Conquering As, and more

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 ><)


Just a piece of paper with random alphabets on it LOL

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!”

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Results? What results? =P

And after As finished, you thought the day would never come… Well hell no, it’s coming in a week. 7 DAYS! sigh

With more than half of the guys in the army (I will talk about the army in another post), I got really a lot of time in hand with basically little/nothing to do (because lazy me didn’t go find a decent job =.=). And when you’re alone, you really start to think a lot: The past, the present, the future, basically anything to kill your boredom. These thoughts (for me) start to change to WordPress posts (since this is the only avenue for me to express myself, I’m not really the journal type of person). I never really thought about the As, since I was doing so much other stuff with the other guys before they went to the army. Nowadays, I spend my time alone, going to Starbucks to read a book, or maybe venture around Orchard like an awe-stricken tourist (yes Orchard seems like a new place to me LOL). The one thing the army guys told me is that army thought them who to treasure the normal life. Well, I always try to do that, but when you are really going to the army, you really just enjoy anything you do on the sunny island Singapore. From walking on the streets, jogging around Kembangan, to even being at your home, yeah these kinds of things you would definitely start to miss when you’re in the army. Going a little off-topic, back on topic. During this month, I met up with the remained “survivors” a couple of times, mostly for dinner. I still recalled that we were joking during dinner that results day was in 3 weeks, and when we meet again for dinner the week after, it’s 2 weeks. Newsflash, it’s now only a week.

I always try to tell myself this: Results aren’t everything, there is more to life than those grades on a piece of paper. But truth be told, those grade are actually the most important thing in our current 18 years on Mother Earth. It basically decides your future. Perhaps it’s the Asian culture where there is a lot of emphasis on grades, that’s why I’m feeling antsy no reason these few days =.=”. Although people tell me that I’ll do fine, I don’t really believe that because I REALLY REALLY burned out at the end. It has been 6 years since I took a major exam. and PSLE didn’t really came out well for me. Hell, I was candidate for top PSLE student in my school but in the end I didn’t make it to the top 10 and end up being the person entering Dunman High with the worst and ugliest PSLE score. That’s where I probably lost all my confidence, since I didn’t really deserve to be in DHS. I had DSA to DHS before PSLE, but if I recalled correctly I didn’t really slack and still put in my best for PSLE like the little Maths-loving nerd I was back then. Maybe I was meant to be in DHS. During the school visit to DHS on CNY, Mr Chang asked us if we regretted joining DHS. Well I didn’t really have a choice right? Maybe because I was from an all-guys school, so the thought of a mixed school really irked me. (But now puberty strikes and we mature, things are much different now :X) Things would have been so much different if I went on the normal O-Level 4 year programme (I probably wouldn’t have such a fruitful Year 4 experience, as substantiated by the lack of excitement in my Year 6 life ha) and went on to a different JC. Although my Senior High life I would say is an really enriching experience (the changes in attitude, playing in an ensemble, rocking in a band, even the mugging sessions), you can’t really enjoy the school life when there is the existence of a major exams. That why I CAN’t FIGURE why people miss school. I mean, you want to go through the whole torture of taking the As again, although I won’t deny that schooling is the best times of anyone’s life. Nothing much to worry, and studies seem to be an easier task then being out there in the cruel world and earning a salary. (going off-topic again sheesh). I always think if I would excel in other JCs since half my SH teachers sucked, but there are the rare teachers who are willing to go the extra mile to help the student. Respect and hats off to these teachers. There are many teachers I do not want to let down, since they put in so much effort to help us but later at the end, nothing comes out. True, most of them would say that results don’t matter, but you do want to repay their efforts by showing them the shiny A grade beside the subject they taught you. Unlike some teachers who mends their blog shop, ask us to go take As on the other year and keep nagging at us… *cough cough*. At the end, I just wonder if all of the “effort” (if I actually did put in any ~.~) would be in vain. The infamous 10 Econs essays I write every week which got me infamous in Learner’s Lodge LOL, the many Prelim papers you did, the consultations you found and crammed especially before the start of the As, the mugging sessions in school, the Learning Center, NLB, Starbucks and Subways and the things you sacrifice to study (my K-dramas and SNSD’s comeback LOL). In the end, would your efforts be shown on that result slip? Sometimes it doesn’t, which sucks so much. I always believe that effort would translate into results, but the harsh reality is that it’s not always the case, ok maybe 90%, but what happens if my results turn out to be that 10%? Shit happens (and especially to me .__.)

