The Victorian Affair is something that most Victorians; if not all, look forward to. It provides a much needed breath of air after the dreaded promotional exams for J1s. One interesting observation that the both of us had after attending the Lasting Affair last year, was the obvious distinction between the extroverts and introverts of VJC.
Despite being from the same school and being there largely for the same purpose, Victorians can be for lack of a better word, differentiated into these two groups.
Let’s first take things from the perspective of a student from the extrovert group. He’s been looking forward to the concert segment all day and drags his rather unwilling classmates to the amphitheatre an hour early to grab the best seats. He then goes to Toys R Us to find glow sticks (because glow sticks make everything ten times better). He buys a cap made of glow sticks not because he wants to stand out or be conspicuous; he just thought it’ll be really cool. When the performance starts, he can’t help but sing along and groove to the music. He’s tapping his feet to the beat and his legs are itching to dash down to the mosh pit so that he can really, really go all out. He doesn’t even notice the judging stares from other students sitting in the nearby rows. It’s never bothered him before. The only thing holding him back right now was the choice of music. You can’t exactly party to Taylor Swift’s You Belong With Me, can you? Finally an Alumni band comes out and begins jamming Fall Out Boy tunes and he’s thinking “Now we’re talking”. Feeling a sudden rush of adrenaline, he grabs his friends and they run down to the mosh pit. He’s soon surrounded by others just like him and the atmosphere really begins to feel like that of a party. He’s jumping and dancing and belting out every lyric as if there was a competition to see who could be the loudest. The band starts playing Dear Maria by All Time Low and he nearly explodes with joy because it’s one of his all-time favourites. The concert is stopped abruptly due to the lack of time, and disappointment and irritation rushes over him. I’m just getting started, he thought to himself sulkily. His spirits plummet even further when his friends tell him that the mass dance segment had to be cancelled. The Victorian Affair, much to his chagrin, was finally coming to an end. He tries to prolong the night as long as he possibly can by dancing to music on a speaker brought by his friend along with some of his classmates. He’s trying to squeeze out every last drop of fun he can. He is, unsurprisingly, the last one to leave the amphitheatre.
Let’s move on to the second group of students. Being the ‘second group’ is apt, he never wants to be first and risk getting noticed by the (perceived) judgemental eyes of others. He sits back and quietly enjoys the performance. He is mortified when a classmate suggests going down to ‘jump along to the music’ and abashedly declines (a lack of hand-eye coordination does this to people). He checks his watch and hopes for time to go by a little faster. He looks around and the crowd of people and wants to be alone with the music, just him and the quiet around him. While watching the hordes of excitable enthusiastic people down below in the mosh pit, he wonders to himself: How do they have the energy to still interact with people after a whole day of interaction? He snaps out of his daze and realises the conversations that he has with himself are the easiest he’s had all day (all the time, really. Nobody likes to wonder very much about the reason for the existence of human life). He looks around and is glad that there are still people up on the stands with him – he wants to be alone but doesn’t want to stand out. A loud cheer marks the end of the event and a wave of relief rushes through him. He suddenly feels energised at the prospect of being alone again. He rushes off after the ceremony, the pounding of the music and the cacophony of loud voices ringing in his ears. It’s not that he doesn’t have friends, he just needs time alone after a whole day of interacting with people, shouting along to cheers, and small talk with friends of convenience that don’t really want to talk to him. Besides, the small group of friends he has beside him is enough. More than enough, even. He breathes a sigh of relief when he gets to be alone again, finally feeling like he can hear himself think again (literally).
Does any of this sound familiar to you? Well… Whether you’re an extrovert or introvert, it doesn’t matter in VJC, as can be seen from this article which is written by both an extrovert and an introvert (who are best friends for nearly 6 years now, mind you). The ‘divide’, although evident, can be seen neither as a weakness nor a defect, but instead, a happy problem. Extroverts get excited when they are around people while introverts gain strength from doing things alone or with one or two of their closer friends. Both groups respond to situations differently. Both, however, play an important role in VJC.
If not for extroverts, who would be the ones cheering at the school matches? Who would make up the new wave of OGLs year after year? But then again, who would take care of the minute details of important events if not for introverts? Instead of separating these relatively opposite individuals, we should instead embrace both types of personalities. And what better place to bridge the divide than in an inclusive environment like VJC?
Rather like the friendship that both of us share, what would one be without the other?
Kimberly and Adele first got to know each other as classmates in their first year of attending Tanjong Katong Secondary School. They continued on as best friends throughout the 4 years of secondary school despite being in different classes in secondary 3 and 4. Though they seem like polar opposites, they share a fulfilling and genuine friendship, along with a group of tightly knitted friends that have been there for each other since secondary school.
Adele Chiang 14A11
Kimberly Lai 14S61
Photo Source: VJC PhotoSoc (Further credits soon)