All of them come out with a certain standard of like, angmoh pai-ness. Actually that’s true. That’s why my mum enrolled me into CHIJ in the first place. She said the reason why is because she wanted me to be very good in English. Oh! So we’ll move on onto the last misconception which is that- girls’ school girls go through a lesbian phase or are lesbian. Did any of y’all have that? No. I had, like, a crush. Like a ‘crush on senior’ phase. So she was the head prefect. Aims high. Atas. Okay so like- As in there were a lot of people who were crushing on this- this Head Prefect lah. And the main reason is she’s cool you know, like she can lead and she’s just a nice older sister. Like figure. Yeah but a lot of other girls, it’s not a phase- but it’s like they find this person attractive, and they want to date this person. The word ‘phase’ kind of implies that it’s just something they go through, but not everyone goes through that you know what I mean? Some people actually sexually identify as lesbian or feel that way lah. Your school got phase? I feel like my school had a phase, like the lesbian phase. Like not- I didn’t go through it but I have- I knew girls who like- they were dating other girls in school, but outside of school, like now they are completely straight. Yeah. Like it was only because in school it was very hard to find boys to date, so you tend to grow feelings for the people who are around you. So now we’re much older right, what is some advice you would give to your younger self- slash the people who are younger, much younger than us now in a girls’ school environment? So one of my experiences was about that whole bitchy thing. I think it’s important to remember that this is a thing that happens and don’t take it personally. You analyse the situation, it might not be your fault. I remember feeling really sad about it. I was wondering why my friends suddenly don’t like me right. It didn’t feel good at all lah. It was quite a shitty feeling. I feel like I wouldn’t want anyone to go through the same thing. So always remember that sometimes people are irrational in the way they behave. Like you realise that the things that these girls are angry about are so petty. You talk to this guy also angry you know what I mean. Or you talk to this person in this class also angry. You listen to the same band also angry. Yeah! Huh?! It’s very petty one. So like, if you’re in that situation right now, you can get out of it, just go make friends with other people. Talk to other people around you. Don’t be the one to enforce this bad bullying I feel. – Yeah yeah yeah.
– That’s just the most important thing. If I had to give advice to myself, don’t be so weird. Don’t be so weird around boys. They’re not like some- Gods. Yeah. Don’t need to be the demure fine lady that someone told you to be. Yeah. Okay so I have a question for Kim. You have a baby girl Ellie. Yes. Would you put Ellie into an all-girls school? Funny thing is right, we bought our flat location so that it’s within walking distance to both of my schools. Ohhhh. So yeah KCP and KC, both can go. And I would love her to go to KC. I feel all the more experience is great. Yeah. Like rabak-ness and whatever aside, you get a very wholesome- mostly wholesome- It’s a very fun, fun times. Yeah it was a very fun experience. Fun time. Yeah. So with that, we’ll conclude today’s episode of ChickChats- where we talked about girls’ school culture, as well as some misconceptions and our experiences that we had. And if you guys had any similar experiences or any questions you have for us, please leave it in the comments down below. And also let us know what else to talk about next time. And don’t forget to like, share and subscribe. Bye!