Back to school with mixed feelings

THE 2023/2024 national school session starts today for students in Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu, and tomorrow for those in the other states and the three Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya. Find out what students are saying about returning to school and starting the new term.

"This will be my last year in secondary school and I’m planning on enjoying it to the fullest. But responsibilities come first. Being the head prefect comes with its challenges and I’m excited to face them. I’m also going to sit for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations, which will practically determine everything I’ve been working towards. My goal is pretty sky-high and I’m terrified that things won’t go the way I want them to, but I know that as long as I keep calm and maintain a positive mindset, I’ll be just fine. My final year in secondary school is going to be a blast. I’ll make sure of it."

Shasmeen Amirah, 17, Selangor

"I’ll be in Form Four and that means I’m a year closer to the dreadful SPM examinations. I’m a little anxious at the moment because I still haven’t decided on which stream I would like to take. I really like Science but I worry I wouldn’t be able to take those subjects for the SPM. At the same time, accounts would go well with me but I have no interest in it. Arts would be a pleasant stream to take but I’m not confident of my skills for it. In the end, I think I’ll manage any stream I take, with the support of my friends and family. I’m also looking forward to making wonderful memories, since many say that your senior years will give you your best memory of secondary school life."

Shaima Amira, 16, Selangor

I’m really excited to meet my friends again and exchange stories of what we did during the holidays. I’m nervous about going to school for the new term, though. I will be in the morning session, instead of the afternoon session that I’ve grown accustomed to for the past two years. Those of us in Form Three are going to be juniors all over again, with unfamiliar faces around us. The first few weeks will be rough but I hope I can get through them smoothly."

Erin Tan, 15, Kuala Lumpur

All students featured here are participants of the BRATs Young Journalist Programme run by The Star’s Newspaper-in-Education (Star-NiE) team. To join Star-NiE’s online youth community, go to

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