Flashback to mid-September.
It was after Prelims and we were getting back our results. That was when I found out I did very badly for Prelims and was extremely upset. I am aware that it is normal for people to do badly, but I felt I was doing worse than just badly. I was really under-performing (some of my teachers even said so). I started feeling like no matter how much I did, I would never make any progress, especially with the little amount of time I had left. I’ve honestly had those feelings for a very long time now, but seeing how it was reflected in my results and how it close it was to A Levels, they just intensified and made feel very defeated. All this, coupled with my already existing anxiety and depression, caused me to spiral into a crippling depression. I remember crying non-stop for many days and nights, feeling extremely devastated and isolated like my life could not get any better. (It reached a point that I even considered doing A Levels next year.)
However, after spending a lot of time talking to many people and doing a lot of self-reflection, I managed to come out of this ordeal being much stronger. I realised I had already come so far and now I just need to keep on going and complete A Levels. I could not give up now, no matter how difficult things are. Just making sure I was consistently doing work every day, even if it was a little bit, would make a difference. I just have to give my all and do my best. And even in the worst case scenario where I do badly for A Levels, I have to remember that the world is so expansive and there are a lot of opportunities to succeed in this world. I know that these are things we constantly hear from people, but at this point, I finally fully understood what it meant and felt like I could truly believe in it.
Coming back to 20 October 2016.
When I was having consultation with my teacher, we ended up talking quite a bit. Our conversation started because he felt that I was not doing very well even though A Levels is two weeks away. And I honestly told him that I am very jaded and just felt so done with studying (Nothing new here as mentioned previously in my 2015 Review) But at the same time I obviously do not want to do badly, but I really just don’t have the motivation to work for it as well.
I continued to share a lot of my other feelings with him and I’ll admit, it felt pretty disappointing at first. But surprisingly, it took a very positive turn. We discussed how the education system here puts so much emphasis on results that many feel that doing badly on national exams means guaranteed failure. But in reality, that really is not the case. He encouraged me to break out of the system and explore my options by taking a gap year to try all sorts of things. And I felt like it was great advice. I really do need time to find myself because the world is so expansive and has so much to offer. He also told me pretty honestly that I might do well for A Levels or might just do ok with my normal standard. But he reminded me once more, that things won’t end here. Not saying that I should just give on A Levels, I should still do my best. But hearing that, it just gave me a lot of hope and comfort for the future.
When we first started talking about this, I felt like I was having an existential crisis again. But then my teacher said that was not the case because now I have become more enlightened and I realised how true that was. A lot of these things are things I realised after the ordeal of Prelims and I have been ok for a while now. But talking to my teacher made me realise how much progress I have made. And right now, everything just feels so clear.
After all the hardships I’ve been through the past two years, right now, I feel like I can really confidently say that I am doing so much better and I can only see things getting better from here. In fact, I feel really grateful for all the hard times I’ve had because they have made me a much better person. I am honestly so happy and satisfied and enlightened right now and I cannot emphasise that enough. A part of me feels like God really has a plan for me and I’m on my own marvellous journey.
I’ve said this before, but whenever I end these things off, I try to end things off on a more positive note to encourage myself to look forward to the future. However, those times that I did that, it was something I forced myself to do and was not something I fully believed in. But now that I have come out of my hardships being in a much better place and having so much positive energy, whatever I say now are things I truly do believe in.
I think the best, most realistic advice I can give anyone is something very simple: things will get better. Hard times will be difficult and I understand how miserable that can feel. And honestly, no matter what advice anyone gives you or what they say to comfort you now may not register in your brain. But I encourage you to keep all of it in mind because once everything is over and you look back on it, you will begin to internalise a lot of it. Honestly, as terrible as hard times are, they will past. Ultimately, they really can make you a much better person as you learn and grow from your experience.
So at this point where we are a mere two weeks away from A Levels, I just want to wish everyone all the best! We can do it!