One of the decisions that I had to make when I was young was choosing the sec school. My parents left the decision entirely to me. At that time we had to choose the sec school before taking psle and the cutoff points for the schools were not known to us. So it was based on gut feel (which school was perceived to be better), what score we thought we would get for psle (judging from our prelim results) and what friends said (some were spreading rumors about some schools which may or may not be true). The advice given to us by the teachers at that time was to choose schools closer to home so that we could cut down on travelling time, choose schools that matched our academic ability, and not to choose schools because our friends wanted to study there.
I knew that with my kind of results, I would not make it to the elite schools, so I chose the neighborhood schools. My friends, upon hearing that, told me horror stories of gangsters in those schools I had chosen. I was quite scared after hearing these but my results were not good enough for the so-called better schools. Word of this reached our teachers. I remember my pri6 form teacher commented that at the end of 4 years (5 years for some), we would take the same GCE O levels regardless of the school we attend, and it was really up to ourselves to stay away from bad company. I agreed with her and that comment put me more at ease.