AAA #34

Designed by: Liew Yi Xuan (21-E1)

Question 1: Recently, I find it difficult to juggle between socialising with people that are not from the same class and my school work. Due to the fact that I don’t see them as often as my classmates, I can’t really socialise with them other than CCAs or outside of normal curriculum time. Thus, I find it hard to reject their time or spend time with them while trying to study during non-curriculum time. Please advise.

Hello! We completely understand your worries – it is indeed very difficult to manage the JC workload and your social life. Nonetheless, there are ways to help yourself through this dilemma! 

First of all, it’s a wonderful thing that you make such a great effort to stay in touch with friends outside of your class! Given the already hectic JC schedule, what you’re doing now is a great feat. 

It might be difficult to strike a balance between both friendships and your grades, however, there may be a way to do so. If your friends are similarly concerned about their studies, you could arrange to have a study date, in which you can both revise and enjoy their company! However, this will probably only work if you do not end up getting distracted by each other, which is another challenge of its own.

Seeing how you’re putting so much thought into maintaining your friendships, we’re sure that your friends appreciate your friendship, and would understand your decision. After all, they are fellow struggling students who can empathise with your struggles regarding the workload. 

If you still find it difficult to reject their requests to hang out, you could try finding quiet spaces to study, such as the library or various study spots around the campus. This would create an environment that is more optimal for studying, and would signal to your friends that you are not free at that moment in time. They would then be able to look for you later during your free time, allowing you to maintain your relationships while staying on task!

Aunt Agatha would like to assure you that things will work out; as long as you and your friends are considerate of each other, there will be a time to get together and catch up! 

Question 2: My friend won’t stop filming Tiktoks during lessons and it’s distracting. Help!

Hey there! Thank you for your open sharing. AAA would like to affirm that this is definitely a valid concern and provide some advice that may help you! Don’t worry, Aunt Agatha is here!

Firstly, it is completely understandable that a conducive environment is essential for optimal learning and we sympathise with your struggle. A classroom is a shared space and even a small distraction can be enough to prevent you from concentrating.

At the same time, your friend might not view their actions as distracting or a disturbance to others. They may feel they are just having some casual fun and have not considered the perspective of others who may not feel the same.

In this case, we strongly urge you to communicate with your friend! We believe this is the best long-term solution so as to preserve a harmonious environment in class for everyone involved. Everyone has their right to have a conducive classroom environment to study, so don’t feel bad! Besides, you are benefitting your other classmates too. 

You could try taking them aside and sharing your experience and feelings with them. By explaining your situation to them, they’ll better understand where you’re coming from and know that their actions are causing you distress. Be sure to emphasise that your sharing is not coming from a malicious place, and that you are merely trying to reach an understanding that benefits everyone. 

If you are nervous about the possibility of this intervention being perceived as a one-on-one confrontation, you could find other classmates who feel the same. Together, your friend would be better able to understand the extent of the distraction they might be causing in class and thus stop or minimise their actions.

Since the school campus is very large, you could recommend other non-study places for them to film Tiktoks at instead. (Such as the field, canteen, lift lobby, or cafe!) You could also suggest that they film these Tiktoks during their breaks, and not during lesson time, to avoid distracting other classmates.  

As fun as Tiktok can be, we fully realise that it can also be distracting to those who really wish to focus on their work. Hence, we hope that these tips are helpful to you in maintaining this balance with your friends in school! All the best!

Question 3: How do I deal with FOMO? All my friends are hanging out with each other but I have no time to spend on these social engagements because I have to juggle academic commitments. What should I do?

Hi! Aunt Agatha understands your worries and would like to reassure you that FOMO is a common sentiment amongst JC students. It is perhaps the dream of every student to attain the college triangle of needs that comprises good grades, a good social life, and enough sleep, but to do so would be a Herculean effort. Aunt Agatha can recommend ways to achieve a better balance of all of them!

You can initiate study sessions with your friends to maintain that harmonious balance between a social life and academic commitments, especially if you are someone who is motivated by studying with people! If you are taking similar subject combinations, you can even form a study group and discuss queries together. Additionally, it is never more rewarding than to go for a well deserved meal after an intense study session– and how better to spend this time than eating and chatting with friends? 

However, we understand that you may also prefer studying in solitude or get distracted by friends easily. Not to fret, for an alternative solution would be to maximise your time by engaging in productive studying alone, before asking your friends to join you for breaks.

It is very important to maintain a good study-life balance especially in JC where it is easy to burn out, so find something to motivate yourself– that could be spending break times with friends! While academic commitments may seem like an unrelenting stress factor which never ceases to exist, do remember to take care of your wellbeing and recharge so you can do even better, and spend time with your friends at the same time! Take care!

Author: The Origin*

With great power comes great responsibility.

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