You always to look at the other side of the puzzle (or coin or whatever analogy you can think of). Even if I really flunked As and get into a lousy course, it’s really not the end of the world. I still have my family and my friends, who are the people that reminds you why it is so awesome to be alive. Ok, maybe in the future I won’t get a good pay and would have to wait 20 years to afford a car, but that’s isn’t really anything. Maybe I would emo for a few days, go into army and continuing to emo, come out and emo, which is really a pitiful scenario LOL, but hopefully I would be able to recover from being such a lousy student. Reminds me of the movie 那些年 where me and my sis recently watched (Maybe it’s because of my lousy Chinese, but watching a movie is so much better than reading the book), the girl said that she only knew to study and study, and in the end she didn’t do well. Kinda sounds like me… No idea why I’m so negative about As. For the past night, I have been imagining how the day would be itself (explains the insomnia >.<): Wake up, shower, go on lappy to check FB/Twitter/9gag/allkpop, go to school, meet up with teachers and friends, Dr. Foo comes out and talk a bunch of crap which I probably won't listen because I'm too nervous and at any time going to shit in my pants, wait to collect results, collect results. FIN. It's either 🙂 or :(. Oh, and perhaps have class dinner during the evening and have a nice chat, after which in my 3 days before army, SQUEEZE ALL THE UNI APPLICATIONS (that's if my grades allow me to do so).

I always like to read back on my WordPress posts, so this is a little message to myself: No matter how the results would turn out, all I can say is that I tried my best. No point thinking about it or regretting, because I won't do anything to your grades. Don't compare my results to others and their straight As because I am not them. In the case where I do well, keep my mouth shut and be humble, and don't be an asshole and go run around the hall dancing to Tell Me Your Wish when there are people out there who might have not done well. Don't ask for grades, just ask "Are you satisfied with your grades?". IT doesn't if it's straight As or ABBB, as long as you are satisfied, that is really good enough. You do not always need to get to perfection. And lastly, don’t let those mere letters get you down or your ego up.

I just read finished Ellen’s new book, maybe you would notice in the tone and style of this post, and that this is written more of a first person POV and hope that anyone (if anyone actually comes here) can put themselves in my shoes after reading what I think. Till then, the next post I go!

7 FREAKING DAYS, STRESS AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

It’s good to be alive! Life after A’s

It’s the new year, and for the first time in my 18 years, I do not need to go to school. Whew joy to the world! After being finally released (temporary) from the education system and given a load of free time, I really finally had the time to just relax, look at the ceiling (LOL) and have nothing to worry about. Most people I know have a job during the holidays, but I just choose to slack my remaining days off and really, REALLY, enjoy life to the max, and just do the many things I wanted and love to do when I didn’t have the time to do last year. During the 2 years in Senior High, most of my time was spent on “closet-mugging” and I didn’t really get to do much, maybe except during the holidays in Year 5 and the beginning of Year 5 where I just slacked too, but back then studies was still my top priority. One K-drama I could relate back to would be Scent Of A Woman, where the lead basically got only a few months to live and lived her life to the fullest after years of hardship. (ok you can’t say 2 years of SH life is exactly hardship, and I don’t literally have a few weeks to live, just using a metaphor).


It’s the new year, but basically nothing changes

After A’s, I have 3 months of free time to do all the stuff I wanted to do. Fortunately, I worked out the stuff I wanted to do before and during the A Level period, and I don’t necessarily have to complete my list before I head for enlistment, just enjoy the process while doing it. I previously wrote about going to MAMA and SNSD concert, which was basically the top 2 stuff I wanted to do Korean-related after the As. Actually going to either 1 of those would have been sufficient, but although the tickets were expensive, it was really fun to have gone all to those (no need for the details). I also wanted to go to Korea, but if I wanted to go Korea, I had to miss the SNSD concert. Any dumbass would have gone to Korea, but c’mon, going to a SNSD concert was literally a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see them perform all their songs. I saw them once live in MAMA already, but one song was definitely not enough :O. I don’t know if they would return to Singapore again, and even if they do, I could be stuck in the army. By the time I have enough money to go to Korea, they might have retired or gone inactive already. How could I say no? Well, maybe next time for Korea, since it’s going to be there forever and I would always have the chance to go there once I have the time and money. Heck, I could go there for an exchange program during university. There are many other opportunities out there, no point crying over one. Instead, I went to Taipei and did the same stuff again. Eat, shop, eat, visit relatives, eat, walk around, eat. I gained 3kg itself from the 1-week trip itself (mother of god), but it was nice to see my relatives in Taipei, which I didn’t see for close to 2 years. Went to see some distant relatives for the 1st time as well, which was kind of interesting because you are meeting people who are living in really different environments. The stronger family bond is evident, which is heartwarming to see, but we do have our similarities, such as our constant usage of our phones and my female cousins having a sweet tooth (just like my sis). I missed the year-end prom AND class trip to Thailand just for this trip, but no matter what, family comes first. I never really thought about how hard is it for my mom to be only able to her mom (which is my grandma) once every year or two, BASED on me and my sister’s schedule. If I can’t go to Korea, Taiwan would be the second best thing. I wanted to travel at least once outside of Singapore during the 3 month break, since Singapore to me is really a concrete jungle, and even the sunset is like a rare scene for me here.


