My little niece who’s quite a strong-headed 12 year old has just completed her Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) in Singapore. Last week, she texted me to say that Graduation Night has ended and she was very sad. She didn’t cry but was upset to leave her teachers and friends. This girl has high hopes of herself, which I think is admirable, and she wants to get into one of the top schools in Singapore. She told me that it would be great if her best friend got into the same secondary school as her so that they can visit their old teachers in the future.

So far it sounds perfectly normal for a child to say the stuff she did, right? I guess any normal adult would respond “Aww… I understand how you feel. I’ve been through it too. I hope your friends will stay in contact with you…”

I did not.

Amongst other things, I said, “Some stay as friends, others move on.”

I told a 12 year old what reality is like. The ones who stick by you know you inside out. You can totally be yourself – silly, unglamorous, truthful. They will be there to fill in the gaps in your common history which you’ve forgotten. Friends need not speak or see each other everyday or often. True friends will chat with each other as if they’ve never been apart even though they’re separated by vast oceans.

She might find it tough to begin with but given her character, I’m sure she’ll be able to cope and enjoy the new adventure awaiting her.


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