By Aiko Yeo (23A01B), Faith Ho (22A01A), Hsiao Jia Ying (23A01C), See Man Teng (22S03A), Victoria Lim (23S06B) and Hong Wan Jing (22S06F)
Dear School Skirt,
Don’t take this the wrong way, but I don’t think we were meant to be.
Honestly, you’ve been making me feel rather uncomfortable lately.
I understand that you want to be with me, but recently, you’ve been too clingy. The overbearing dynamics we share have made me feel quite restricted in this relationship. My movement has been constricted, my true, energetic self buried under your pleats. Being with you makes me feel like I have to conform to a certain behaviour, a ‘ladylike’ behaviour sculpted by society.
I remember when we first got together. I remember when you held my phone as I struggled, climbing up to Raja 7 after collecting Econs notes for the first time. In my eyes, you were indispensable—you gave me what the girls’ PE shorts had never been able to: pockets. I was promised so much, but none of it was ever delivered. I remember you told me that as part of the uniform, you were efficient and comfortable. But I never felt that from the start. I had to put on an extra layer on top of my shorts every day, and I didn’t feel like I could fully be myself with you.
Even in times of distress (like climbing stairs), you don’t provide me with the support and comfort I need to get through the day. On the contrary, I’m suffocated with odd measurements and cuttings. You are of no comfort or protection to me when the world (or the lecture theatre) is being cold and cruel, and I thought I could count on you for at least that.
You’re simply too high-maintenance. If I leave you alone for a day under my table, you appear the next day, angrily wrinkled and creased, to let my friends know I’ve let you down when I put you on again. Every time I take you out, I have to iron you with all the tender, loving care I can muster. It has become exhausting looking after your sensitive self. I simply can’t take it anymore.
Honestly, you don’t even get along with my other friends. Every time you’re with Moor-Tarbet, Buckle-Buckley, Morrison-Richardson, Bayley-Waddle and Hadley-Hullett, the vibes are just not it. You clearly can’t gel with my friends, and stick out like a sore thumb – and everyone has noticed. Worse still, you’ve gotten too cosy with Black Polo. Some days, I find myself on the 4th polo of the week, and I sigh in disappointment. All because of you.
And don’t even get me started on your bosses. They watch me relentlessly to make sure I’m always with you, as if I am your personal assistant. Recently, they’ve been getting even more blatant with it, walking around to conduct spot checks. Even when I try to take a break by giving them my reasons (it’s too stuffy, I need some space!), they refuse to see my side of the story. They make me feel like I am nothing without you.
Sometimes, you’re just a little too stubborn. You refuse to change in order to accommodate my needs, and that just doesn’t make for a sustainable and happy relationship. I can’t have a relationship where I am forced to act like someone I am not. Please, set me free if you love me.
Then again, maybe it’s not you, it’s me. Maybe someone else can see and appreciate you better. Maybe we’re just not meant to be.
I think it’s time we took a break, maybe to see other people for a while. Shorts have been here hiding in the shadows this whole time. Perhaps we’ll meet again in the future, but for now, I think this is the end for us.
Aiko, Faith, Jia Ying, Man Teng, Victoria and Wan Jing