To the future we go

It has been roughly 2 months since results day, this post should have been out way earlier, but I haven’t really had the time to sit down and write/type it out. This is just going to be my thoughts regarding my A Level journeys and everything else, what went right for me and the future installed for me.

me with my class 🙂

Got to school, got my results, the end. That’s is basically a summary of what happened that day. Everyone in the school (as expected) did well, we had 90+ people getting 6As and above, which gives them a passport whatever course their heart desires. What I was more worried about are the rest of the 300 of us, can we get into the course of our choice? Or even worse, can we even get into any local university? Flashing back to what Mr Yap said to us a year ago, would we be crying tears of joy or tears of sorrow and regret? The wait to receive our results was so fucking bad, totally feel like shit during that moment. How would my 2 years of studying come out? All of these questions would be answered once I see those letters on that piece of paper…

So what was the end results? 3 words: Totally worth it. Of course, it could have been better, but I’m satisfied and happy, that is all that matters. Those mugging sessions in the school library, Starbucks, NLB, Subway, have not gone to waste! It also felt great to see all your effort paid off in the end. I supposed all the things I previously told myself really helped: the positive mindset, the constant hard work, the never-say-die attitude. Being “academically-challenged” for 4 years doesn’t mean that you have to be the same for the next 2 years. I still recall an assembly talk which showed statistics correlating GPA and A level results, well sorry but I didn’t see myself getting bad results since I had a lousy GPA. To those who think they aren’t “meant for studies”, don’t believe in those bullshit. People are “smart” for a reason, they study and put in the work, it’s just that simple. If you claim you study but still can’t get results, review your methods. Studying while talking to someone won’t help you absorb much, so there is always something out there where you can improve in. The most important thing is not to give up, never give up. Although you may feel down at times, just think how badly you want it, cause if you do, you will definitely work for it.

Here, I really have to thank the teachers who have helped me immensely throughout those 2 years: Mr Ng Hao Jin, whom I give full credit for saving my maths when I was at my worst and re-instilling my long lost passion in maths. My chemistry tuition teacher Chris, who although may not be the most knowledgeable, but always puts in the effort in preparing questions despite having another job. My economics tuition teachers Mr “Sean Pang” and Mr Gilbert Lee, one which gave me the foundation and another who probably vomitted marking my essays :x. And Mdm Koh Li Keng, who helped me at the final stretch of the As, even though I wasn’t her student which made me twice as grateful. I feel awfully sorry to Mr Augustine Chan for my below-par GP grade, who always comes up with interesting acronyms to help his students in GP.

And that’s for me, but what about the others? Some of them did well, got close to the 6As needed to stand on stage. Some did worse than expected, but good enough for most universities. And there are the others, whom I’m really worried about: those who may not even be able to go to a university, or go to courses not even close to their preference. It’s really frustrating to see people whom you know studied hard, but the results did not show on that goddamn freaking piece of paper. Some of them are your close friends, but you can’t do anything but say: “It’s going to be alright”, which doesn’t really help, which leads me to the post A-level days… The most surprising thing that happened the day after results day is that a teacher, whom I didn’t expect at all, called me. She congratulated me for my results, and lead to the discussion of my class, where some did not do well. She told me to do something for them to comfort them etc, which at that point of time I didn’t really care, but I don’t know why, but in the end I decided to write something for them, kinda like what I write here. I even wrote a draft first before typing it out and posted on Facebook, and what the heck, might as well tag along the 4F guys as well. To be honest, that post doesn’t sound like me at all, because I never really open up in front of my class unlike I do here. But thankfully, I got a positive response from it, even some teachers texted/Fb-message me and told me that they liked the note. What I wanted to say is all in the note, so those who are interested can read the note at the link below

http://www.facebook.com/notes/nick-lim/to-my-dearest-friends-classmates-and-anyone-else-that-i-might-know/10150604239626888

So what is installed for me in the future? Well I got accepted into NUS Faculty of Science :). In the end, I chose interest over “utility”. With my grades, I could have gone into other courses which promised a better future, such as Business or Accountancy, but as I told myself, since I am going to study something for the next 4 years, might as well make it as enjoyable as possible. It always gets tempting to go to a course which seems more “sought-after”, but I think I made the correct decision and went with my heart, rather than just future practicability. I would probably have an average salary, but at least I would be doing something I enjoy. Just a little conflicted between Applied Mathematics and Statistics, both have its pros and cons. This leads to another big question mark in my life, what am I going to be in the future? I seriously don’t want to be a maths teacher LOL, but that seems like what most people do with a maths degree. Teaching do seems fun, but not as a profession. Imagine students come find me for consultations and I don’t know how to solve the question.. And how interesting could teaching Maths be? There’s only 1 way to solve it. Let’s just hope that I made the right decision!

So university life let’s go! But that would have to wait till 5 March 2014… Can’t wait to say the word ORD LO!

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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!!!!!!!!!