I realised that I blogged A LOT regarding me studying for the stupid A-level exams, but never really consolidated my thoughts into 1 post. So this would be my final post regarding this and I can finally put a close into this chapter of life. For those who are taking their A-levels soon or in a few years, this is just a recount of my experience taking the exams and what went right/wrong for me, which you might want to read if you want a perspective of how your 2 years will be. (sorry again for the repetitiveness of this topic ><)
AAAAD, with PW that’s 5As. It’s not straight As, but with that score I can go to any course that I wanted to go in. At first, this score didn’t seem really much relatively in school, with many scoring 6,7, and 8As. But when I went to BMT and SI, I found out many would die for my grades. Some didn’t even got a single A, or worse not even a B. I was proud to said that I did my best, no regrets, even the stupid D in GP will make me need to do English modules. Many others probably have many regrets, such as not studying hard enough etc, so I’m definitely contended with what I achieved, not simply because my results were good, it’s because I knew that I did my best and gave it my all, so there was little that I could have changed regarding the outcome. The main reason that I was happy with my results wasn’t because that they were As, but throughout my 2 years in JC, achieving these grades has thought me much more. Especially in the Singaporean society where results are expected from you and looked upon a lot, many cracked under the pressure and didn’t manage to do their best. Both of my parents, especially my mother, are no exception. My dad considered me as one who was “academically challenged”, and didn’t really expect much from me, while my mom just wanted me to be able to go into a university, so I was fortunate to not have been pressured so much as compared to some of my schoolmates. Getting such results really made them happy, and for the first time in a long time, I was glad I didn’t let them down and actually made them feel proud of me. If there are people who you don’t want to disappoint, the top of the list would be your parents, since you owe them so much. *stares at my sister* Ok you beat my PSLE score, try scoring better than me in the As HAHA! 😛
I was also pessimistic whether studying hard will equate to results. But after the exams, I’m a
believer total believer. If you think you can’t do it, then you will never be able to do it. Nothing is free in the world, if you want something, you got to work hard for it. There is no shortcut to success, but since people expect so much from us, many try to find these shortcuts. “There are no such things as dumb people, only people who are lazy.” I remembered this quote from Ban Ki-moon while watching YongSeo. People who don’t do well naturally give up and pushing the blame to lousy teachers/notes/ themselves not being “smart” enough. Keep this in mind, you are not born dumb. Sure, you may take more time to learn and understand things, but don’t use it as an excuse and give up easily. I’m a slow learner myself, as exhibited during BMT where I had a 1 hour personal session with Sgt Wenbo in rifle assembling and my constant SOC screw-ups. During my Signals course, I didn’t study at all and got below average scores (but good enough to pass), which shows what could have possibly happened for As if I didn’t get that wake-up call (which I’m seriously forever grateful for). Many like to tease me about being a smarty-pants due to my results. I never, ever considered myself a smart guy. I see myself as simply someone whose hard work paid off. The first thing you need to realise is that only you can help yourself, and if you have given up, you lost the battle already. Believe in yourself that you can do it, and half the battle is won already. Drill that new mentality into your head, and do what you have to do to achieve your goals. For myself, I always used the brick wall analogy and apply it to anything I face in life. If you want something, show it how badly you want it.
Regarding the studying part, I didn’t exactly mug my ass off for those grades (as many thought I did), it was more of studying smart and consistency. I was watching K-videos and poker videos during the exams period, not to mention the K-dramas and variety shows I watched. You can’t study all the time, so do reward yourself with breaks. Most importantly, as hard as it may seem, studying can be an enjoyable thing. Head to your favorite mugging place along with a friend or two, plug in your earphones with some awesome music, equipped with pens and highlighters and you are all set to go! I talked with many teachers since a group of people I know didn’t do well and I had to point out their problems. Most force themselves to study, which shows the importance of finding your area of passion in university so that you won’t find studying a chore. Some lack focus, so if you are going to do something, might as well do it properly. Do it once, do it well. There isn’t really a fool-proof method on acing exams, as everyone has their own way/style of studying. Your 2 years in JC is going to fly fast, and remember that your results come in first priority. Don’t compromise it, or it will haunt you forever. I learnt
a lot a hell lot about myself and the virtues of life that simply was there, just that I didn’t follow. How “enriching” your life is not determined by your social circle/your results/the things you have. Life is all about improving yourself, and finding joy and happiness along the way. (But of course unless you’re a Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, I suggest sticking to studying no matter how much you may hate it)
When you think like you can’t do it and just give up (this applies to anything in life), sometimes you just have to ignore all these negative thoughts which only make things worse, be more positive and put this optimism into your actions, and say: “I can do it, watch me!”