me goofing around with my sis with one of our SUPER RARE zi pai attempts LOL

Other than attending Korean-related events, I also got to do many other stuff related to it. I watched tons of drama, some at a slow pace, but some at disgustingly fast speed (I finished Scent Of a Woman in 2 days and Protect The Boss in 3 days). After the new year arrived, I went back and continued learning Korean, which I stopped for a while during Year 5 in order to focus on studies. Most of my friends think I study Korean just for my love for SNSD, which is true ONLY to a certain extent (lol self-denial). I really like the Korean culture, which I learnt from Korean documentaries and dramas and there is many things about Korea which are intriguing and tend to be forgotten, from other genres of Korean music to the culture and even the food. This includes myself, who can’t seem to stop idolizing SNSD until it gets to the point of being annoying, but I would say I’m not so into K-pop and the Korean wave as compared to perhaps 2 years ago. I don’t go on Soshified everyday or listen to K-pop everyday lol. But still as I stated before, I would support those 9 girls all the way! Many tend to forget or don’t even know the hard work these idols put into their debut. Although I don’t like all the K-pop groups, I do have respect for all of them, given the years of dedication they put into their work and practice, along with the ability for them to survive the wrath of the many kinds of fans. Other than that, I do fan subs, which after going through the process itself, realize how tiring the process is. Dramas are much easier, but imagine a group of people talking to each other in a variety show, and not to mention the captions. But all of these I’m just taking it as an experience and take that I’m helping the community, as well as the subbing groups who 100% do it for the fans (unlike some which do for the fans)


9 angels ❤

Other than that, there are many things I’ve done. Sometimes, I would just sit down and play the guitar, while singing out songs at the balcony by myself. Although there isn’t a beautiful view or something (all I see is the PIE lol), it feels great with the silent night and night breeze blowing at you. I also do go exercise on a more regular basis, such as going to the gym or go for a run. Running around the Kembangan track really feels good, and it really helps you clear your mind and worries (things just feel so awesome when done at night). Having a healthy body really makes you feel good. You don’t really need to have a killer figure, just one which is healthy. I also started to read books, which kinda reminded me of my Primary School days which I read every single Roald Dahl book. Having school means I just couldn’t find the time to read books, but now I do haha. I always imagined myself to be at a Starbucks, sipping at hot coffee while reading a book, which I get to do now! Last year, I go there and study, while getting chased at times, but now no such thing happens! Enjoying the rich coffee smell, sitting on the dimly lit shop on a couch and just read a book. I should be out with a job and earning money, but I’ve been doing the opposite and blowing money instead, which makes me feel like a lazy pig. (writes note: must find job after NS)

Of course, I do go out with friends (I do not stay at home all day okay -_-). Like what Terence said, friends are REALLY important. When you have no one to turn to, you can always turn to your friends. It’s always nice to meet friends after school ended, from 4F to 24 to any one I’ve met during my 6 years in DHS. Although there was no 4F or 24 chalet (lazy me…), there were many outings between both class and guys that I went, and it’s just feels really good to just sit down, chill, relax and chat about stuff. I also (like 18 months haha) finally got to clear something off my head through HTHT haha, so it’s all good. Most of the guys are enlisting in like a few days, and I really wanted to spend more time with them, but all of us have to go serve our nation, sooner and later. During my break, I really got to spend good time together, from cocking around, going to the gym, eating together, talking to each other about life, and many other things. I would really miss the school times we spent together, and hopefully all of us can keep in touch (which I’m sure we would). Especially for someone like me which is incredibly shy, it’s really rare to find such great friends, and I feel fortunate to have such friends and could not have asked for better. This reminded me of Tiffany, whom I respect a lot for being so mentally strong, despite her mom passing way when she was at a young age.

Mom, you left this world before I have, but you gave me 8 sisters.


*bows back*

In all, there are many other things that I wanted to do (really learn drumming, travelling around, jamming with the guys, etc.), but I’m already satisfied. You always take things for granted, even to the simplest stuff such as having a house to live in, or to have both of your parents etc. Nearly every year, as I look back, I really feel like I’ve grown a lot and matured. Let’s hope this trend goes on and I can improve on myself and become a better person in the future!

Hoping the year 2012 would be a good one for all! And it’s good to be alive~

P.S. I got my inspiration to write this long, long note from 艾莉絲, whom recently got married. Randomly hopped on her blog and got the inspiration from there haha. Time really flies, 2 years ago I was watching her hosting tian cai chong chong chong and now she’s married >.<


glad she got her perfect wedding haha